Thursday, September 17, 2015

Baby Girl

It's been a while since I've blogged on our personal blog, but I wanted to share Abilynn's birth story in the same place that I shared Julia and Jackson's stories.

So with Abilynn I had a false alarm 9 days before she was born. And this was a true false alarm...she had been really active and that mixed with contractions made me think she was coming. I got to the hospital and nothing. They picked up one contraction in 30 minutes!! Soooo, we waited. I woke up one morning and turned to Brenan and told him I couldn't wake up pregnant another day. This was Thursday, the 12th. So I did something unexpected and I took the dog for a walk around our neighborhood. I got back and was having contractions. I didn't want to get my hopes up so I casually had Brenan timing them, starting at 9 am. I was so paranoid about another false alarm that I denied this was happening. So I cleaned. If it was happening, the house needed to be cleaner. Then I showered and took a really long time doing my hair and makeup (totally unusual for me, I just needed the distraction). I text my friend at around 10 to see if the kids could go to her place since my contractions were every 3 minutes solid. She wasn't home, luckily I had a plan B friend that I could call. Jess was absolutely amazing, above and beyond fabulous. She rushed home from where she was, rescheduled her whole day, and took the kids at 11. Then Brenan and I drove to the hospital. I just kept taking my time doing everything not wanting to get my hopes up again. So I got hooked up to the monitors and sure enough I was having real contractions every 3 minutes. But I was only dilated to a 3 and about 75% effaced so the nurse asked if I wanted to go home and wait it out or if I wanted to take laps around the hospital. Obviously we chose laps. So we walked around L&D for an hour and she checked me again. I was at a 4 but hadn't effaced anymore. Everytime they gave us the option, we chose to stay and do laps. I was NOT going home. She also had me rock in a rocking chair, drink lots of water, and do more laps. The nice thing about that hospital (versus Utah hospitals) is that they didn't admit me and put me on an IV right when I got there. Just a side note. Anyway, I took a break and Brenan ran off for lunch. While he was gone the doctor came in and asked what I wanted to do since I was dilated to a 5 and about 80% effaced; He said there was no "if" the baby comes, just a matter of when. He could break my water or let me go home. I tried calling Brenan, who didn't answer just then, and ended up making the decision on my own to have my water broken. So at 4:15 he broke my water, then wished me good luck and left. Up until this point we hadn't told anyone we were in the hospital, we were trying to play it cool. So we finally called our parents to let them know baby was coming (and also that we had been there all day). Around 6 the baby still hadn't come so they started me on Pitocin and at that point they finally put me on an  IV (which I was glad they waited). Contractions came stronger and I was at the point of no return for any pain relief, so I got a shot of something around 7 and that was it. Whatever drug they gave me was like magic. My pain went down so much that I was ready to take a nap, like literally had my eyes shut through about 20 minutes of contractions. I was at an 8 so the nurse went to go report to the doctor and let him know how I was progressing. Since I was just chilling Brenan went to the bathroom. All of a sudden I felt some serious pain and was holding on to the hospital bed for dear life. I was alone, screaming. She was coming. Brenan gets back and runs to my side and about 3 seconds later the nurse runs in and asks if I can feel the baby. Yup. Nurse calls in people and turns to me and tells me she has delivered babies before and not to worry. Then an intern walks in and tells me she is going to deliver my baby and she takes a peek down there and says, "oh, she has a lot of hair." Like...what? Cool,  get her out. I start pushing, not even realizing that they're not done setting up. The nurse kept telling me to breath. Let me just say that if I have the ability to yell at you, I'm breathing. I think I did 3 real, full force pushes and baby was here! She came so quickly that they didn't have time to sit me up, put up stirrups, remove the bottom half of the bed, none of that. It was kinda crazy. Something I hadn't had happen before was holding the baby right away. In Utah they whisked both babies away right away, so it was kinda cool to hold her immediately. Our little miss was born at 19:53 on February 12th, weighing 7 lbs, 2oz. We didn't have a name for her until about an hour after she was born. Then it kinda just came to me and I turned to Brenan and asked what he thought of the name Abilynn. He loved it and we sat for about 5 minutes trying to decide how to spell it.

