Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What I Have Learned

This year has been one hell of a ride! I have had some of the scariest moments of my life to the very best. I have learned a lot about people, the love of God, and about myself. And now as we prepare for 2010 which is sure to keep me on my toes even more than 2009 did, I thought I would share some of these things with you.

1. No matter what you may have in mind, God may have other ideas. Trust him…he ALWAYS knows better.

2. There is nothing in this world better than baby smiles.

3. Love truly can be unconditional.

4. No matter how many times you say no, the people will always approach you in the Smith’s parking lot and offer you tamales at a “very good price.”

5. No matter how nicely you speak to your car, it can still break down every other month.

6. There is a difference between saying you have faith and truly having it-the trick is knowing which category you fall into.

7. Never falter in what you know to be the right thing. You will be rewarded for sticking to your guns.

8. Mean people usually stay mean no matter what you do. Don’t waste precious time on them.

9. Kids aim to please-take what they say at face value and don’t be offended or angry when you hear they told someone else the complete opposite because they just want to make people happy.

10. There are hypocrites all around us and some of them we cannot avoid even though we wish we could. Just keep trying to be nice and know that they will “get theirs” in the end.

11. Deployments are hard whether he is across country or across the world. But he will love you no matter the distance.

12. Give yourself LOTS of time to assemble baby furniture.

13. You do not get a special reward for having a “natural birth” so take the epidural when offered. Labor is not fast and after 16 hours of it, you’ll regret not getting it sooner.

14. Trust doctors.

15. Trust yourself.

16. Your family can be your biggest assets even though sometimes they are just big assholes. (Love you all! HAHA!)

17. Tough times are only tough for a little while.

18. Some people NEVER change because they just don’t care.

19. It’s okay not to like someone, but it is not okay to treat them that way.

20. Never turn your back on friends even if mistakes were made. Some people are meant to be friends for life and God will always help you find each other again.

21. Certain clothes can be ruined by vomit and/or baby poop no matter how many times you wash them.

22. Get to know your neighbors-they can turn out to be the most amazing people.

23. You never really know people until you’ve seen them play Beatles Rock Band or 80’s Sing Star.

24. A dog chasing laser pointer is really funny.

25. Love your family because you’ll miss them when they leave. And never forget that they do the same for you.

Much love to you all! Good luck in 2010!

Monday, December 28, 2009

And a happy new year...

This past weekend was a great weekend for me. Not only was it Gabe’s first Christmas but we also got to have Sera with us as well. It was so special to be able to have both of our kids with us this holiday. Sera was supposed to be with her Mom that weekend but Ryan traded with her because Sera and her Mom went on a vacation to Forks, Washington the week before which would have normally been Ryan’s weekend.

To start I just have to share because Sera is so funny. When Ryan and I asked her about her vacation to Forks, WA she didn’t really know what to say. You see, Forks is the town where the Twilight series is set and Sera is now starting to read the Twilight series and says that her crush is Edward. (Personally I think she is too young to be worrying about boys-even fictional vampire boys.) And that he is so cute and wears make-up but not like girls wear make-up.

When we asked her what she did on her vacation, she kind of shrugged her shoulders and said, “We threw rocks in the ocean and took a picture in front of the Welcome to Forks sign.” I smiled and said that I bet the ocean was really pretty. Then her face lit up and she almost yelled “And I saw Bella’s truck!” It was like suddenly it came to her and I just had to laugh. It was pretty funny to see the look on her face. But then she quickly added, “But I know it’s not the REAL truck because Twilight isn’t real. Vampires aren’t really real…did you know that?” I told her yes and then she nodded her head and that was it.

This weekend Ryan and I also got to talk to Sera about angels. While driving home one night Sera told Ryan and me that she is her family’s guardian angel. She said that she is here to help her family through their sadness and hard times. This was so sweet. I know Sera loves to help people but it breaks my heart that such a sweet little soul is so weighed down with adult issues. I feel bad that she feels the need to worry about grown-up problems. I wish that she could just be the sweet funny little girl that I love and not worry so much. But that is how Sera is. Once she has something in her mind, she stays very focused.

She also told me that her Dad, Gabe, and I are all her guardian angels because we are her family and we take such good care of her. She talked about how her name is a type of angel and that she is going to be our angel and always watch over us. Then she yawned and her eyes got a little watery. She asked Ry and I if our eyes did that too and when we said yes she said, “Well that must be a way to tell if people are angels or not. If you get tears when you yawn then you’re an angel.” I cannot help but smile when she says things like this. She really is something special and I am so blessed to have her in my life. I can only pray that Ryan and I continue to do the best that we can for her and that she will always know just how much we love her. She may not understand some of the things that we do, but some day, she will. She’ll understand why and she will love us even more for always trying to keep her best interest at heart.

Gabe also had a great weekend. He had a tough Christmas Eve because he got passed around so much. I have never seen him act like that before. He got so fussy. And then because he just wanted some comfort, he ate two full bottles! TWO! I honestly thought he was going to be sick and barf all over me but he didn’t. Once he ate he seemed to be better but was still a little cranky. With all the new faces, and people holding him, he just got a little overwhelmed.

Christmas morning was fun too. I know he is really too little to enjoy Christmas but we did it anyway. Santa brought him a rattle, a toy for his car seat, some clothes, and my personal favorite-a bib that says “Zombie Snack” (You have to know Ryan to understand why Santa brought Gabe this gift.) Gabe also got a cube that plays music, some more clothes, some more toys, a book, lots of blocks, and Gabe’s favorite thing-his ExerSaucer. I mean, just look at how much this kid loves he ExerSaucer. (Ryan and I about wet our pants when he did this!)

When all was said and done, we had a FABULOUS Christmas with our kids. But Sera and Gabe bring so much joy into our lives. I don’t know where I would be without my family.

Ryan, I love you with all my heart. And even though you get competitive when playing Sorry, you always make me smile. I would be lost without you Ryan. You are an INCREDIBLE father no matter what other people may think. I know that you ALWAYS do what is best for both of your kids. And I know that they both love you so much. Never waiver in your faith in yourself or in God because you truly are doing the right thing. Thank you for loving me, despite all my faults. Thank you allowing me to be a part of Sera’s life. And thank you for the gift of our son Gabe. This Christmas season I truly realized that my family is the biggest gift I could have ever hoped to receive. Love to you all and I hope your holiday was as good as ours!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Eulogy...for Mac

Today is a sad day. My Grandpa Jim’s dog Mac passed away this morning. So in honor of Mac, I am going to write him a eulogy. I know this will not ease my Grandpa’s pain but it may help the rest of us remember Mac in our own special way.

General Douglas Macarthur “Mac”-Herndon

Born: November 24, 1995

Died: Monday December 21, 2009

Age: 15 Years (Human) 105 Years (Dog)

General Douglas Macarthur joined our family Christmas Eve about 15 years ago. I remember the night well. We were having our yearly Christmas Eve party at my Aunt Kathy’s & her then husband Larry’s house in Salt Lake. Mac, as we called him for short, was hiding in the bar area of their home in a kennel. Just a tiny puppy then, the grandkids kept trying to sneak peeks at the little shitzu. He was a gift for my Grandpa Jim from my Grandma Diane.

Ever since that night Mac has been a part of our family. He has attended every event my Grandma would allow my Grandpa to bring him too and even some when she had told him no. I can remember Mac from the time I was a child to the last time I saw him a couple week s ago. And I know how much he meant to my Grandpa, as well as my Grandma.

Mac led a life of comfort. Right from the start he got what he wanted. Mac was given every type of human food you could imagine-even those the veterinarian warned my grandparents against. And despite what we all thought would happen Mac did not die of a doggy heart attack or diabetes. No, he proved us all wrong.

Mac even had comforts like a doggy car seat. (My grandparents’ children didn’t have car seats when they were younger, but Mac did.) Mac had special rugs, toys, water bottle, brushes, and even a little sweater when he was younger. As Mac got older, he became too grumpy and would no longer wear the sweater.

I have many personal memories of Mac. When he was a little puppy, my Grandma brought him to our house and he and my kitten Pinto (who has preceded him in death I assume because Pinto left one day and never came back.) played until they couldn't play anymore. They played and played and chewed each other’s ears raw. I will never forget how cute the two of them looked together.

As Mac got older, he became more and more spoiled. He would bark at the dinner table to get my grandparents to feed him. And my Grandpa would always tell him “Now you aren’t getting any of this.” But he would say that as he was feeding Mac from his fork. Needless to say, Mac never wanted for anything.

A more recent memory of Mac was when I lived with my grandparents. He was an elderly dog at this point and my guess could not hold his bodily functions as well. And more than once Mac would come into my room and poop on my floor. I would let my Grandma know and WITHOUT complaint, she would come in and clean it up. She would always apologize but she loved Mac anyway. Had it been me, I probably would have despised him.

