Friday, February 23, 2007


Mel tagged me the other day to come up with 6 unusual things about myself. I've actually been thinking about what they would be for a little while, I figured I would get tagged eventually. And before I forget, I tag Tori!

1. It bothers me to write in pen AND pencil on the same piece of paper. I don't even like to use different pens of the same color because they don't have the same point thickness. In high school and college, if I ran out of ink while taking notes and had to switch to a pen or pencil, I would actually go home and recopy all of my notes using only ONE writing utensil. My favorite pen in the world is the Pentel R.S.V.P. It is a ball point pen, but I have to have it in black ink with the fine point. I'm very protective of these pens, I don't know why!

2. When I make french toast, I always turn 2 pieces into a grilled cheese sandwich (using Velveeta, which I would never put on a normal grilled cheese), which I then eat with butter and syrup. This is something that comes from my mother's side of the family, and only those of us who grew up eating it truly get how good it is! My father, husband, and brother-in-laws all find it too bizarre. I think we were married for several years before I even got my husband to give it a try!

3. I love to sit next to the heat registers in the floor. When I was little I used to stretch my nightgown over the heater so that the hot air would blow it up like a balloon. I still do this as an adult, except I use blankets to create a little tent over the heater.

4. I have a scar on my stomach that reminds me of an eyeball. When I was about 10 or 11 I had a mole removed and when it healed I had an "eyeball" shape with 3 dots, or "eyelashes," above and below it from the stitches. What is funny, though, is that after 3 pregnancies it seems to be disappearing. I can't even find it right now. Does stretching the skin make scars go away?

5. I was valedictorian of my high school class so one might assume I know something about being able to focus. Then I went to BYU where I waded through 4 declared majors (there were more that I considered declaring), 90 some-odd credits, and an academic probation or two before I got married and went to work full-time. I have no degree but plan to finish one day through the independent study program. Oh, regrets.

6. I have naturally curly hair and it used to be really thick and somewhat bushy (pre-babies). When I was a cheerleader in high school my squad nicknamed me Chia because of this. During basketball games, some of them used to chant "ch-ch-ch-chia" whenever the opposing team would shoot a free-throw. No one else ever understood the reason behind it and it really never caused anyone to miss a shot, they just thought it was funny. I guess I should feel good about being important enough to warrant a nickname. It could have been worse, I guess!

There you have it. Maybe now I can start to focus on writing my 100 list. We'll see how long that takes!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

back to reality

Jon took last week off of work so we had the chance to spend plenty of time getting to know our sweet little Gracie. She is the best little baby. I've never been blessed with a baby that sleeps a lot, so it is somewhat bewildering to be able to put her down for a nap and realize 3 hours later that she didn't make a sound the entire time. My first two were nothing like this. By writing this down, I fear that I've invoked a curse somehow and the magical sleepiness will disapper. I hope not. What has disappeared, however, is the carefree time together with just our little family to worry about. Jon is back at work and I'm back to getting the kids off to school, but with 1 more to dress and feed every morning. I will miss being able to sit in the living room while my wonderful husband does the dishes and the laundry. It will be hard not to wish that he would bathe and put the kids to bed every night. When I need something from the store, I will actually have to run and get it myself! Jon really spoiled me this last week, to the point that I even talked him in to helping me straighten my hair. No complaints at having to use a straightening iron, either. He just did it. What a guy! Jon took such good care of me and the children this week, I want him to know how much I appreciate all that he did. Getting back to reality, while never fun, is much easier knowing that I've got such a great partner. He'll still be there to help me with all of those things when he can. Not every girl is that lucky, at least that's what he likes to tell me!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

