Monday, December 17, 2012

Riding Front Runner

On December 17th we rode Front Runner to Salt Lake for an afternoon and evening at City Creek. We all met at the train station in Provo and boarded the train. The train there was open and not too many passengers were aboard at 3 in the afternoon. We made a few stops along the way and then we were there. We rode Trax until we arrived at the mall. We window shopped and looked around the mall. Then we ate dinner at Cheesecake Factory. We did a little more shopping after dinner and then battled the crowds to get a seat on the way home.

Before we left: 

On the train:

 We were going to go to Temple Square, but we ran out of time. A few pictures of the temple before we rode Trax back to the Front Runner Station.

Friday, December 14, 2012

1 Month

I can't believe it has already been one month since Olivia was born. I would add a darling picture of her smiling... but blogger thinks I need to start paying to add pictures. (I'll come back and add one when I figure out what I am going to do.) Here are a few things I want to remember about our first month together.

- Somehow she knows when it is Friday night, and she likes to party all night long.
- We have been sleeping in until 9 most mornings.
- Her longest stretch of sleep at night has been 4 hours. (Such a happy mom when that happens.)
- She has had a mild case of baby acne.
- Hates tummy time, but has mastered the push up.
- She enjoys bicycle legs.
- My class was so happy to meet her, and they all wanted to come home with us.
- Everyone mentions how she has the best lips.
- She is a champion nurser. She has 2 blisters on her lips from sucking so hard, and the skin has peeled off 3 times so far.
- At night she loves to be swaddled , and once she breaks free she is awake.
- Does great in the bath. She just lays there enjoying the warm water.
- We have gone through two boxes of diapers. 1 box of newborn, and a box of 1's.
- Her binky is still a little bit of a challenge for her and she makes a clicking noise when she sucks on it.
- She loves walking around the mall with me in her stroller.
- Makes the cutest little grunts while she sleeps.
- Instantly starts crying when she is strapped in the car seat, but falls asleep once we start driving.
- At her 2 week appointment she was 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21.25 inches.
- We introduced her to the bottle so she'll be able to eat while I am at work. No problem there.
- She has grown out of most of her newborn clothes.
- Has had 2 small blow outs, and peed on the bed twice.
- Likes the nature sounds on her swing.
- At times you think that she is almost asleep and then the next second she is WIDE awake.
- Started giving us a few real smiles this week.
- When she first falls asleep she starts to breathe really hard.

And here are just a few of my thoughts:

It's funny how I am so tired in the middle of the night, but when I go to pick her up, I forget all about it. She is just so cute.

The boppy pillow doesn't work for my short waist, so I don't use it to hold her while nursing. Sometimes she lounges in it, or I use it behind my back while nursing.

Netflix is my best friend. I have watched quite a few shows, it's embarrassing how many... I went to the library this week to get some books because I was so sick of TV.

I have no idea how I am going to go back to school. I know that it will workout somehow, but right now I am not ready. (I keep telling myself I am excited to go back, and it's only for a few hours each morning. I CAN DO IT!)

It's hard for me to let her sleep sometimes, I just want to wake her up and play with her. But then again, sometimes when she is awake, I can't wait for her to go to sleep. I'm working on sleeping when baby is sleeping.

We have been spoiled with meals from friends and family, and haven't eaten any of our freezer meals yet.

But that is soon to change. I have been pumping and freezing my milk for when I go back to work, and that is taking over our freezer.

I cried the first 2 times she threw up after eating. Bob had to remind me that she was fine. She was of course oblivious that anything had happened.

After I feed her between 5-7AM, if she is fussy Bob will get up and rock her back to sleep before he gets ready for work.

Even after 1 month, sometimes I still don't believe it's real. I look at her and think, "She is really mine?" We are so blessed to have little Olivia in our family and love her so much. We can't wait to see what is in store for month 2!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Give Thanks!

 We weren't sure what we would do for Thanksgiving this year because little miss decided to come almost a week late. Before I had planned on attending because she would be 2 weeks old at that point. But being a week old we were a bit nervous. Thanksgiving was with my Dad's side of the family, and there were going to be over 40 people there. After talking to the doctor, we felt about going and just leaving Olivia in my parents bedroom. A couple of my cousins along with aunts and grandma came in and snuck a peak, but there was no holding or touching.

We are so grateful to have this darling baby in our lives. She truly is a miracle and a blessing. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Coming home

I had Olivia on Wednesday the 14th. Bob was able to take the day off from his pharmacy rotation, but after that it was back to work. We were happy to see him Thursday night for a few hours. Friday he went in early so he could take us home in the afternoon. I was so excited to dress Olivia in the sleeper I had bought and putting her first headband on. We passed the carseat test and soon we were being wheeled out to the car.