So love him (or not) Mac was a part of all our lives because our Grandparents loved him so much. We all may have wanted to throw him in the canal out back at points, but he made Grandma and especially Grandpa, very happy. And we all have happy memories that include him-even if some of them are all the funny jokes we made about how spoiled and awful he could be.

Mac is survived by his parents Jim and Diane Herndon, siblings Kathy C. (Paul), Tracii D. (Randy), John H. (Debbie) and Karen P. (Chad) as well as many nieces and nephews. Mac is preceded in death by his gay lover, Walter the Stuffed Dog.

Goodbye Mac and rest in peace. You will be missed…by most. (But really by all of us.)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Three Months

Three months already!?! Oh my baby boy, you are three months old. You just keep growing and learning. Of course this is what you should be doing. It still never ceases to amaze me. I find myself watching you and trying to figure out what it is you are thinking about. I always wonder what must be running through your mind.

During this last month you have experienced many firsts. Your first experience at being sick. As I posted on my earlier blog, this was quite the experience for me. You cried and fussed and it was so hard for me because I just didn’t know what you needed. But we made it through and you are doing great. Your cough is gone and all the remains is the occasional stuffiness.

You also had your first Thanksgiving at Grandma Karen & Grandpa Chad’s house. This was even more special because your Grandma Linda was able to come down and spend some time with you over the holidays. And even better, Sera was able to be here as well. We ate delicious food that Grandma Karen made. I helped with the relish tray and I also bought the pies. I promise that before you grow up I will learn how to make a real Thanksgiving dinner.

Grandma Linda, Grandma Karen, Aunt Becca, and I all tried to feed you real food during dinner. Sure you don’t have teeth but a little orange salad and mashed potatoes with gravy wouldn’t hurt right? It is mushy enough for you. And we weren’t going to give you HUGE spoonfuls-just a tiny taste. But your Dad, being the responsible one, told us no. After a little begging on our parts he let us give you a taste of mashed potatoes with no gravy. He didn’t want you to get sick because you were having a lot of rich food. I understand of course, I just thought, for your first Thanksgiving, you deserved more than just milk.

Also during the holiday weekend you got to “watch” your first Utah vs. BYU football game. This was a very proud moment for me. I know that although you weren’t really watching it and you couldn’t really understand anything about the game that you were rooting for Utah to win. I am sad to report that Utah was unable to do this for your first game. But you wore you Ute’s outfit and weren’t ashamed to be a “classless Ute’s fan” as BYU quarterback Max Hall might assume about you. (For those of you not from around here, this is a link to explain the Max Hall comment. http://www.examiner.com/x-19632-Salt-Lake-City-Headlines-Examiner~y2009m11d30-BYUs-Max-Hall-post-game-comments-and-apology-to-the-University-of-Utah)

Developmentally I have seen great things from you. You like to talk a lot more now. You gurgle and babble when you are in a good mood. You’ll coo and give little squeaks and I will talk right back. I only wish I could understand what it was you are trying to tell. I am going to guess that you must be telling me how much you love your Dad, Sera, and me.

You have also been reaching out and grabbing at things a lot more. I think that now that you are really able to hold your head up, you can focus more on what is around you. You love the doggy rattle that Aunt Becca gave you at my baby shower especially. It attaches to your car seat and you grab onto that thing and hold onto it for dear life. You try to get it in your mouth and when you can’t you get mad. It is cute to watch you try and figure everything out. It makes me so proud when I see you accomplish these things.

I have also been working harder on giving you tummy time. You hate this. You scream at me after about two minutes of being on your tummy. I am going to tell you now, there are going to be a lot of things that I do for you that you are going to hate. But please know that I only do these things because they are good for you. You need to get your back muscles stronger so that you can start to sit up. So smile and know that I do it all for you in the long run.

Your Dad and I love you Bubba. You are our little Gabezilla, Zilly-Willy, Senor Wiggle Bottom, Captain Wiggles, Bubs, Gabes, Gabey-Baby, Gabester, or Mr. Smiley Pants. No matter what we call you though, you are our Baby boy and we look forward to seeing what next month will bring us. Happy 3 month birthday day my sweet baby boy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bored Family+Crafty Mormons=TERROR

All people fear something. (Except for Chuck Norris maybe.) And some people fear irrational things. I once saw this episode of Maury where he was forcing people to deal with their irrational fears. There was this lady that was afraid of pickles and they brought out a GIANT barrel of pickles and boy did she run. I always wondered if that lady was just putting on a show or if she was really afraid of small delicious wrinkled cucumbers. The world may never know.

I have my own irrational fears. I hate dolls...mostly creepy porcelain dolls or ventriloquist dummies. I am also afraid of spiders because I think they are all out to lay babies in my ear or eat my face. I also am afraid of nuclear war fallout. But also...clowns. I HATE CLOWNS!

You never know who is behind the mask and/or face paint. And they laugh and you can fit 20 into a Volkswagon! COME ON! That ain't natural. It is superhuman...scary super human. Right now there could be 20 giggling facepainted freaks hiding in your car...tell me that thought won't keep you up tonight.

Honestly, my mom (God bless her.) watched this movie on the SciFy channel when I was little called "Attack of the Killer Clowns" which from what I can remember involved clowns from space wrapping people in cotton candy cocoons and then sucking their blood through straws. She also watched "It" which involved a killer clown. How could I not be scared of them right? (On a side note: for years I also made sure the lid to the toilet seat was always down and the bathroom door shut tight because I thought the "It Monster" was going to sneak out of our commode and kill me. Thanks for all those fun memories Mom!)

So Ry and I go on a date tonight and what do I come home to? Someone has left me a surprise. A terrifying surprise. And who would do such a thing? Why my sister and parents of course. I don't need to say much from here on out. The pictures will do my talking. I just want to thank my family. Thank them for making me the next canidate for some talk show. MOVE OVER CRAZY PICKLE LADY!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Shining Moments

As many of you know we did our family photos on Sunday November 15th at Gardner Village in Midvale. There are many situations that cause me stress, mostly because I have anxiety problems, but this one takes the cake recently. I was worried out of my mind about those photos. Allow me to explain.

It started Friday night. My sister Becca was in town for her classes at the U of U and was staying at our house. Ryan and I had planned on going shopping Friday night to get sweaters for the family. This task alone was keeping me up at night. What color? Should we all have different colors? WHAT? Becca then slapped me in the face and told me to snap-the-hell out of it. (Not really.) But she did suggest the color scheme of blue, green, and brown. And after over an hour at Old Navy, we found sweaters for Ryan, Sera, and myself.

Being at the Old Navy was nearly sending me into a panic attack. And no, I am not kidding. For one thing, I hate being in crowded stores. And second, I was on a very tight deadline for finding outfits for all of us. Third, I was planning on all of us wearing jeans but then I was convinced khakis would look better and I DON’T OWN KHAKIS! (I did have brown slacks though, so it was okay.) And fourth, I had so many opinions other then my own coming in, that it was a little, no A LOT, overwhelming. My sister’s opinion was welcome because I invited her for that reason. Then Ryan wanted to put his two cents in which is okay because they are his pictures too. And the dressing room attendant spoke her mind. And finally Sera was telling us all what she thought. It was a little much for me. I wanted to curl into the fetal position in my dressing room and go to my happy place where it rains gummy bears and snows marshmallows and family pictures turn out flawless with no effort on my part.

So we find 3 of the 4 outfits needed. Gabe still has nothing. Old Navy didn’t have anything green for him to wear. So I decided to let him go naked. No, actually, we drove across the street to the Carter’s store. (I should NEVER be allowed to go into the store unsupervised. I would probably buy everything that fit him. It is all so cute!) And after searching around another crowded store for a few minutes, I find a cute green and brown outfit for him. No we can go home and I can lay in the darkness and unwind my nerves.

Saturday passes and I still have Sunday on my mind. I am so nervous that it is going to be a blizzard and that we won’t be able to get our pictures done. And it has been hard finding a weekend when we have Sera and our photographer has the time. So I am praying to Chione, the goddess of snow, that the snow stops before Sunday. Please don’t let it snow on picture day!
Sunday arrives and I have the butterfly feeling in my stomach. I try to curl my hair, no luck. It doesn’t want to hold a curl. Strike one. I go to fix Sera’s hair. She gets upset because I need to use hair spray. Strike two. Go to put Gabe in his new outfit. I cannot find it. Strike three. I am in meltdown.