grace victoria

Gracie has arrived! My lack of recent blogging is, as some have suspected, for this reason. We went into the hospital on Saturday morning at my mother's insistance to find that I was still only dilated to 3 cm. I thought I was going to be sent home, just like I had with Abbie. Instead, the doctor who was covering for my physician took a look at my history and decided that she didn't want to risk sending me home and having to make a mad dash back in the middle of the night. Plus, she wanted to make sure that I got at least two doses of antibiotics in my system because I'm positive for GBS, so to our surprise she decided to keep us and get the show on the road. They started giving me the first dose of penicillin around noon, which needed to be done before they would start on pitocin. The IV penicillin absolutely killed my arm, the nurse was so sweet and just kept apologizing for the pain! After the first dose was in, they started the pitocin in an attempt to make my contractions more productive. It would put me into a regular pattern, but didn't really intensify them very much. They increased the dosage several times, but it didn't really do much. I only progressed to 4 cm before I was ready for the next dose of penicillin. They didn't want to break my water until I got enough antibiotics because they were worried I would go too fast at that point. They were right. After the second dose of penicillin, they broke my water at around 4:45 pm. For those who are squemish, skip the next line! When they broke my water it was funny because both the doctor and the nurse were completely floored by how much fluid there was. It just kept coming and coming, soaking through two towels before it stopped. The doctor said that if the baby wound up being a boy we would have to name it Noah because she had never seen that much water before! Anyways, after my water was broken, the contractions definitely picked up in frequency and intensity. I had not had any pain medication again, so I was hoping that breaking my water would bring a speedy end to the labor. I've never had to endure more than 3 hours of intense pain and didn't really want to do it this time! About 1 hour later I made them check me and I had dilated to 7 cm. The doctor decided to go put on her scrubs because, as she suspected, I was going fast now and she thought I would probably deliver within another hour. I continued to work through the contractions, and was eventually ready to push. I have to say that pushing seemed a lot more difficult this time, even though I only had to do it for about 15 or 20 minutes. I had episiotomies with my first two, but this doctor didn't think that I really needed one, so she worked with me during pushing to avoid one. At the time I could have cared less about whether or not she cut me, I just wanted her out! I have to say now, though, that I am so glad she didn't give me one. I have noticed such a difference in the recovery this time that it was definitely worth a couple extra minutes of pushing and pain. Anyways, Grace Victoria was born at 6:43 pm. She weighed 8 lbs. 2.6 oz. and was 20 inches long. I'm sure glad that I didn't go any closer to her due date, she would have been huge! They laid her on my chest and she was so incredibly calm, it was hard to believe that she belonged in our family! Jon was able to actually cut the cord himself, which he hadn't really ever been able to do when we lived in Utah. He will probably admit that his hand got a raw deal this time around, though. I did some pretty heavy squeezing of both him and the hospital bed, so much so that my arms are still pretty sore 4 days later! I'm glad that it is all over and done with. We came home on Monday and are now in the no-sleep for mom all night long mode. At least my other two children are good sleepers. Gracie screamed for about an hour and a half last night, and neither of them heard a thing! We'll hope that doesn't change. We are excited to have her here and I'm sure I'll be blogging plenty more in the days and weeks to come!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

abigail marie

Because Derrick was born at 38 weeks, once I hit that point with Abigail I felt overdue. I had been blessed with a relatively easy labor and delivery the first time around, but was worried that lightning wouldn't strike twice or that if it did, I wouldn't be aware of what was happening. You think that once you have been through the process it becomes easier to tell when it is happening the next time. Not with me. At 38 weeks I was only 2 cm dilated. I was not feeling any pain or contractions at that time, but worried that even if I was I wouldn't know it, given my first birth experience. At our 39 week appointment, I was still a 2. I determined that I would be pregnant forever. Within a day or so, I began to think that I might be having contractions, so we decided to go to the hospital to be checked instead of risking it. I was a 2 and they sent me home. Several days later, I thought again that we'd better go get checked, just to be safe. Same result, 2 cm and come back when it is for real. It was embarrassing. I'd done this before, I should know. We went home pretty discouraged and the day proceeded normally. I went to bed that night feeling nothing out of the ordinary. Then, around 3:30 am I woke up with mild crampiness and so I decided to take a bath. Around 4:30 am I figured that I should probably wake Jon up and have him call his sister to come watch Derrick, again. She arrived around 5:00 am and we took off in hopes that this wouldn't be false alarm number 3. I wasn't sure that we needed to be going until about half way to the hospital, when I made Jon start running red lights. When we got there, he pulled up to the door and I got out. I had to double over for a contraction after a few steps and then made my way inside. They got me situated in a room and then checked me, I was 8 cm. Keep in mind that less than 2 hours earlier I was sleeping comfortably thinking I was never going to have this baby. A little more than 1 hour after arriving at the hospital, Abigail made her grand entrance. The hospital was very busy that day and I was the last person to get a room to deliver in. If I had been 1 person behind me, Abbie would have been born in the hallway. It's funny how Abbie's birth reflects her personality. She wasn't going to come before she was good and ready, but when she decided it was time, she didn't waste any time! That stubborn streak has been quite a challenge over the last four and a half years, but I wouldn't trade her for anything.