My last belly shot

All hooked up

Check out those awesome contractions


Her cute going home outfit

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Saturday, December 28, 2013

End of the year

I wanted to be able to say I blogged before the end of the year, and I was sick of seeing my old post lingering at the top like it was hanging on in desperation,  so here is my last 2013 post.

Mind your manners.
Be nice to others.
Help out when possible.
Make healthy choices.
Have a great 2014.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Recipe ideas using greek yogurt

Got plain Greek yogurt? No problem!

I buy plain Greek yogurt by the tub and I substitute it straight across for sour cream in all of my recipes. I also dress it up to make it sweet. It is so healthy for you and is easy to cook with...and delicious! I feel like most Greek yogurt recipes involve either A) pre-flavored Greek yogurt or B) they are inherently Greek recipes (tzatziki sauce anyone?) Here are seven ideas to turn that wonderful and versatile ingredient into something fabulous.
*As luck would have it, almost all of my pictures were deleted, so that's why I only have three...
  1. Guacamole. I love guac, but I don't love all of the extra calories from sour cream, so I substituted the sour cream with the greek yogurt and it was delicious! 
  2. Chicken pot pie. I betcha didn't think you'd see that one! It adds a nice creaminess while cutting the calories that you'd normally get from a cream of chicken sauce. Tip: add to a rueafter adding a can of chicken stock. You want it to thicken before adding the yogurt. Unlike sour cream it does not act as a thickener.
  3. Chicken poppy seed casserole. This is a family favorite and I feel better about making it knowing I can do it somewhat healthier than a typical casserole recipe. Swap out the sour cream for yogurt.
  4. Vanilla yogurt. If you add a couple of drops of vanilla extract and some honey, you have a yummy bowl of vanilla yogurt. Add some nuts, fruit, or granola and you have a well rounded snack. 
  5. Crepe filling. I make a creamy filling to mix with my fruit when I make crepes. Add a couple of drops of vanilla extract and powdered sugar to flavor and keep it thick. If you add regular white sugar it will make it soupy. Blah. Tip: fresh fruit is better to use than canned fruit...
  6. Enchiladas. We love green chile chicken enchiladas and I used to make it with green chile sauce, cream of chicken, and sour cream. Now I do just green chile sauce with greek yogurt and it is absolutely delicious!
  7. Dip/sandwich spread. If you've ever bought Hidden Valley dry ranch mix it calls for a tub of sour cream to make the dip. Sub that out for plain greek yogurt and you're golden. I also will take a heaping tablespoon, add onion & garlic powder with a pinch of dill and use it on sandwiches instead of mayo. 

*Remember how I said to use fresh fruit for crepes? Yeah, I used some peaches I canned and it was a runny mess!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Why I've never been pulled over

The short answer? Because I'm a good driver.

The long answer? Because I'm not a Utah Driver.

I learned to drive in Oregon. The speed limit there on the highways is 55 MPH in almost the entire state. There are a few stretches where it is 65. And I'm telling you, for realsy reals, people go 55. The "speeders" go over 60. My dad is a very conservative driver and always told me to never go more than 7 over the speed limit. So I don't. I give drivers a good amount of distance in front of me, I watch the car two cars ahead to react to them in traffic, I don't speed (unless I'm passing someone), I use my blinker, I don't cut people off, and I stop at red lights. Sounds basic, yes? Not in Utah.