I begin searching the house for Gabe’s outfit. I know right where I left it. It was in a plastic bag on the end table in the living room. I know it! But now it is not there. Ryan very kindly starts helping me look. I am tearing apart my bedroom while he searches downstairs. Not there. I check the kid’s room. Not there. I check the bathrooms and the guest room. Still nothing.
I ask Ryan to check the garbage can outside because maybe it got thrown away. He goes out and looks and reports back with nothing. Now I am really panicking. Honestly, I was near tears. I don’t handle these situations well. And the next part of this story will demonstrate this even more.

In a last ditch effort I ask Ryan to check the garbage outside again. He goes outside and I walk to the door to watch him. He opens the lid to the nearly full can and stares into it…just looks. He doesn’t move any bags our shift to see deeper into the can. He simply looked in. (Remember I am admitting fault here!)

I storm outside towards the garbage cans. I ask Ryan to move Sera’s car seat to my car and I will look for Gabe’s outfit. I open the almost full can and begin transferring garbage from the can into our empty can next to it. One by one I remove pieces of garbage until I see it. The bag that holds Gabe’s outfit…and it is covered in pizza sauce. I feel my blood pressure rising. In Ryan’s attempt to clean, he threw away Gabe’s outfit on accident. And then when I asked him to look for the outfit, he just opened the can and looked inside. He didn’t actually look deeper into the can. I was seeing red at that point.

I pick up the bag covered in sauce and hold it up so Ryan can see. (He was still trying to get Sera’s car seat in.) His eyes got wide and his face fell a little. He knows he made a mistake. And I, in a brilliant moment of maturity, throw the sauce-covered bag at his car windshield. That’s right…threw it at his car. I didn’t even say anything I just threw it.

I don’t tell this story to make Ryan look bad. He made a mistake, which we all do. And felt bad and apologized for it. I tell this story to show how stupid I acted. Who throws garbage at their husband’s car when he simply made a mistake? Someone who apparently needs to work on how she handles stress.

Turns out the outfit made it out with only a tiny spot of sauce on the back of the fleece jacket. I was able to wipe it off and no one knew. Ryan swore that Gabe smelled like a garbage can though. I couldn’t smell it and neither could my mom. I think poor Ryan just felt so guilty about what happened. And that is my fault! I should have handled it much better than I did. But no, I threw a hissy fit. So I am publicly apologizing to Ryan right now. I AM SORRY I ACTED LIKE A TWO-YEAR-OLD!
When we got to Gardner Village the pictures went well. It wasn’t snowing. We made it on time. We had on our appropriate outfits and no one smelled like trash. It was a good day. And honestly, we had fun. I love getting my pictures taken. It makes me feel special. And I have wanted to get pictures of Gabe and Sera together while Gabe is still a baby. And since Sera often moves with little warning, we took the opportunity to get our family pictures done.
I think the turned out amazing! We used the same photographer that took our wedding day photos. Her name is Courtney Ryan and she does a GREAT job at a really affordable price. If anyone is interested in her info, drop me a line and I will give it to you. We have used her services twice and we have not been disappointed.

When all was said and done the day went well. And I cannot wait to get the prints done and hung up in my living room. Pictures are the one thing I would be sure to grab in a house fire (after my family of course.) because they are such an important part of my past. Gabe and Sera will never be this little again and with these picture, I will always be able to remember it perfectly. And with kids this cute, who wouldn’t take as many pictures as possible?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sick and Tired

The last week I was home with a tiny sick baby. This was my first real experience with Gabe being sick. It started early Tuesday morning. Gabe woke up for his normal 3 a.m. meal and was very congested. He was snorting and gurgling with every cry. I felt bad for him but there isn’t much you can do. With a baby as young as he is, there aren’t really any medicines that will help with congestion.

I should have known something else was wrong, however, because he wouldn’t go back to sleep. Ry and I assumed it was because he couldn’t breathe well and so he was fussy. We each took a turn that morning and I thank Ryan for his patience. I was with Gabe until about 4:15 am and then Ryan took him until about 5:30 which is when he needed to get up and start getting ready for work. So then I took him back but noticed that he was very sweaty and warm.

I kept him with me until about 6 am because I needed to take a shower so that I could get ready for work as well. Ryan held him while I jumped in and decided to take him temperature. When Ryan took it, it was 99.6 which isn’t really high. I got out of the shower and Ry headed off to work. Me, being the paranoid person that I am, decided to check his temperature again at about 6:30 and it now read 100.4. Now I am worried. Not only is he plugged up like my bathtub drain and can’t breathe because of it, but now he is running a fever. There is no way I am taking him to daycare now.

So I call my work and let them know I won’t be in. (BTW, I work with the most amazing people! They were 100% understanding of the situation. THANKS LADIES!) And then I called my doctor’s office. Gabe’s doctor opens at 7 am which is nice and they worked us in at 8:15 am.
We get there and do all the basic stuff. Listen to his heart rate-sounds good. Take his weight-now at 14 and ½ pounds. (The average weight for a 3 month baby is 12.56 Pounds and Gabe at 10 weeks weighs 14 and 1/2….BIG BOY!) Then they check his temperature-101.6 HOLD ON! That is not normal, nor is it good. So the doctor comes in and listens to his lungs and decides that Gabe needs a chest x-ray. Oh hell. I almost passed out when he had his blood drawn, how am I going to handle this?

And yes, the passing out comment is true. At Gabe’s one month appopintment back on September 21st Gabe had to have his blood drawn to get his PKU test done. So I am holding Gabe while the nurse pricks him in the heel with a needle and starts squeezing blood onto this test card. I am doing okay and I start feeling hot and sweaty. Then my vision quickly starts to get tunneled and as I am asking my sister Becca to take Gabe from me, me knees get weak and my stomach drops. I hurried and sat down and put my head between my knees. Becca said I was really pale and it took me a few minutes to recover. I was glad she was there to help me. So after that, how I am supposed to take him for a chest x-ray? I am going to be sick!

I walk over to the area of the clinic that does x-rays. The technician is nice and tries to explain to me that because babies can’t sit up, nor will they hold still that there is a “device” they use to help to get the x-ray. He went on about how it works and more about why but I quit listening when I saw the contraption. It looks like a torture device. And good ol’ Google had an image of one.

There are a few things wrong with this that I would like to point out. First, the room appears to be brightly lit-this is not the case. The room was almost dark. Also this baby is facing out-in real life, they face a wall so the machine can take a picture of their back. And lastly, and most important, notice how calm this baby is. THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN! The baby in this picture must have been given a valium to keep him this still. The plexy-glass sides of this torture device are cold and when the stuff a baby into this thing when they aren’t feeling good, the cold doesn’t help. Poor Gabe was hungry, sick, cold, and probably scared and I couldn’t do anything to help him. He just sat there screaming, which the technician informed me was really a good thing because it means his lungs are working and they will get good images. Sorry but that doesn't make me feel any better about my screaming baby. It just makes my boobs and my heart hurt.

So after that they take a flu test on him and they send us on our merry way. Turns out Gabe didn't have the flu. Do I feel like I put him through hell for nothing? A little. But he won't remember it so I am okay. I say this but years later when he is in therapy, he will being this up. And then I will really feel like an ass.

He is doing much better now. Still a little congested and snorts when he eats. It makes me laugh which makes me sound kind of mean. The point of this blog was to share my first experience with Gabe being sick and it is turning out to be more proof that I am a HUGE jerk. I should probably stop talking now.

Here is proof that Gabe is doing better. And do you notice his onesie? It says "I LOVE MOMMY" and yes, that is a shameless plug for myself. If child services ever shows up at my house I wil put down my crack pipe, take the beer away from Gabe, and put this onesie on him. It is my proof that I am a fit parent. What kid would wear this if it wasn't true?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pet Peeves

We all have those little “pet peeves” that eat at us. Annoying habits of others that make us want to lash out in acts of violence? No? Not you? I am the only one who wants to resort to punching? Well fine! Go ahead and be the Dalai Lama. I am going to do what I do best and tell those of you who read this what my top ten biggest pet peeves are. And if you are doing these things, don’t do them around me. (I just warned you about the violence didn’t I?)

Rachel’s Top Ten Pet Peeves

01. People Who Ask Obvious Questions: Questions, for example, like “Do you just love your baby all the time?” Let me think…no. I don’t. In fact, I was wondering if you might take him off my hands seeing as you are obviously a GENIUS! Exactly how shallow is your gene pool for you to ask me such a stupid question? Of course I love him. Now please, go get some condoms so that you will NEVER reproduce.

02. People Who Blow Theirs Noses in Restaurants: The last thing I want to hear while I am trying to enjoy my Egg Drop Soup is you expelling boogers from your nose. I know we all get a little stuffy from time to time, but if you have to BLOW your nose, excuse yourself to the bathroom.

