Monday, June 29, 2009

West Fest Fun

We spent a good part of this last weekend enjoying the West Fest and all its fun. On Thursday Greg, Palmer and I had dinner and visited the booths. We popped in to say hello to our friend Celeste who sells cute bows and other accesories for little girls. We also took Palmer on his first ride, a merry-go-round. He loved it! He did not want to let go of the horse once the ride ended. Saturday morning Palmer and I watched the parade. Our neighbors, the Hepworths, were nice enough to share their blanket with us. Saturday night we walked over to the park with my sisters and family to see the fireworks. They were great as always. We love all the benefits we experience living so close to the park.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Forget It

This Sunday as I was sitting in the pew at church, I was overwhelmed with just how uncomfortable I was. Then it all came flashing back, the utterly awkward state of third-trimester pregnancy: the trouble breathing, the constant adjusting, to no relief, and the memory of Greg and I plopped down on the foyer couch during sacrament meeting for the last couple weeks before delivery because it was too uncomfortable to sit anywhere else.

I've heard that woman have an innate ability to forget the pains of labor so that they will once again go through the torment to benenfit future generations of mankind. I can attest that this is true. I had gallbladder surgery merely seven weeks after I had a c-section for Palmer. The gallbladder surgery is much less serious and less invasive than the c-section, but the recovery was rougher for me. It brought back all the feelings of the earlier surgery, unpleasant memories that my body had already managed to suppress. And I vowed it would be a while before I would put myself through such pain again.

Yet now, as I experience pregnancy once again (mind you not that long after the first), I have come to the realization that women not only forget the horrors of labor, but all and every unpleasantness which accompanies being with child. Yes, I forgot just how bad morning sickness is; I forgot that throwing up from pregnancy is much more violent and sudden and thick (sorry for the T.M.I.) than regular flu induced puking. I forgot about the heartburn. I forgot how uncomfortable it is to sleep and the leg cramps that are a constant company through the night. I forgot how hot my body feels (I can't even imagine what the later summer months are going to feel like). I forgot just how tired I get by the end of the day. I forgot how I can smell like a bloodhound, which is not the best attribute to have when you work at a daycare among a plethora of poopy babies. Yes, I forgot it all. As each stage comes I remember a little bit more, and amid my frustration, I cannot help but be impressed by God's plan. He really did think of everything, an inborn capacity to obliterate all memory of pregnancy's undesirable side effects. How else can you explain the phenomenon of us woman jumping up and down excitedly upon a positive pregnancy test as apposed to falling to the floor in a heap of wallowing tears? I tell you, He surely knows what he is doing.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Trails

Well, the trail isn't so happy for us, but we are happy for them. Our dear friends, the Stewarts, are moving to Washington D.C. this week, and we are so very sad to see them go. They have been wonderful friends and have made our lives so much fun. We will think of them often: whenever we hear an inappropriate joke, an uncensored comment, and pretty much every Friday and/or Saturday night when we are sitting at home instead of hanging out with one of our favorite couples. Last night we got together for dinner with the Stewarts and some ward friends as a last hurrah. It definitely was bittersweet. We know this move will be good for them, and so we will try to be good supportive friends, but deep down we are selfishly dismayed.

So to the Stewarts we say, "Happy trails to you, until we meet again," which hopefully will be soon during your many visits back to the 'hood, and next spring when we plan to vacation with you in D.C.). We love you guys and wish you all the success possible in your upcoming adventures!

Recipe - Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is the recipe for the cookies I made for Father's Day. Until recently I have sworn that Nestle Toll House's recipe for chocolate chip cookies is the best. Several months ago though, I tried a recipe from my friend Jenn and changed my mind. I love these cookies. The are easy to prepare and only dirty one bowl. They bake up perfectly, taste delicious and I can eat far too many of them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups shortening
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix all together. Spoon into balls on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-11 minutes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

I made Greg breakfast, waffles, bacon and orange juice, this morning for Father's Day. Palmer's gift to his dad was that he slept in and was pretty well behaved at church. We had dinner with my side of the family, and we gave my dad chocolate chip cookies. We sent a card to Greg's Dad in Ely and called him to say hello. We ended the evening by taking a plate of cookies to our Bishop to wish the father of our ward a happy Father's Day.