My parents had stopped by earlier and had left dinner at our house. We relaxed and enjoyed being at home together for the first time as a family of 3. Little did we know that we were in for the shock of our lives. We were up all night long with little Olivia. -No one had prepared us for the dreaded first night home.

 Looking so cute and tiny in the car seat. She didn't cry at all when we put her in. That binky looks huge! 
 Love those chunky cheeks!
 At home in bed. 
Sleeping with Dad. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Baby Story - Welcome baby Olivia

Tuesday night my parents invited us to go to the BYU basketball game. It was very last minute, they had offered the tickets to any of the kids at Sunday dinner, and we had declined, hoping to have had a baby by then. Dan was going to go, but had too much homework. My dad called letting us know they were available since we hadn't had the baby.

I think the walk up to the Marriott Center and the walk down is what put things into motion. I remember breathing hard because we were walking so fast, and uphill on our way there. That night my contractions began. I was so excited to FINALLY have them, and timed them all night. They were 15- 20 minutes apart from 11-1. And then I slept some. Then from 2-3 they progressed to 10 minutes apart and then from 4-5 more like 6-7.

I kept thinking, oh man it's going to be so funny when we show up for our induction early because I went into labor on my own. And how crazy it was that I would start going into labor on the exact day that my doctor planned the induction. My contractions didn't get close enough before the hospital called to let me know they were ready for us.

We got to the hospital around 6:15. We checked in, got situated and then by 8:00 the nurse was tracking my own contractions. They were there, but not fast enough or hard enough so at 8:30 they started me on pitocin. My parents showed up at 8:45 and then my Dad and Bob were able to give me a blessing. It was so nice to start the day out with a nice peaceful calm feeling, knowing we were being watched over.

Contractions came hard and fast soon after. I began the morning dilated to a 3, and quickly made it to a 4. The doctor came in and checked me and then broke my water. He recommended that I get my epidural right then, if I wanted one because things were progressing quickly. My contractions started to get pretty painful. I had made a goal previously to wait until I was a 5 or a 6, because I didn't want my labor to stall. But my Mom suggested I do as the doctor said and I went for it. Slowly my right foot went numb and then I got nervous because my left was not. I was laying on my side, so we flipped sides and then my other leg went numb. But then we ran into another problem... I was numb everywhere except my pelvic region where the contractions were pounding my body. And these were some of the worst. I would clench onto the railing on the side of the bed and breathe really loud. My mom and the nurse knew something was up and finally got the anesthesiologist to come back. He then added a new drug to the mix which he uses with his c-section patients. This numbed up my pelvic region after a few contractions and I was good to go.

Bob, my Mom, and I hung out and talked in between checks, nurses visits, and dr. visits. Throughout the afternoon my numbness would wear off and I would start feeling contractions and cramping. At 2:00 the anesthesiologist came back and re numbed me. At 2:30 I was complete and ready to go, which was only a small problem because I was completely numb again. But I was so happy to know that we were getting close to meeting our baby girl.

I pushed from 2:50 - 3:20. Before I started pushing I made a goal to be done by 3:30, which is the time my kids at school get done with the day, haha. Dr. Nance was a great coach, and he had me look at the contraction lines on the machine to show me my wimpy pushes. I promise I was trying my best, I kept telling him that. I was so tired from having to hold my numb thighs back. I had help from the nurse and Bob, which was nice. I was surprised at how quickly we were able to meet our baby girl. You always hear how first time mom's can push for hours. What a special and unique experience that was. Bob was teary eyed as he followed her around the room to get cleaned up. The first cry brought me to tears and I couldn't believe that our little miracle baby was finally here. Being 5 days over due, I was pleasantly surprised that she weighed 7 pounds, 9 ounces, and was 20 inches long.

My Mom and Ayrika were waiting outside while I pushed and were soon welcomed in to the room to meet baby Olivia. My Dad arrived a little later. It was so fun to see my parents holding baby Olivia and meeting their first grandchild.

This was a big day for the Hales side of my family. It was my Grandma Hales' birthday and my cousin Kellie also had a baby girl earlier in the morning. When I called to wish my grandma a happy birthday, she was so excited to have 2 new great-granddaughters to share her day with.

The first time I got to hold Olivia, loved this bonding experience. (Ignore the 8 chins, I just had a baby!)
Bath time, so glad Bob was able to be there and take pictures for me to look back on. 
Grandma and Grandpa Hales. So fun to say that. 
All cleaned up, she was so alert and it was so fun to see her little personality. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Grateful for...

Here I am jumping on the bandwagon of sharing something I am grateful for everyday in November. But with baby on the way any day now, this might be the only time I share.

November 1st: Grateful that my 3 hours of sewing felt wasn’t for nothing and I was able to attend my school Halloween party in costume. Also grateful my belly was covered, and no skin was showing. (This was the only white shirt I could find, and it fit snug.)