03. Wearing Dog Collars For Jewelry: They are made for dogs for hells sake! And it seems that over the past month, I have been seeing kids doing this A LOT! In fact, here is an example for you to feast upon. Do you realize what this says about you? No one thinks you are cool and edgy. It just makes us want to smack you with a rolled up newspaper and rub your noses in your own poop.

04. People Who Steal Your Parking Spot: Do you really want to do that? I mean, think about this. You steal MY parking spot that I was obviously waiting for and then leave your car to go into a store…unmanned. It gives me a perfect opportunity to spit on your windshield. Maybe you should find somewhere else to park huh?

05. Brown Bananas at the Grocery Store: It can’t be that hard to find some nice fresh bananas can it? Maybe even a little green? So why in the hell does it seem that the Smith’s by my house only has brown ones. Damn you Smith’s produce.

06. Eavesdroppers: Sometimes we all hear other people conversations. Hell, sometimes we do it on purpose. But it is a whole other thing to then jump into that conversation with your two cents. Like when you are standing in line somewhere discussing a recent movie with your friend and some whack-a-doo in front of you turns around and tells you how horrible that movie really is. Thanks for that Mr. Creepy Man…good thing I wasn’t discussing something more personal huh? Now SHUT UP!

07. The Garbage Truck That Comes To My House: This has only becoming a recent pet peeve of mine. First off, the thing sounds like it is housing a bunch of epileptic drummers and might at any moments fall to pieces or blow up. It is so loud! And then the guys who dump the trash cans just toss them anywhere they please once they are done. Like tossing the lid of my garbge can into the ONE PILE of dog poop that I missed picking up. A whole patch of grass and you toss my lid into that poo pile. Thanks for that extra special gift.

08. Ryan, When He Won’t Smash a Spider: This may not seem like much to you, but when you have a spider crawling around that might eat your face, and your husband is taking his time on smashing it, come talk to me. It could get away in the time he is dinking around. And then it will know that I wanted it dead. And it will go and get all its creepy little spider friends and they will all come into my house and have babies and then I DIE! Dramatic? I think not.

09. Pushy Sales People: No I don’t want to rent another movie at half price or order something for desert or sign-up for your credit card to get a 20% discount. Just leave me alone and give me my effing receipt. Thank you.

10. “Neighbor’s" Annoying Chihuahua & Pug: I don’t normally have issues with dogs that bark a little. I mean, dogs will be dogs. But this guy, who normally isn’t a real friendly guy anyway, lets his dogs out into his patio area and they bark and bark and bark. And they’ve got those little yappy tiny barks. It makes me want to throw things at them like water balloons or tomatoes or car batteries.

Now naturally there are many more things that annoy me because that is just the way it is. So don’t criticize my list or you might end up on the next one. Love to you all!

Gabezilla the Destroyer...errr...Maybe not destroy

This is a video that Ry and I took back on October 22 and I completly forgot about it. As many of you know we call Gabe "Gabezilla" because when he gets mad he could destroy the streets of Tokyo. Well a lady I work with by the name of Keisa gave me a little butterfly rattle at my baby shower. So I am sure you can do the math here...Gabe + Butterfly Rattle + Dorky Parents = Gabezilla vs Mothra. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy 2 month Birthday

My Sweet Baby Boy-

Momma has been a slacker, I know. You turned 2 months old last week and I have still yet to post. But trust me when I say, this will seem like a minor disappointment compared to what you might face in the future. (Try being a Jazz fan when they lose AT HOME to Houston when Yao and McGrady are both out.) But know that I have been thinking about doing it. And you know what they say: it is the thought that counts. And seeing as how it is the thought that counts, I am telling my family now I have thought about getting you all Christmas presents. THOUGHT ABOUT IT. And since that counts, you can all send your thank you cards to my home address.

So much has changed in the last month. First off you have grown so much! You had your 8 week check-up and your pediatrician noted that eating is not something you have a problem with. No Sir! You eat like a champ. You were 12 lbs and 12 ounces which put you in the 75% for your weight. You were also almost 13 inches long which put you in the 75% for your height. Your head, which I think looks ginormous, was only in the 50%. I don't want to put any pressure on you but, you may want to grow your noggin a little bigger so you don't end up looking like a lemon balancing on top of a refrigerator box. Just an FYI from me to you Big Guy.

You have also started to smile at me and now I am sure it isn't because of gas. You will look at me after you've finished eating (Yes ya'll-from the titty!) and smile as if to say, "Thanks for that Feed Bag." In my world, you do not call me Mom or Rachel or even Hey You. No, to you Meatloaf, I am simply Feed Bag. But those smiles, oh my! They are as great as puppies that barf solid gold rainbows. That is how happy your little smile makes me. You also smile at your Dad when he wiggles his eyebrows. And you smile at the ceiling fan in the bedroom. I love that you are able to show us when you are happy. It is amazing and it makes me more and more grateful every time I see it. Except for when it is a poo smile, I am okay with those but not grateful for them.

You have also started sleeping longer through the night. I say this here because some day when you grow up and are having babies of your own, you will read this and KNOW that I was grateful. And then you will be grateful and you will understand how wonderful it is to get more than two consecutive hours of sleep. Right now you go to sleep around 10 p.m. and will go until about 3 a.m. or 3:30 a.m. Then you’ll sleep until about 6 a.m. And from there you go until about 8 a.m. The thing about the 8 a.m. that confuses me is that you aren’t really hungry and you usually aren’t “messy” so I am not sure why you wake up. My guess is that you know I am trying to finish up so we can leave the house and you just like to throw a wrench in my plans. Thanks for that.

You also experienced your first Halloween just after your 2 month birthday. We dressed you up as a pumpkin. I bought your costume before you were born because I saw it and loved it. And when it came time to put you in it, you almost didn’t fit. Did you hear that my Chunky Monkey? A 3 month size costume that you almost couldn’t fit into at 2 months. It wasn’t so much your circumference that was a problem as it was your height. You were almost too tall for your costume. Which brings me to a point: do not buy things, for what you know is going to be a large baby, that have footies. Get things that are open at the bottom because then your large baby can just be wearing short pants rather than not fit into the $20 costume that you bought.

You Dad and I were also able to have your sister Sera with us this year for Halloween. She was so excited to get to go Trick-O-Treating with our family. She has missed so much over the past few years because she has been living in Arizona, but now that she is back home she was able to be with us for the first time in 4 years. And it was extra special because it was your first Halloween too. Not that you really cared too much. You just sat in your stroller dressed in your pumpkin costume and looked around.

We also started you in daycare this week. And let me tell you how hard that has been! To set you down in that crib and walk away knowing that you are now in the care of someone I don’t know. It has been the thing that I have been dreading since the day you were born. I just love you so much and worry that no one can care for you like I do. And to be honest, no one can. But every day when I go to pick you up, you are happy (or sleeping) and that has made me feel better. You are always have a clean diaper and aren’t hungry. And when you are in the swing, you even seem happy. So even though they aren’t Mommy, I can at least leave you, feeling like you are going to be okay.

I cannot believe that you are now 2 months old my Little Man. It was a year ago Halloween that your Dad, myself, Grandma Karen, Grandpa Chad, and Uncle Byron were starting to paint our brand new home. And now, a year later, we have our home, a dog that eats kennels, Sera back home where she belongs, and you who keeps me on my toes, always smiling, and full of love. Life could not be sweeter. So, happy belated 2 month birthday my sweet Baby Boy. Here’s to a lot more to come!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Read me Oprah!

It has been a long time since I have done a top ten. And because my life long dream is to be the host of The Late Nigh Show, now currently being hosted by David Letterman, I work hard on my top ten’s. I also work hard on really bad jokes and offending Oprah. Turns out, 99% of my jokes are bad without trying. And as for offending Oprah:


Just kidding Oprah. Now give me money!

Anyways, it has been long enough since going through childbirth that I have developed a new list that is sure to please my sister. Please her funny bone and also scare her into NEVER ENGAGING IN “THE BUSINESS” AGAIN! And I will make no apologies to Spencer, her husband, this time. Oh no…he is on his own if he wants, you know, ever again. What am I? Some sort of pimp? I don’t think so.

So proudly I present:

Top 10 Things That SUCK About Having a Baby

1. Only Being Able To Have Ice Chips: That’s right! Once your water breaks it is ice chips only from there on out. And if you have a long labor, I don’t care what flavor they put on the damn ice, it is still ice. Frozen chunks of water that are not equal to real food in anyway.

2. Having Your Water Broken: It is one thing for your water to break naturally I am sure. But to have it broken by a doctor to induce your labor, well, let’s just leave it by saying NASTY! And the even better part of it? Being in so much pain and hooked to so many machines that your Mom has to wipe you clean when you start feeling extra nasty. BTW, thanks for that Mom!