I have been blessed with so many wonderful fathers in my life. My Heavenly Father who is mindful of my wants and needs, my own father who is the definition of humility, Greg's father who is always good for a laugh, and my own husband who has proven time and time again to be an amazing father to our little boy. Greg loves being a dad, and it shows. He always wants to be with Palmer. He is always willing to step in and help out with parenting duties, no matter how unpleasant they are or how tired he is. He roughhouses and plays hard with Palmer, but also offers lots of cuddling and hugs and kisses. We are so lucky to have him in our lives. He is kind and patient. He has a great sense of humor and makes life fun. He is a worthy priesthood holder. He is a good provider. He loves us and we so love him. Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. Thanks for all you do!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

On the Mend & Losing My Mind

Palmer had another rough night, but woke up feeling much better. Thank goodness! He is still coughing, and needs to be on medicine for the pain round the clock, but his sweet happy disposition is starting to show again. What a relief.

Another bad moment for this week, I missed a shift at work today. I had called all my coworkers and finally got someone to cover Wednesday night's shift. Then this morning I misread my calendar and was under the assumption that I worked Friday. Nope. My sister-in-law called me when she got into work and asked why I never showed up. Yikes! Skipping a shift without at least calling in is grounds for firing. I called my boss in a panic and explained everything. Thankfully she was very understanding and said it would be okay. This also means though that my paycheck is going to be minimal, not the best situation after are medical expenses this week. I feel like such a ditz. I don't know if it's the pregnancy brain, or lack of sleep, or me just being an idiot, but I seem to be messing up quite a bit lately.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Swine Flu Craze

Yesterday was medical madness! Palmer awoke in the early morning, sobbing with a fever, a hacking cough and wheezing. He had not been interested in eating the previous couple days (so not like him) and had thrown up once.

We decided to take him to the instacare. The doctor knew he had a flu, just not what kind. They tested him for swine flu, but the results wouldn't be back for a day or two. Since he is so young they decided to put him on Tamiflu anyway. Tamiflu fights the flu but is only effective if started during the first 48 hours. It is also ridiculously expensive, as in $60 for a bottle with our insurance. Once they found out I was pregnant, they got pretty nervous and wanted to test me too and perhaps start me on Tamiflu. All I had was a stuffy nose, so I decided to use my regular doctor to test (the instacare is another $75), and wait on the purchase another dose of Tamiflu once I got the results.

Greg called in late to work. I called around, and found out not everyone does the swine flu test, my OB, no, my family practitioner, no. I finally found a doctor that my OB recommended, so I made an appointment. If Greg stayed home with Palmer, I would make it back just in time for him to only miss half a day of work. I went to the appointment as planned only to find out the doctor was not in my OB's same building as I had figured when I was told his office was right across from my doctor's, but clear across town at my OB's other office. I called them and they said they would still fit me in, but I was 45 minutes late just from the drive. Of course, Greg was late then and had to round up doctors' notes so his work wouldn't penalize him. The office I went to had a rapid results test, so I found out I did not have swine flu in ten minutes (no surprise there). The doctor still debated if I should start Tamiflu, just because we had been exposed over a week ago, and on the off chance that Palmer had it. I convinced him since I wasn't even sick, we could start it if Palmer's test came back positive, or I would call immediately if I started showing symptoms.

I got home just in time to make a dinner for a woman I visit teach who just had a baby. I, of course, had to call someone else to deliver the meal, since Palmer and I (Greg was at work by this point, so I'd have to bring him) could be carrying a flu virus to the newborn. The relief society president was very kind to drop it off. We ended the day with a very tired, mom, dad and baby.

Today was another rough day. Palmer is one sick little guy. He woke up several times during the night hacking and sobbing. His cough had worsened and had become a barking cough. His wheezing got pretty severe at times through the day as well. I waited at home all day and finally received the results at 7:00 pm, which thankfully were also negative. We were advised to continue the Tamiflu since he was worsening because test results could always be wrong. Unless he has a quick recovery by tomorrow morning, I'll be taking him in again.