November 2nd: Grateful that my class last year gave me a gift certificate to a spa. Extra grateful that they let me use it even though it expired Oct. 31st. My puffy feet loved the pedicure and my eyebrows have never looked better.

November 3rd: Grateful that Bob got sick over the weekend, and not on his first day of his new pharmacy rotation. (Unfortunately, I slept on the couch and woke up every hour.) So grateful for a wonderful Young Women’s president and Laurel advisor who still keep in contact after 8 years. Met for lunch with some amazing women, and realized I am getting OLD.

November 4th: Grateful that I didn’t have to teach Relief Society. They switched the schedule around because it was close to my due date. Extremely grateful that my Mom makes an amazing homemade meal for Bob and I every Sunday, including dessert.

November 5th: Grateful for amazing insurance. It’s nice to be able to pay for your delivery in full and not have to worry about it later.  Also grateful for my OB doctor even when he tells me that he will see me next week, which is 3 days after my due date. Baby girl will not drop!

November 6th: Grateful that I voted early so I didn’t have to stand in any lines. (Even though it may have helped my body progress towards labor.) The line at my school was non stop all day long.

November 7th: Grateful for my Mom again. She made homemade chili and bread and delivered it to my house for when I got home from school. Also grateful for my cousin Emily and her box of maternity clothes that are getting me through my last days at school. 

3rd graders on Election Day

I gave my students a writing project yesterday. Here is the question and some of their answers. I loved hearing what they had to say. Some of my students understand what is going on in the world, and others have NO idea.

If I were President of the United States, I would….

Use taxes to donate money to fight for the poor.
Make it so you can choose to go to school if you want.
Make sure that school is only 4 hours a day.
Do paper work, visit schools, and take care of people.
Make video game classes at school.
Buy a private jet and do nice things for kids.
Put 5 cameras in every store.
Make more schools.
Give poor people money.
Make sure that every body had enough food to survive.

Lower bills.
Make expensive things cost only $1.
Say no wars, everyone should be free.
Make sure that everyone who wants a job gets a job.
Change the laws and make all electronics $5.
Make more jobs and help the poor.
Make the prices for basic things like food & water cheap.
Make school on Sunday, so that the grownups can go to church and listen. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Food Coma

I can't tell you how happy I am that it is Fall break. I remember thinking all summer that over Fall break I would make all of my final baby preparations. I am far from having everything ready, but I am sure I will always feel that way. One of my main goals for the break was to make a bunch of freezer meals-- and that my friends, is what I did today. 

I wish I would've taken pictures, but once your in it, you are in deep. And boy was it messy. My kitchen could not handle that much food at one time, so I went to my Mom's. It is so nice to have a huge kitchen and another set of hands to help you. By the end, my feet were killing me. My mom fed me lunch and sent me home with all of the dishes left in her care. She seriously is the best. 

I price matched grown beef earlier this week, 90/10 for $1.99 a pound (I got 4 pounds) and bought a huge roast that I also price matched for $2.99 a pound. I got lucky when I went shopping this morning and Winco had chicken breasts for $1.79 a pound. Everything else, I bought at regular prices. I was super impressed that I only spent $100, and I got 25 meals out of it all. 

I used disposable 8x8 pans that I found at Winco, 3 for $.89, and freezer bags. 

Meal #1 Hales Family Cheater Lasagna (I made 2 of these)

This is my go to meal for babies, neighbors, and when I need something quick and easy. 

1 lb ground beef, browned with 1/2 an onion
Spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 container sour cream
1 container cottage cheese
Garlic salt
Regular size package of egg noodles
Shredded cheese

Chop up your onion, and cook with your ground beef. I always rinse my meat when it's finished, then add spaghetti sauce to your meet.  Boil your egg noodles. When the noodles are finished, add in sour cream and cottage cheese. I used about 3/4 of each container, but you can use more or less. I filled 2 8x8 pans. Layer noodles, meat, noodles, and then sprinkle cheese on top. If you aren't freezing, bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 

Meal #2 Shepherds Pie (From this recipe I got 2 dinners)

The next few recipes came from Six Sisters' Stuff. These were all really easy! This link comes with a shopping list for all of the ingredients if you like all 8 recipes. I just picked the ones that I thought were best for Bob and I. 

Meal #3 Black Bean Taco Soup (Split this recipe into 2 freezer bags)

Meal #4 Chicken Broccoli Alfredo (1 dinner)

Meal #5 Chicken Cacciatore (1 dinner)

Meal #4 Cilantro Lime Chicken w/ black beans and corn (1 dinner)
This one I am super excited for. While my mom was preparing it, we both wanted to have it for lunch.