3. Losing Any Sense of Dignity and/or Privacy: I have had more people looking at or touching my “centerpiece” in the last 8 weeks then I ever dared to hope for. And seriously, after having about 4 different nurses and 3 different doctors check my cervix, by the time I got to my hospital room after having the baby, I wasn’t shy about letting those nurses check out my goods either. My Business saw more visitors during my stay at the hospital then actual people came to see my baby and me during my stay.

4. Being Forced to Take Drugs: Need I say more? I was feeling pretty good, even after having my abdomen cut open. So the nurses who kept coming in and insisting that I take something for my pain, I get what you were doing but you were kind of coming off like drug dealers.

5. Epidurals That Wear Off: Oh yes! It is possible that your epidural will wear off. About seven hours after getting my epidural my left leg started getting some feeling back. And at that really sucks when my contractions are really REALLY strong. So be mindful of your epidural and don’t be afraid to start complaining if you start feeling things.

6. Having a Sister With A Weak Stomach: There was two times where my most wonderful sister almost passed out. Once when I was getting my epidural and then once in the operating room when Gabe was being removed from my uterus. I love my sister and could never thank her enough for being there for me during my whole labor process. (She even slept on the floor in my labor and delivery room!) But when you look over and notice that your sister is gone, it is really scary! So Becca, for future reference, just sit on the floor from the get-go so I don’t have to worry about you fainting and smacking your head.

7. Hospital Food: I don’t need to say much else. Between being bland, sometimes cold, and rubbery (Yes, rubbery.) there was only about one thing I enjoyed about hospital food and that was all the milk and juice I could drink! Seriously! An unlimited supply of beverage. And anyone who knows me knows I put that to good use.

8. Having Every Nurse Tell Me How Precious My Baby Is: Yes, I know he is amazingly adorable. But seriously, you don’t have to kiss my butt. You don’t have to try that hard. I know he is cute. And I am sure you get tired of saying that to every new mother that crosses your path. You don’t have to do that with me. It’s cool because I seriously know how cute he is. I mean come on, he is half me and half Ryan, how could the kid not be cute?

9. People Who Told Me “It only gets worse from here.” Maybe it got worse for you but I am looking forward to the future with Gabe. Sure he will do things to scare me and drive me crazy but I am okay with that because I will get so much in return. Maybe you only say that because your kids were all assholes.

10. Getting Used To Breast Feeding: All I am going to say here is OUCH! And that we be enough on this subject.

So there you have it. My latest and greatest list. I hope you enjoy. And seriously Oprah, if you are reading this send me some money because diapers are expensive.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Just Dance

Oh Byron…my brother. What were you thinking? Sending me something so AMAZING! So wonderfully…embarrassing. Did you not stop to think “Hmmm…this might end up on the internet?” Ha! Perhaps I should explain to my “readers” what this video is about.

You see Internet, my brother and sister love my dance moves. This isn’t because I am some amazing dancer. Oh no. It is because I am an awful dancer and my moves are so deliciously tacky that they make people burst into uncontrollable laughter. And there have been several times where they have requested to see my moves simply to give themselves a good laugh. And I don’t mind performing because I love making people laugh.

So my family was at Disneyland last week, as you may remember from my last blog, and for some reason my siblings decided to send me the following video. It was a challenge for a dance off. Allow me to show you what I was up against:

So I decided to pull out the big guns for my response. After all, I am not going to back down. So my reply was this:

Like I am going to send out a video of my dancing? Honestly! So I can end up on YouTube and the Internet? Don’t think so. Sorry Byron. But I hope you enjoy your Internet dancing debut! Love you Brother!

P.S. Sorry about Byron's video being on it's side. You have my sister's videography to thank for that. Love you too Becca! And also, did you see that adorable picture of Gabe at the top of my blog? Don't you just love that little face?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lions & Tigers & Bears...well no Lions

Sunday was a great day for our family. We had a very nice time Sunday morning when we went, as a family, to a Methodist church. Ryan’s mom is Methodist and he was raised with her Methodist values. So when Ryan and I decided to make more of an attempt to go to church more often, we decided that we would give a Methodist church a shot. It was pretty different but it was also very nice. It was peaceful and pretty laid back. And it was just nice to go to church together as a family.

After church we ran home to have some lunch and then headed up to Hogle Zoo. I have been dying to go up there since the baby elephant was born. But little did I know that there was also a baby Colobus monkey, a baby giraffe, a baby snow leopard, and three baby tigers. As my brother Byron put it, the animals at the zoo have really been “getting it on” lately.

The zoo was a lot of fun for all of us. Sera loved taking pictures of all the animals. I loved seeing all the babies, especially the little baby elephant. Ryan just loves spending time with his family. And Gabe, well, he loves eating and sleeping. But he got to eat and sleep at the zoo, which was extra special. And although he won’t remember it, I took a couple pictures of Gabe and Sera to commemorate his first visit to Hogle Zoo.

We also had some fun on Friday night when my sister stopped by for a visit. She and Sera always seem to have a good time together but often times, Becca gets Sera into trouble because she encourages her to goof off. (This behavior especially seems to happen around the dinner table and involves burping, or playing with her food, or getting off her chair and playing before she has even touched her food. Thanks for that Bec!) But in the end, Sera never does anything TOO naughty and so it is handled easily with a “Sera, please stop.”

This time, however, there was no trouble to be had and Sera and Becca instead, preformed makeovers on each other. I am not sure whose idea it was, Becca’s or Sera’s, but in the end the results were…lovely. I give Sera the award for “Best Hippy/Punk/Homeless Crazy Cat Lady Look” with her design on Becca. Notice the ponytail and her use of not one, but two, elastics.

Becca gets that award for “Most Futuristic Design” with her space alien themed hair. Sera is, of course, a lovely model who shows off her look to its best, if there even was a “best” for this look.

It was fun to spend a little time with Bec before she, my Mom, my Dad, and Byron all headed off to California to spend some time at Disneyland and the beach. Now I know what you are thinking…”How could they leave you at home Rachel? You are the sunshine, comedic relief, and dance expert…THEY NEED YOU!” And yes, I am all those things. It is true. Ryan and I decided, however, that with our newborn little Gabe-zilla, it might be best if we stayed home this time.

So here we sit in cold wet Utah anxiously awaiting their return and some great looking Mickey Mouse ears for our whole family. And we DO expect those ears Mom. I don’t know if you will check this blog while you are on vacation, but you should. Because my blog is just that awesome.

So that is it for us for now. I know Internet, you are always hungry for more but you will just have to wait for my next installment where I am sure to talk about some sort of bodily fluid that came from Gabe, or some funny Sera story, or maybe perhaps the meaning of life. You never know with me Internet, I am full of surprises!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


It could be considered as "The Question of the Century" by some. But by most, it is consider not that important. But for Ryan and I, it is a frequent topic of conversation. And what is the question I am alluding to? Who does Gabe look like the most?

Of course Ryan and I go back and forth on what we think. And our family and friends have their opinions about it as well. Mostly people say he looks like Ryan and I tend to agree but that might be because Ryan is a man and I am not. And let's face it, I kind of want my little boy to look more like a dude than a lady. (I do not want to hear Aerosmith everytime I see my little guy...unless it is their song "Sweet Emotion" because that song KICKS ASS!)

Allow me to present EXHIBIT A-a picture of Ryan and Gabriel. You cannot really see it in this picture but Ryan and Gabe have similar eye color. In this picture Gabe looks like he has been possessed by something evil and you can't really see his eye color. And yes I am aware that his eye color still might change so spare me you emails telling me all about how your baby's eye color changed after a year. I KNOW! I am talking about right now.

I also think he kind of has Ryan's nose but again, he's a baby and his nose looks different now then it probably will later in life. And both Ryan and I have high cheekbones so that is kind of a toss up. But just looking at them side-by-side I think they look a lot alike.

But in all fairness I must present EXHIBIT B-a picture of Gabe and I together. I think his mouth looks like mine but you can't really tell because I am smiling. His top lip comes to a high peak and mine does the same when it is relaxed. Ryan goes more straight across.

The only other thing I think Gabe and I have in common, other then our fabulous complextion, is our cheekbones. But again Ryan and I both have high cheekbones so it is really a toss up on that one.

One thing we can both agree on is that we are all very good looking people and so we make one good looking group. And when you add Sera into that mix well, we are almost too good looking. So good looking that it should be illegal. In fact, we have been approached by a secret government agency to join a colony on a remote island full of attractive people so that we can keep making more attractive people. It's true...but we declined because we would miss Utah's lovely mountains. Oh yeah! And we would miss our less attractive family members...don't you wish you knew if I was talking about you right now? Don't ya? HAHAHA!