I am very thankful for the medical treatment we have available to our family, but honestly, this swine flu scare is causing outright madness! I suppose I will get a few more scares before the year is over, working in a daycare and all. But now is time to focus on getting my little boy back to his regular happy, healthy state.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Scrapbook Friends

Saturday night I joined a bunch of my gal pals at a nearby scrapbook store for a night of scrapping, gabbing and munching. It was fabulous fun! We are trying to get together once a month for a cropping party. We always have a person in charge of games and prizes through the night and everyone else brings a potluck item to share. What fun, what fun, scrapbooking and a girls night all rolled into one! We are planning on doing it again next month and an overnighter at a condo before summer ends, so feel free to come and join us if you are interested! I am posting the pages I made that night on a friend's group blog which is dedicated to scrapbooking, Scrapliftable. Anyone is welcome to check in with my most recent paper projects there, and you have the added bonus of gazing at my friends' amazing talents as well.

Park Play

Palmer loves to go on outings. He is getting to the age where he can recognize when the outing is centered around him, as apposed to running errands with mom. He is just so fun to take out that we find ourselves doing family activities that he especially enjoys more and more often. His favorites are walks in his wagon, swimming and the playing at the park. About once a week we go to the park as a family and let him climb and crawl around. He always has the biggest smile on his face when playing at the park. Of course, each trip ends with a scrub in the bathtub to remove all the sand and dirt from the evening's excursion. Oh the simple joys of childhood! I treasure these moments while I can, because unfortunately, sooner or later, I suspect that a trip to the local park probably won't seem so exciting to my son.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Women at the Well and Recipes - Scalloped Corn & Lemonade Pie

Last night we had our quarterly Relief Society Enrichment activity. It was wonderful! A good friend in the ward is a member of a singing group that has been singing together for 13 years. They came and performed Kenneth Cope's Woman at the Well. It was amazing! What beautiful voices and what a beautiful message.

I am on the enrichment board and I was in charge of food at this particular activity. I prepared dinner for fifty woman, and almost everything was eaten up (thank goodness, I don't know how much of the leftovers I could eat after cooking such a huge quantity and looking at it all day). We had BBQ pork sandwiches, scalloped corn, baked beans, applesauce and lemonade pie for dessert. It turned out well. The recipes are extremely easy; I made sure of it since there would be so much to cook. Enjoy!

Scalloped Corn

3 cans of corn
3 cans of creamed corn
1 can of evaporated milk
3 packages of saltine crackers, crumbled (3/4 of a large box)
2 sticks of butter

Combine corns, milk and 2 packages of crackers in a 4 L. casserole dish. Cover the top with the last package of crackers. Melt butter and pour over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Lemonade Pie

1/2 can of pink lemonade concentrate
1 8-ounce tub of cool whip
1 can sweetened and condensed milk
1 graham cracker pie crust

Bring lemonade to room temperature. Fold lemonade and milk into cool whip. Fill pie with lemonade mixture. Store in the freezer for at least one hour, or even overnight to set.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Me: Defined at Age 27

I am a wife and mother, a sister, a daughter, a good friend. I am a child of God and I know he loves me and is mindful of my wants and needs. I am crafty. I like to create with my hands. I am a lover of the written word. I put a good meal on the table. I am a fixer; I will worry about you and give you advice. If possible, I will try to make your life a little bit easier. I over commit, because it makes me happy to be busy. I like to socialize; my only body part that is regularly exercised is my mouth. I am my mother's daughter, and I am proud to be so. I love to play board games, and confidently challenge anyone to try and beat me at Boggle. I cry easily. It is my go to emotional response to every situation whether it be happy, sad, spiritual or angering. I live for my family. I work my life around my child's naps. My home is overly organized, but not necessarily always clean. Making lists is an art form for me. I have my to do list, my meal list, my list of monthly activities, my biweekly budget, my list of goals, my list of topics I plan to blog about, and my grocery list which has four stages of drafting to go through before it is complete and ready for a trip to the store. I like to shake my groove thing. I am honest. To me, the ultimate indulgence is a hot bath and a good book at the end of the day. I have long toes, and even though I don't like them, I am usually clad in sandals. I am optimistic. I am trying to cling to my girly roots in a household of boys, with no time to primp. I would prefer to bake a dessert than cook dinner. I bite my fingernails. I miss teaching. I usually run ten minutes late. I wish I had more time with my husband. I yearn desperately for a vacation. I have a bun in my oven; I am beginning to waddle. I am growing up too fast. I still wear flowers in my hair, and on occasion, pig tails. I am a woman of faith. I have high morals. I regularly practice tough love on myself. I am not so good at using tough love with my child. I fully acknowledge that chick flicks are cheesy, but I still like them. I stress about my loved ones. I correct grammar. I have accepted the fact that I can not tan. I am clumsy. I see dead people, just kidding. I do see the good in people. Being pregnant, I am feistier than my usually disposition. I have gotten sucked into the reality TV craze that I have heretofore protested. I am behind on laundry. I am getting out of debt. I read for pleasure. I smile. I laugh. I am ready for all the good things this year will bring. I am learning, I am growing. I am not yet done defining myself.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Birthday Fun