Meal #5 Ham & Potato bake (1 recipe made 2 dinners)

This came from my Mom's stash of recipes. A long time ago she went to a presentation on making freezer meals, and this was one that looked easy enough... haha! (I left the recipe at my Mom's so I am just guessing on sizes.)

32oz bag of hash browns
1 package of cream cheese
2 regular size cans of cream of celery
1.5 cups of cubed ham
1 cup of cheese

Mix softened cream cheese with the cream of celery, add in ham and cheese. Break up hash browns and mix. I put this in two 8x8 pans. 

Meal #6 Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Recipe made 3 dinners)
This one might be a new favorite!!! My mom did all of the work on this one and after we did a little taste testing. The sauce was so good, I don't know anything better than pasta with sun dried tomatoes and mushrooms. *** We used 1% milk for 5 of the cups and had left over cream from another recipe so used that for the 6th cup. (Recipe calls for 6 cups of whole milk.)

My friend Becca did a bunch of freezer meals a while back and posted them on her blog. When she reminded me of them, I asked for her favorites, and those were the ones I made. I'll post the recipes below, because it's kind of small print on her blog. 

Meal #7 Teriyaki Chicken (Divided this recipe into 2 freezer bags)

Teriyaki Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 red onion chopped
1 bag of baby carrots cut in ½
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans of pineapple, drained
salt & pepper
½ cup teriyaki sauce

Add ½ cup sauce  and cook on low for 8 or high for 4, serve with brown rice

Meal #8 Pulled BBQ Chicken (Divided this recipe into 2 freezer bags)

Pulled BBQ Chicken
6 chicken breasts (I used shredded chicken that we had cooked in the crock pot)
2 green bell peppers chopped finely
1 red bell pepper
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 cups of BBQ sauce

Cook on low for 8 hours and serve on a bun

Meal #9 White Chicken Chili (Divided this recipe into 3 freezer bags)
I love Our Best Bites! This is one of my favorite soups. I left out the cilantro and will add when I reheat. 

Meal #10 Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas (2 pans were made with this recipe)
These are also a family favorite. They are super easy to make too. 

Meal #11 Roast (2 dinners from 1 roast, I think it was about 4 pounds) 
Roast, carrots, onion all in a ziplock that I will throw in the crock pot. 

If you have any questions, let me know. 

At least I know we won't be starving for a while after the baby comes! It makes me feel better knowing that not all of our dinners will be cereal and sandwiches. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Great Friends!

Today I had a shower with some good friends. My friend Rachel went all out, and we had a fantastic time. I was in awe when I walked into her house. Next time I want to throw a party, I'm going to have Rachel help me.

Here are just a few pictures to show what it looked like before we devoured all of the delicious food.

We (myself and baby girl) were spoiled with lots of cute clothes, an amazing quilt, and other baby goodies.

Danielle and I have been friends since the 6th grade. Her mom Patty has an amazing talent when it comes to picking material and quilting. I am lucky that she made one for me. I am so excited to wrap my baby in this quilt. (I need to post another picture where I lay the whole quilt out flat.) Thanks Patty!!!

Here is the group of us.

Alisha, Mary & Kyler, Rachel, Me, Andrea, Ayrika, and Danielle
Sure do love these girls! I am so glad I was able to spend the afternoon with them. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

1st Day of School!

Today was the first day of school. I wasn't totally ready for my summer to be over. After meeting my kids last night, I was excited for school to begin. I have 28 darling kids in my class. We are having a lot of growth in our area, so who knows how many I will have by the end of the year.

Here is my bulletin board that I put together for Back to School night.

And here is my cute class this year. It was so hot outside and they weren't too excited to have their picture taken. 

And here are the high lights of our 1st day.

--One boy broke his glasses on the first day, he didn't cry... and told me he could squint until the day was over.

--One girl put her lunch box in the wrong bin after lunch. She didn't realize it until school was over and then she cried for a good 5 minutes. She claimed I didn't tell her where to put it, but.... we all know I did. Don't worry, we found it!

And for the grand finale....

I play a name game with my students to get to know their names. I always start by saying my name, and something I love. Usually I say, "Mrs. Barber loves chocolate." But this year I told them how this summer I have been eating a lot of watermelon. And that we usually buy one big one at Costco each week and I eat most of it. So I said, Mrs. Barber loves watermelon. (One by one the kids say their name and their item, and we repeat it.)

Then later in the day we read the book Chrysanthemum. It's about a girl named Chrysanthemum and how everyone makes fun of her name. After reading, I asked the class if I should name my baby Chrysanthemum. The kids then realized that I was pregnant. One boy shouts out...

"Oh you are pregnant? I just thought you were fat because you ate so many watermelons!"

One nice boy sitting next to him slugged him and told him he was rude for calling me fat.

They made my day. I guess I can go back again tomorrow!

Ignore the face, and focus on the belly. It does look a little like a watermelon right?? (Team building activity.)