jon derrick

For several weeks leading up to Derrick's birth, I had been feeling mild crampiness. I asked my mother what a contraction felt like, and she informed me that I would "know" if I was having a contraction, so I just figured that nothing was going on. Imagine my surprise when I went in for my 38 week check up to find that I was 4 cm dilated! I was completey shocked because I had been feeling no pain. My doctor informed me that he would most likely see me delivered in the next couple of days and sent me on my way. The rest of the day proceeded normally. I didn't feel any contractions throughout the day, and began to wonder how long I could stay at a 4. While taking a bath that night, I thought that maybe my water had broken, but was unsure so I called my doctor and asked what to do. Although it was probably nothing, she told me that I could go in to the hospital to be checked if it made me feel better. Jon came home from work and we went in. I approached the nurses station and told them that I knew I didn't look like I was in labor, but asked if they would check to see if my water had broken. I'm sure that they thought I was absolutely paranoid, but they humored me anyways. Imagine my surprise and theirs when they told me that although my membranes hadn't ruptured, I was dilated to 6 cm so I would not be going home. I was still feeling no noticeable pain. They admitted me and I began to walk the halls, trying to progress beyond a 6. I was checked periodically but remained at a 6 for almost 6 hours. I was finally able to tell when I was having a contraction, but they still didn't hurt. Around 3 am my nurse decided to break my water to see if it wouldn't spur things on, otherwise I was going to need pitocin. She did, and immediately I could tell a huge difference in the contractions. Finally I was getting somewhere. From there it took another 3 hours until I was ready to push. My nurse was wonderful, she stayed with me the whole time which resulted in me not using any pain medication during the labor. I was finally ready to push around 6 am, but ended up having to hold Derrick in because there had been a miscommunication with the doctor on my progress and she thought she had more time to get there. Finally, 30 minutes later, the doctor arrived and I was able to push. What a relief! Derrick finally entered the world and has been keeping us busy ever since!

ticking time bomb

Right now I feel like a ticking time bomb. My third baby is due on February 22nd, but we now have a scheduled induction date of February 16th due to my labor history and the fact that I tested positive for GBS. That is all fine and dandy except for the fact that I'm not entirely sure that I will make it to the 16th. Those familiar with my birth stories will understand why. I am one of those rare women who has no idea when I'm in labor until it is almost too late. So, every twinge, cramp, or contraction that I feel at this point makes me wonder if my time is up. Not that I'm hoping to stay pregnant, I'm NOT. But it has been almost four and a half years since I did this the last time, and no matter how prepared I am, it still is nerve-wracking. We had an appointment on Monday night and discovered that I am dilated to 3 cm, so Jon has been watching my every move. Few people seem to think that I will make it past the weekend. As I realized that I will soon have a new birth story to share, it occured to me that I have never recorded the events of my first two. The next couple of posts may not be of much interest to some of you, but I feel the need to get the stories written down "for posterity," so please indulge me in my recollections!

Monday, February 5, 2007

cake decorating (continued)...

This is the cake I did for my sister-in-law Lindsey in October 2003. Very simple and elegant. It was the third wedding cake that I did. I haven't had any family get married since then, so I've been off the hook now for a while!

Saturday, February 3, 2007

cake decorating

Per Amy's request, I am quickly trying to get pictures posted of the wedding cakes that I have done. Unfortunately, I only have a picture of one cake right now. The other two I am trying to get copies of from my sister and sister-in-law. As soon as I do, I'll get them posted on here, too!

I did this cake for my sister Kendra's wedding in March 2003. It was my second wedding cake. Kendra LOVES purple and wanted something very simple so we copied a design from Martha Stewart and changed the color scheme. On the drive to the reception location, my husband had to slam on his brakes when someone cut us off, and the top tier took a dive into the front console of our minivan. Thank goodness for the messy-swirly look! It was an easy fix.