So you be the judge Internet. You tell us who you think he looks more like. And if you can't decide well at least you have two options for the new background for your desktop. Because, I mean, how could you not want that cute little baby face as the background of your desktop? HONESTLY!

Much love to you all! We anxiously wait for your responses.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Family Fun

Last night my Grandma Diane and Grandpa Jim took the family out for a nice dinner at the Lone Star Steakhouse. Okay, well, honestly my Grandma took us out for dinner on the money my Grandpa won at his Korean War reunion in a raffle. My Grandpa probably would have rather spent the money on Pepsi and cowboy movies.
Almost everyone was there. Grandma & Grandpa, of course. Then there were my parents Chad and Karen and my brother Byron, my sister Becca & her hubby Spencer, me, Ryan, and Gabe. Then my Uncle John and Aunt Debbie and their daughter Jessie and her husband Todd and their other daughter Jenny and her husband Ed. Then Aunt Kathy and her husband Paul and Paul's boys Nick and Tyler. My cousin Nicole, her husband Matt and their 3 boys Cameron, Jackson, and Chris. And then finally my Aunt Tracii (Hi Aunt Tracii if you are reading this!) and her two daughters Amy and Michelle. So that makes a grand total of 28. And we were short 4 people. I think the employees of Lone Star Steakhouse were glad to see us go when we were all done eating.
It was a fun night. We rarely all get together like that because no one really has a house big enough to accomedate everyone. And it was really nice to not have to cook or do the clean up on all that.
Of course, everyone loved Gabe. He got passed around more than a joint at a Pink Floyd concert. I think he was a little over stimulated by the end of the night. Either that, or he spent a little too much time under the neon beer signs. (Consequently his first word will probably be Miller, like Miller Genuine Draft.)
And in case there is a contest out there for "Most Awkward Moment Involving Your Grandpa" ere is my submission. I am sitting there enjoying my baked potato and Gabe starts fussing. My Grandpa, who is an 80-somthing-year-old man looks at me across from the table and loudly asks, "So are you still feeding him the titty?" Yes Internet...my Grandpa asked about my titty. Talk about uncomfortable. How would you handle that situation? Me? I just shook my head yes and looked at my Grandma as if to say "Does he have any meds you can give him to SHUT HIM UP?!?!"
It was great that everyone got to meet Gabe finally. And now that Ryan is home for good (THANK YOU GOD!) he got to see everyone again as well. I only wish Sera could have been there with us but you know how things are when you have to deal with that blessed thing called "joint custody."
As for the picture of Gabe at the top of the page, that is him in his Doggy jumpsuit that I believe his Grandma Linda gave him. We put him in that this morning because it is freaking cold here today. And I would take a picture of the cute little Snugglesarus outfit that we had him in for bedtime but he peed and it leaked and so that outfit went into the laundry. And so we changed him into another bedtime outfit and then Gabe turned into Linda Blair from The Exorcist and a volcano of vomit ended up on me, him, the boppy (If you dont know what a Boppy is you must not have children so Google it for future refrence!), my pillow, and the bed. It was lovely. A river of vomit spewed forth and it smelled like bad milk. So now he has been changed again and hopefully there will be now more leaking bodily fluids for tonight, but I will let you know.
Love to you all! I will post again soon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Birthday to Him

Happy One Month Birthday my Little Gabe-zilla! I cannot believe you are already one month old. You have graced me with your presence for an entire month now and you have grown so much. You are taller now and your head...well, I'll be honest. I think you have gained all your weight in your head. To me, it seems GIANT!

You are starting to smile a little. Mostly it happens when you finish eating and are relaxed. I am going to pretend that it is because you love me and for more than a constant source of food. I also think you smile a little after you fart but I hear that is pretty common for babies. But I will take what I can get.

You are also starting to have more awake time which is great except for when you decide that awake time should be at 3 a.m. I love that you are looking around a lot more. That you are taking in all that you can and learning a little more each day.

You still have your redish-blonde hair and I love that. I worry about you going bald and having all your precious baby hair fall out. I love that your eyes are turning a little more blue. Your Dad keeps making jokes about you becoming a "Ginger" but I couldn't care less. You are the most gorgeous baby boy I have ever seen and if you have red hair, so be it. It will only compliment your blue eyes.

My only wish is that you would stop growing. I don't want you to get any bigger. I want you to stay my precious little baby FOREVER. And I say that, but I also am excited to see what you will do next. I want to know so badly what you will become. What you will be interested in. What you will do. What you will say. So really, keep growing my ten-pound meatloaf...keep growing so that your Dad can turn you into his little minion.

I hope you know just how much your Dad, Sera, and I love you. We are so happy that you have been here for a month and we look forward to watching you grow and learn. Happy one month birthday my precious baby boy! Mama loves you more than you could ever know.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

4 weeks old and loving it!

Where am I? What? This is my blog…? Oh right. My blog. That’s right, I used to blog about my life and all the changes that I was experiencing. Well that was before I had a ten-pound human attached to me at multiple times during the day.

Gabe is doing great, thank you for asking. He is growing so much and I love seeing how much he is changing. He looks around more and has figured out put his hand in his mouth. He also learned how to ride a motorcycle last week and yesterday he preformed open-heart surgery. He is really advanced for his age. The only problem, people frown on their heart surgeons crapping their pants.

There are so many wonderful things about being a new mom. I love the way he looks at me when he has been crying and I “save” him. I love the smell of his little baby skin after I give him a bath. And how soft his hair and skin is. I love the little squeaks and noises he makes. And when he is crying when someone else holds him and then I get him and he stops and looks at me with his big innocent eyes.

There are things that aren’t so fun though…like when he poops two minutes after I have just changed him. When he throws up curdled milk on my shirt. When he launches a large stream of pee on my pants. Or the fact that my breast pump takes forever to get things going. (The Oreck vacuum company needs to make breast pumps. Those bad boys can hold up a bowling ball-certainly they could speed things along for me.) Those are all things I could do without. But then again, if I didn’t experience those things, could I really call myself a mom?

Being a mom of a brand new baby boy has CHANGED MY LIFE! It has changed me to the core. I always heard those stories of how much you can instantly love someone and I never really understood that until 4 weeks ago. The moment I saw Gabe, (even though I was heavily dosed with IV morphine) I loved him. Yes he was all purplish with goo on him and yes he was screaming, but I love him with all my heart.

And four weeks later I am not sure what I am doing half the time, but I wouldn’t change a thing. There are days where I don’t get out of my pajamas and I am okay with that. Most days I don’t put my contacts in and just sit around with my glasses on. And yes, there are days where all I do in the shower is wash my hair and armpits and call it good. And even with all that, I am still happier now than I have ever been.

And with Sera back in Utah, (hopefully for good!) and Ryan coming home tonight, life is even better. My family can finally be complete again. It is whole and the way that is should be. And Gabe will get to know his Dad and big sister and share in their love for him. (He sees me all the time seeing as I am his portable source of food and therefore knows me well.)

I will say this for my little Gabezilla, he sure knows how to cry when wants to. The other night he woke up around midnight for his late night meal and decided not to go back to sleep…until 3 am. I was getting so tired and by the end of it I was referring to him as “That 10 pound crying meatloaf” which Ryan found amusing and slightly disturbing. I love him but that kid is developing a nasty habit of wanting to watch bad late night infomercials. Of course, that is partially my fault because I was doing all this talking about how good he was when he was so little and now that he is getting bigger, his sleeping habits are changing. I jinxed myself, damn it!

I look forward to seeing him grow and learn more and more. He is already learning how to get his fist to his mouth, which is great. And I love watching Sera learn more about Gabe and how she can help him. She actually wants to change his diapers and I am more than happy to let her help me. She’s getting pretty good at it too except for earlier today when I let her do it and she didn’t get the diaper on quite tight enough and Gabe ended up with pee all down his back. But hey, babies wash so it is no big deal.

I will try to be better about updating and not letting it go so long between blogs. Thanks for everyone’s love and support. ALL OUR LOVE!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gabriel Scott Baker

It is amazing to me how quickly life can change. I have said this before on my blog, but it more true today than EVER before. And hopefully, most of you know why I say this.

Friday August 28th started like any other day. I got up and headed to work. After work I was scheduled to head over to the hospital to have my weekly NST and AFI test. Since I have had pregnancy induced hypertension my doctor has been checking the baby and I weekly. When I got to the hospital for test Friday, however, the results were concerning. My fluid levels weren’t great and consequently my doctor had me go down to labor and delivery. Dr. Yamashiro then headed over to meet me and tell me that he wanted to induced my labor now, rather than wait until Ryan could be here on September 4th.