Here in Utah drivers as a whole (of course there are exceptions) speed like crazy, pull out and cut you off instead of waiting 5 seconds to turn when the coast is clear, they don't use their blinkers, they tailgate like crazy, they think that because the have an SUV or 4-wheel drive they can go 70 MPH in the snow...and so on. But here is the one that gets me the most and it drives me INSANE- they consistently run red lights. Yellow means slow down and prepare to stop, not speed up to run the red light. In Utah you can yield to turn left at a light even if you don't have a green arrow (whereas in Oregon you can only turn left with a green arrow--in most places). If the light turns yellow, cars keep going. Then once it's red, almost consistently, 2-3 more cars will turn left through the red. Then all the people waiting to go straight have to wait because even though they have the green light, they are waiting for the drivers to get through the red light they are running. And people wonder why there are accidents all the time around here! It drives me crazy. And for a state that has a ton of traffic circles, no one knows how to use them properly or who to yield to. It's easy- yield to the left. Use your left blinker to enter and right blinker to exit. EASY but it causes so many traffic jams. Here is the thing about the highway drivers- they either speed like crazy (10+ over the limit) and weave in and out of lanes, or they go 5 under the speed limit. They also think that they can merge onto the freeway going 35 when the speed limit is 65. If they see a cop, they go blatantly slow. I wanna punch people sometimes. If you see a cop, at least go the speed limit. They other thing they do is a "Mexican road block." For example, everyone in three lanes will all be going the same speed, so no one can pass them. People speed up and slow down so inconsistently that it's hard to get around them. Or you do change lanes and then the person that was going faster decides to slow down and you're stuck.

This, among many other things, is why my dad hates to drive in Utah. He jokes that a 90 year-old will run him down and pass him on the highway even when he goes the speed limit. This is also why I get so much anxiety driving on the highways here. I would rather do almost anything than drive the I-15 down to Provo or up to Salt Lake.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Happy Birthday

My little man is 1! I can hardly believe it. I don't have his one-year stats yet, but if I had to guess I'd say he's just tall enough with just enough chunk. He said 'mama' a ton yesterday and it made my day--he's only said it once before. 'Dada' on the other hand...he has that one down. He is not walking yet, but did I mention he took his first step? Oh yeah, he did (on Tuesday). We had our family celebration on Tuesday since that was Brenan's day off, today we are just chillin' and he gets to open a toy. Tomorrow we are having a family party since Uncle John's bday was this week also. Then he can open the rest of his presents. And let's be real...he's one and doesn't know what presents are. This kid absolutely can turn a frown into a smile and is so adorable, I am constantly kissing his chubby cheeks. I am amazed every day at how magnificent he is (even if he doesn't sleep through the night) and everyday is a new adventure.

Did I mention I don't have a real camera so capturing my kids (or just getting them to sit still) feels impossible since I only have my phone...
And now that my baby is one, my womb feels really empty. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

BotH: Chapter 13

Chapter 13
The Butlers

One thing that set our resort apart from other brands is that we have butlers. Really, really, for real, butlers. Most people who were first time visitors weren't sure how to use their butler and people who had used them at other locations were super critical of their service.

Nigel was originally from Great Britain and served in HRM army to some capacity. He also had met the Queen on several occasions (usually when they handed out their Christmas gifts) and really fit the "butler" stereotype. Plus it was fun to hear his accent. Nigel, however, was quite the scoundrel around most of the employees. We knew he was married, with kids, yet he flirted relentlessly with pretty much any female employee that he encountered. He was nice though and we had some lovely conversations about good ol' England. I think that because I've never been there and since we don't have royalty it fascinates me to know end to talk about things that probably seem so ordinary to him. Moving on. A group of ladies came for a girl's weekend and stayed in a suite, which meant they were entitled to the butler service. Normally this meant that their butler would bring them coffee/tea in the morning, assist in unpacking and organizing their suitcases, and various small tasks. While there the lady who was hosting the weekend asked if he would come and read them a bedtime story. Sure enough, he went into their room and read them all a chapter of Harry Potter. He also had been requested (by a different lady on a different occasion) to fluff her pillows. You never say "no" at The Resort, so he had to go fluff her pillows before she could go to bed.

There were two other butlers, Ernest who I have discussed before (remember Mr. French?), and Mike. Mike was super cool but you could tell he didn't love being a butler. He used to help out in banquets if they were slow in the butler department. Most guests (and most employees) didn't really understand what a butler did. You could tell it annoyed Mike since he got called to do things that were not his job, at all. Once there was a business group staying at the hotel and in between meetings, several days in a row, Mike got called up to go change the sheets of a male guest who had been "entertaining" one of his co-workers on their breaks. He had to speak with Housekeeping on the protocol of handling these particular sheets because it was her time of the month. Disgusting, I know. And not his job. Eventually Mike left and I can't blame him!