I have been celebrating my birthday in grand style (as usual). Saturday Greg's mom babysat and Greg took me to The Cheesecake Factory. Yum! It was delicious! Greg ordered the bang, bang chicken and I ordered the chicken castallano, and then we split a Godiva chocolate cheesecake. As we enjoyed our meals, we wondered why we don't go there more often; then we received the bill and remembered why. Although the food was definitely worth the money, we will have to continue dining out there only for special occasions.

Sunday we celebrated my birthday with our families and a few friends at my Dad's condominium's clubhouse. We had personal pizzas, green salad, Schimdt's white cake with butter cream frosting and Dreyers ice cream, another yummy meal. I received money (for maternity clothes) and many of our family members pitched in with Greg to get me this baby. We are waiting on a memory card to start using it, but it looks like it will take amazing pictures. I told Greg I wanted a better camera and he definitely took that to heart. He always gets me the best gifts. I am so excited to put it to use!

Today is my actual birthday. I am planning on relaxing and spending some good me time, i.e. a nap, a trip to the gym, curling up with a good book, and making a no fuss super easy dinner. I know, I'm spoiled.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

In Your Face

This video was also taken to demonstrate Palmer's baby talk, but since he didn't babble as much in it, I had decided to go with the other video. After showing this clip to Greg, he said it was too funny and to post it anyway. Palmer does actually say, "Yeah," in this one. And, as a bonus, he totally shows his personality, which is too cute to pass up. He is very personable and very friendly, somewhat in your face. You'll see what I mean. (Sorry about the shaky camera work; he pretty much was climbing on top of me while I was filming.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Baby Talk

It's no secret that I am a talkative person. In grade school I always received good grades but my citizenship suffered a bit due to that fact, as one teacher so eloquently commented on the back of my report card, I was "a little too social." Well, it seems Palmer has inherited my gift for gab. Sure, usually we don't have any idea what he is saying or for the most part, what he is referring to, but his mouth seems destined to be going nonstop.

We, of course, find his baby talk darling, as any proud parent, and can't seem to get enough of it. Greg mused the other day on how Palmer's dialect does not conform to the regular "goo goo" and "ga ga" you hear from most babes. Instead, it seems Palmer has been learning to talk from some Vietnamese family, for his diction is full of consonants and is quite fast and clipped. Often I can make out a few tongue clicks in the mix, which leads me to the assumption that there is also an adopted African child amongst these mysterious Vietnamese tutors.

In the past few weeks we have been able to make out a few words amid his constant garbling. He now says mama and dada in reference to us, usually when whining, crying or searching for us. He also says hi fairly often, always as we enter his room to get him after a nap. And just recently, he has started to utter the word yeah, along with my favorite of his sayings, "Oh, yeah!" Usually spoken in a sort of hushed excitement. Each time he says it I can't help but break into a smile.

Yesterday I was reflecting on where he would have picked up this term which he so frequently recites, when I caught myself speaking it a couple times just minutes later. I guess I will have to start watching what I say more carefully. "Oh yeah," is pretty cute, but I don't think I want my one year old reciting other phrases that often come out of my mouth, i.e. "Oh crap," or "That sucks," or "Look how fat my belly is getting!"

Here is a short video to illustrate some of his baby talk.