At first I was devastated. I didn’t want to think about Ryan not being by my side. But then I realized that even more important was that the little baby patiently waiting inside me. So I took a deep breath and prepared for the biggest moment of my life.

The whole process started about 6 p.m. and just kept going. I won’t go into a lot of the details because, lets face it, they are nasty. I will say that I waited until 1 a.m. until I got my epidural, which I consider pretty good. I held out as long as I could before getting the drugs. I was scared to get the epidural but I am very glad that I did. Once I was able to handle (Or simply not feel.) the pain, I was able to relax and focus on the baby.

Things still did not go as we had hoped however. My cervix would not dilate past a 4 and it needs to be at a 10 for the baby to be delivered “the regular way” and the medication that they were using to try and force my labor was beginning to cause the baby some stress. And so finally, after 16 hours of labor, the decision was made to send me in for a C-Section. It was by far, the scary news I had received so far.

I called Ryan to let him know and all I can say is that talking to him helped me so much. He told me how much he loves me and how he knew this was what was best for all of us. Just hearing his voice in those last few minutes was a huge comfort. I was also EXTREMELY lucky to have my wonderful family there with me for the whole process. My Dad, Mom, sister Becca, and brother Byron had all been there with me through the night and were there to be with me for the next part. (Mom and Becca even got to come into the O.R. with me as I had my C-Section.)

Let me tell you one thing about a C-section-it is the weirdest thing you will ever feel. Although the sensation of pain was gone, I could feel the pressure of everything. It was nuts! I just kept thinking, “Behind this curtain, I am being cut wide open…weird.”

After just a few minutes, my doctor says, “Okay Rachel, lots of pressure here.” And I could feel it. My lungs felt like they were suddenly under tons of pressure and then it was over. My Mom and sister both gasped and cried I see the head. And then it was informed that I had a baby boy…a BIG baby boy. So big that the anesthesiologist said loudly, “Whoa! Big boy!” I was anxious to see him for myself. The nurse carried him around the curtain so that I could take a quick look before he was sent to the nurses to get cleaned up and checked.

His lungs were gunky with fluid and that took some time to get cleaned out. He went to the NICU for about 30 minutes as I was patched up and wheeled back to my room. They got him taken care of and then he was brought in to my room.

It is amazing how much I love my “little” guy. Gabriel Scott was born August 29 at 11:35 am. He is 8 lbs 12 oz and 21 & ½ inches long at birth. He eats well and is doing everything a newborn should be doing. I am also doing really well. Yes, I hurt (especially when I sneeze, cough, or laugh!) but that is only to be expected. No fevers or vomiting. And I have even been able to get and walk quite a bit and…TAKE A SHOWER! YAY! There is nothing like taking a shower after being sweaty and tired for 24 hours.

I want to thank my family for being there for Gabe and I during this whole process. It was not easy for me to do this without Ryan by my side and I cannot thank my parents and siblings enough for all the time they have spent with me the last few days. And thanks to my Mom and sister for going to my house and doing some extra cleaning for me yesterday.

And thanks to Linda and Scott. Although you guys couldn’t be here when Gabe was born, I know that your hearts and prayers were with us both. It means so much to me to know that this baby has another loving set of grandparents. And I cannot wait for you guys to meet him. I think he looks so much like your son!

I want to also thank my cousin Nicole and my Grandma for coming to the hospital and being there for me after my surgery. I know that they love me because they are there in a snap when I need them. And I see how much they already love my baby and that means a lot too.

I want to thank Sera for coming over and seeing Gabe last night. She is going to be the best big sister that any little kid could ask for. She did nothing but stare at him, hold him, kiss him, talk all about him, and inform me all the things that she is going to do for him. She is such an amazing kid and I know that she is going to be a BIG help to me.

I also need to thank my husband. Ryan, although you haven’t been able to physically be by my side, I felt your spirit. I know that your whole heart has been here with us this whole time. And just hearing your voice makes me feel so much better about everything that has happened. This process hasn’t been easy for either of us, but I am here to tell you, Gabe is completely worth it. He is the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen and I can already see so much of you in him. I am afraid that as much I have tried to force him into being a tree-hugging liberal, your genetics are too strong and this kid is going to end up a gun-toting conservative. I love you so much more today Ryan than I did the day I married you. Thank you for giving me the gift of our son. Thank you more then you can ever really know.

And lastly, thank you Gabe. Gabe, though you may not realize this now, (because all you care about is eating and sleeping!) you have changed me forever. It is true when they say that the love you feel for your child is instant and powerfully so. You have made me a better person in just the short time I have known you. Your entrance into this world may not have been easy, but it was and always will be worth. You are the best thing to have ever happened to me and I can only hope that someday, you will understand just how special you are.

Please know Gabe that your Daddy and I both love you UNCONDITIONALLY! You are my special angel and I am so very blessed to be your Mom. You are handsome and sweet. And your skin always smell so good which is more than can be said of your Mommy right now. I am excited to see how you change and grow over time. I hope that I can be someone you look up to. I love you with all my heart my sweet Gabe-zilla.
Thanks again to everyone who sent their love and prayers my way over the past few days. Gabe, Ryan, and I are all great and we look forward to the future. I will keep the pictures coming. Love to you all!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ready or not...

HOLY CRAP! I’m officially scheduled for my induction! ON SEPTEMBER 4TH! YYYAAAAYYY! Words cannot express my joy. When my doctor looked at me and said, “Well you are dilated at a one.” I about peed on his exam table. (Of course that might have something to do with the giant baby lying on my bladder.)

Now we pray that I hold out until September 4th. It is such a fine line I walk. My doctor wanted me to induce on Monday and I looked at him like, “Really? You expect me to be ready by then?” And then I quickly said “No. I want to be induced on September 4th.” It was then his turn to respond with surprise. Normally when he tells pregnant women, “Let’s get that baby out of you.” They jump at the chance. And here I am telling him, “Thanks but…can I be pregnant for just a few more days please?” I then reminded him of my reasons and he was okay with waiting.

The only downside? My wonderful and amazing doctor will not be there. He goes out of town the morning on September 4th and so it will be one of his partners that will deliver my baby. But honestly, I trust everyone at that clinic and I know I will be in good hands. And it is so important to me to have Ryan there. There is no one else I really want there. And I know that my family understands that.

And, of for some reason, this baby decides he/she cannot wait until September 4th, at least Ryan will be home and will be able to see his baby and hold them. My worry was that Ryan would fly home on September 3rd and leave on the 7th without getting to meet his new spawn.

Naturally I will keep my fingers (And legs!) crossed for September 4th. I am asking all my family and friends to keep me, Ryan, and Peanut in their prayers. Please pray that we can all be together when Peanut is welcomed into this world. And should Peanut decide not wait, please pray for a safe and healthy delivery. I am sure all of you have been anyways, but I still feel like I should ask again.

As for being ready for next week, I am not. But this kid is coming no matter what so that is just the way it is. My floor needs some serious vacuuming and my house needs an over-all clean. My sister said she might be able to help me out this weekend in getting a few things done. And I cannot say how grateful I am for her in that aspect since I was told to REST REST REST in order to better my chances for next Friday.

Thanks again for everyone’s concern and prayers. Please keep them coming! And of course, I’ll be sure to keep you updated if things should change. MUCH LOVE!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hakuna Matata

I was lucky enough to spend my weekend with my step-daughter Sera. She is always so much fun to hang out with and she is always full of funny stories. My sister practically begged me (on her knees) to post this little gem of a story so I will.

Saturday morning Becca came to pick up Sera and I to go do a little shopping for the baby. Turns out, you need to have the binkies and bottles BEFORE the baby arrives-who knew? Anyway, we head to Babies’R’Us (Or as I like to call it “Mecca”) and as we walk into the front door, there is the corner, glistening in all it’s 50 cent glory, is a Pumba ride. You know Pumba, the pig...err…I mean, warthog from The Lion King.

Well Sera runs over to it and gently caresses its piggy head and says “Look at this fun ride! And it is only 50 cents.” Becca and I try to pretend we didn’t hear her comment and ask her if we should use a blue cart or a purple cart. She repeats her statement about the ride a couple more times until we acknowledge her. She looks at us disheartened when we simply said, “Cool. Come on Sera-let’s go look at bottles.”

As we walk through the store she keeps bringing up that darn ride. I know that I don’t have any quarters in my purse so I try to distract her. Becca, on the other hands has some change and bargains with her. The deal? If Sera is good the rest of the time we are in the store, she can ride the Pumba ride.

So we quickly finish and Sera races out to the entrance area and hops on Pumba. She is kicking her feet and holding tight to the handles. Her smile expresses nothing but pure joy and anticipation. Becca inserts the two quarters and we both watch as the ride starts.

It is slow. Very slow. The pig must have had knee replacements recently or is suffering from a groin pull because he isn’t going fast. We watch as the huge smile slips from Sera’s face. She now looks confused. I can almost read her mind from the look on her face. “I behaved for THIS?” She doesn’t misbehave as it is, but she was extra good in the store and now, for the fruits of her labor, all she gets is a 60 second ride on a warthog that moves like an obese arthritic person.

Her feet have quit swinging and now hang lifelessly at the sides. She isn’t even holding on anymore. She folded her arms and is resting her head on top of Pumba’s head. She gives us a very unenthusiastic “Yee haw.” Becca and I are trying as best we can to contain our laughter but it is really hard.

I ask her if she wants to get down and she heaves a sigh and says “No. That’s okay.” Once the ride is over, she slides off and turns around to stare at Pumba. She frowns a little but then turns and walks out with us. We ask her if the ride was fun and she hesitates but then says “Yes.”

Maybe you had to be there to see her face. But any of you that know Sera, can picture the face she was making. It was so funny! She always makes me laugh and I am so glad that she is back in Utah. Her absence has left a HUGE hole in Ryan’s and my life for the last 2 years and would cannot begin to express how glad we are that she is back home.

And also, on a side note, I am officially just over 37 weeks pregnant and now considered a “full term” pregnancy. If I were to go into labor now, I could go straight to the hospital and they wouldn’t stop the baby from coming. YAY! Except that, we do not want to induce until September 4th. So everyone, keep praying for that date and I will let you know as things unfold. Love to everyone!

Friday, August 21, 2009

37 weeks and counting...

I am almost there. Mongo Peanut and I are now at 37 weeks. And it is weird to me to think about how fast time has really gone. I thought I would be miserable and that time would move at a glacial pace but instead it has gone by quite quickly. And now, we are hoping to induce labor 2 weeks from today. It makes me excited and TERRIFIED at the same time. Sure I can play it cool but that thought that sooner (MUCH SOONER) than I am probably ready for, I will be a full time mother of an infant-a tiny human who is 100% dependant on me. That’s a lot a pressure. My dog will get into the garbage or eat a sock if she gets hungry and I am not around. Hell, she’ll drink from the toilet even if her dish has water. She can survive!

But I am all this new little person will have. This kid might be in big trouble. I wish I could say I was confident that I won’t screw this poor kid up but let’s be honest…if it comes out NOT spewing sarcasm or the word “Damn” we will all be surprised. It probably has a very warped view of the world just from hearing me rant about the right-winged ass hats in Washington and will also already have a strong opinion on both recycling as well as using organic products when available. SEE RYAN! This is what you get for going to Mississippi…your conservative opinions have not been heard! Your child will come out of the womb flashing a peace sign. HAHAHAHA!

It is also weird to think about my baby being 37 weeks old in womb. When it is 37 weeks old out of the womb, which is what, 8 and ½ months? CRAZY! Peanut is 37 weeks now and still dependant on my body for life. At 37 weeks on the outside, Peanut will be eating food and could possibly be crawling! (Another educational fact: 50% of babies crawl at 7 months.)

As for my doctor’s appointment this week, not much has changed. I thought I would get more news than I did, honestly. I left a little discouraged. The closer I get to having this baby, the more I realize I NEED RYAN THERE! I know that I can make it without him, but I don’t want to. I want the father of my baby there to hold my hand and our baby in Peanut’s first few moments of life. I desperately need Ryan to be there. And after my appointment on Tuesday, I was hoping my OBGYN would give me more hope that we can induce on September 4th. But he didn’t promise me anything and just told me not to worry about what my cervix is doing and to focus on resting and staying healthy. Easier said than done for this Mama.

So as much as I wish I could update everyone with some new and exciting news, I can’t. And I never thought I would have to say this EVER in my life but, let’s all pray my cervix is doing something by my appointment this next Tuesday. Time is getting closer and I need this to happen. I’ve already had a chat with Peanut about getting ready to go, but I am not sure “he” is listening.

Thanks to everyone for asking and being concerned about the baby and I. I assure you that we are both doing well and I promise to keep you update on any new developments. Love to you all!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

An Update...On Mongo

The Baby is HUGE! There is no other appropriate way to start this blog. Did you hear that Internet? HUGE BABY! So huge, Ryan has nick-named the baby Mongo. I warned Ryan that if he keeps up the name calling, our giant baby is coming to come out of uterus and kick his ass.

Last week during my OBGYN visit, my doctor noted that my fundal height (A measure of the size of the uterus used to assess fetal growth and development. It is measured from the top of the uterus to the top of the pubic bone in centimeters. MY BLOG IS EDUCATIONAL NOW!) was larger than it should be. This measurement, including a gain of 5 pounds, encouraged him to order a fetal stress test, test for the amount of amniotic fluid, and another ultra sound to determine my estimated fetal weight.

I was nervous about these tests because my high fundal height could mean many things. I could have been retaining amniotic fluid which would have resulted in me having to have amniocentesis, which is where they stick a BIG needle in my abdomen to drain out some of the fluid. Too much fluid can drown the baby. And the other option was that my due date was miscalculated and I am farther along then we thought. Or…I have produced a large child. It is normal for women who have gestational diabetes to have big babies, but I tested negative for that.

So last Friday I had the testing done. Stress test was normal…GREAT! Amniotic fluid test was normal…FABULOUS! Ultrasound….this is where we hit the speed bump.

Allow me quickly to educate you further. Below is chart to show you estimated fetal weights per week. Please look down at week 35 and notice the weight is pounds/ounces.

8 weeks
0.63 inch 0.04 ounce
9 weeks 0.90 inch 0.07 ounce
10 weeks 1.22 inch 0.14 ounce
11 weeks 1.61 inch 0.25 ounce
12 weeks 2.13 inches 0.49 ounce
13 weeks 2.91 inches 0.81 ounce
14 weeks 3.42 inches 1.52 ounce
15 weeks 3.98 inches 2.47 ounces
16 weeks 4.57 inches 3.53 ounces
17 weeks 5.12 inches 4.94 ounces
18 weeks 5.59 inches 6.70 ounces
19 weeks 6.02 inches 8.47 ounces
20 weeks 6.46 inches 10.58 ounces
21 weeks 10.51 inches 12.70 ounces
22 weeks 10.94 inches 15.17 ounces
23 weeks 11.38 inches 1.10 pound
24 weeks 11.81 inches 1.32 pound
25 weeks 13.62 inches 1.46 pound
26 weeks 14.02 inches 1.68 pound
27 weeks 14.41 inches 1.93 pound
28 weeks 14.80 inches 2.22 pounds
29 weeks 15.2 inches 2.54 pounds
30 weeks 15.71 inches 2.91 pounds
31 weeks 16.18 inches 3.31 pounds
32 weeks 16.69 inches 3.75 pounds
33 weeks 17.20 inches 4.23 pounds
34 weeks 17.72 inches 4.73 pounds
35 weeks 18.19 inches 5.25 pounds
36 weeks 18.66 inches 5.78 pounds
37 weeks 19.13 inches 6.30 pounds
38 weeks 19.61 inches 6.80 pounds
39 weeks 19.96 inches 7.25 pounds
40 weeks 20.16 inches 7.63 pounds
41 weeks 20.35 inches 7.93 pounds
42 weeks 20.28 inches 8.12 pounds
43 weeks 20.20 inches 8.19 pounds

At 35 weeks the average baby weighs 5.25 pounds. What is Mongo currently clocking in at you ask? 7 lbs and 3 ounces! Almost 2 extra pounds! HOLY CRAP! So either my due date is off, which is always possible or….GIANT BABY AHOY!

Now it is up to my doctor as to which direction I go. I doubt I will be going all the way to September 11th now because the baby is expected to gain 0.5 to 1 pound a week from here on out. You do the math…that would be over 10 pounds! No thanks! My lady parts don’t want to suffer through that. (I apologize to any reader who may be offended by the mentioning of my lady parts but it is my blog.)

Ryan can be home the night of September 3rd and will fly back September 7th so we are still hoping to induce that weekend. But now, instead of inducing early, we may be praying that the baby doesn’t come before then. AHHHH! Peanut is giving me heartburn and now, anxiety!

Also I would like to thank those of you who were able to attend my baby shower. It was a lot of fun and I got lots of cute things for Peanut. And a special thanks to Linda for the presents for the baby shower and from Las Vegas! I am sorry that you couldn’t be there but I know, in spirit, you always are. J

That is going to sum it up for now. I will update all of you as I get more info on the expected date of delivery. Much love from Ryan, Rachel, AND MONGO!