Friday, December 11, 2009

Made From Scratch

So, I did manage to be slightly home-maker-ish during this holiday season....

Even though we had a great Thanksgiving with family, we bought a little turkey breast and cooked it the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Two days later I decided I wanted to learn how to make Turkey soup. I've only ever had it once, and it was scrumptious! So I figured I could do it, right?

Matt's family had a Cream Chicken Noodle recipe that is really yummy. So I kinda merged that recipe and the one from allrecipes(dot)com. Pretty much, followed allrecipes(dot)com, but added 2 cans of Cream of Chicken and half a can of evaporated milk. And my friend Lindsey recommended cooking the noodles first so that they don't soak up all the broth. So I did half broth, half water to pre-cook the noodles.

Matt loved it! And he's been asking if I'll make it again! Hopefully, I can make it just as yummy next time!


My efforts:

The broth is done, one bowl is onions and the other is the bones that are cooling.



The final product!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

5 and 6 months

Well, 5 months came and went.

It was all about being propped up. He loved looking around from a different perspective. He also enjoyed his first Halloween and first vacation. On our vacation my friend mentioned we should try to put Reid to bed earlier, and after a couple days of him waking up in the night, it worked! He now happily sleeps 8-10 at night, and then eats for like 10 mins, and sleeps for another 1-3 hours. It is bliss! I actually get some sleep! However, it is hard because now I stay up late getting stuff done! haha.

Reid was getting slightly more mobile in his 5th month... but wasn't doing much about it. He could roll from his back to his stomach, but he had enough control to get 1 leg over but stay sideways on his shoulder, so he could go back to his back.
He started doing the hand to mouth with his toys... I knew I'd be fighting to keep things out of his mouth soon.


I got a view, I got my toy, I'm good!


Oh no, I lost it.


Almost there...



What the ?



Ah, nuts!



6 months...
has been about sitting up on our own, rolling both ways, and getting around. I can't tell you how many times he has escaped the blanket that we put him on. He mostly moves when he spins, but sometimes rolling (both from back to front and front to back) and leg kicking are assistants in the mobility.

He's been a real joy these last 2 months, his belly laugh is terrific and he always has a smile for mom. He has gotten to know Daddy better this month too, and loves him very much! Reid even prefers Dad to feed him cereal.

He is completely a hand to mouth boy. He lunges for whatever he wants to get his hands on. He even bonked his head on my laptop trying to escape my lap and suck on the keyboard.

We've also starting playing the pick-up game. He just loves learning all about gravity!

We've now tried Squash, Carrots, and Sweet Potatoes, he seems to love squash and sweet potatoes... but the carrots are not the favorite. He'll eat them, but puts up a fuss.

And just like his mother... he's going for the Eegee's. (yes, I gave him a tiny bit, it was cherry cider flavor, and he liked it, but isn't sure about the cold factor, yet)


Peek-a-boo is a favorite as well. But sometimes he plays it with us. If there is a blanket of any kind in his crib, he puts it over his face to sleep. I freaked out the first few times, but now I just know to go back and check on him and make sure he can get air.


Where's Reid?



There he is!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

4 months

So this post is 2.5 weeks late.... better late than never, right?


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Ok, I'm in shock that I have a kid who is 4 months old. It has gone so fast, and yet, it hasn't. He is up to so many things this month.

He officially can roll over from his back to his stomach. However, he hasn't quite figured out how to shimmy his arm out from under him. So he's there on his stomach, with one arm under him, and he just tries to kick or pushes off the ground with his feet. He loves to roll to his side though, because then he can get closer to his toys.

He has become extremely observant. He stares at all sorts of things. If it is colorful he wants to look at it, and lets me know if he doesn't get enough time to look at something.

He, of course, loves to be held, and has become quite the snuggler. Heavenly Father knew I wanted a baby who would snuggle... I just love those moments. When he gets up from his nap he's usually pretty happy, but likes to cuddle into my shoulder until he fully wakes up.... I LOVE IT!

He has really started to become a smiley kid. He smiles at everyone who talks to him. He laughs tons when we play with him. And one time my 4 year old nephew got him to really crack up. I mean he was full blown laughing. It was the funniest thing.

His legs are very strong, and he loves to stand. I kinda think he's getting interested in being able to move... but we still need more tummy time.

He also gets cranky if he doesn't get a good amount of floor time. I think he likes the chance to stretch and play. He also spins during this time. He's been doing that for a while, but I don't think I documented it last time.

He is strong enough to pull the pull string toy that is on his car seat... which is good, cuz we are about to take a road trip.

However, the little stinker went from sleeping 8-9 hours to sleeping 6-7 hours. So we tried a little rice cereal. It went way better than I thought it would. He kinda looked at us like, what the heck? But then after about 10 tries he swallowed some of it! It was all very exciting stuff. I was so proud. We did it twice so far, but he got really constipated, not sure if that was the rice or just what I ate. (I kinda think it was me) But we laid off for a bit, so that he could get it out. We'll probably start back up soon!

"I'm ready!"

"This is different."


"Take it out, take it out!"


When he is super cranky, the one thing that does calm him down is going outside to watch the dogs. They really love to chase each other around, and Reid tracks them, even when they are going pretty speedy. Since he is also learning to reach and grab things. We've been "teaching" him to pet the dogs. Last night was hilarious, he grabbed onto their hair and just hung on. Luckily near of them seemed to mind.


The most common thing I hear about him is, "He is such a happy baby!" I'm so grateful for Reid, I know we are so blessed to have him. And I'm grateful for his smiles, they bring so much joy to my life.

The official 4 month picture
(I was quite impressed with my photography skills)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Just When I Thought It was Safe to Go Back to High School

So this weekend, we went to a high school football game to see my brother-in-law be official and stuff... he's the new assistant vice-principal.
And I was sitting there thinking, "man it is so nice to finally sit here, confident in my geekiness to not even care what everyone around me is thinking..."

Yeah, well, guess what!? I may have self confidence in who I am... but I still CAN'T walk!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Are my cheeks really that fat?

Ok, so everyone tells me how much Reid looks like me. And I just can't help but wonder if I have fat cheeks. See Reid's pictures below.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

3 months

Well, since I'm doing a terrible job at writing in my journal, I'm using my blog to track Reid's moments:

Batting at toys
Grabbed a dish or two in mom's hands

Grabbing rings and toys (held on it his pacifier in his sleep for about a half hour, so cute!)

Loves to sing to songs with hand motions
Sleeping 8-9 hours at night

Doubled his birth weight

Chews/sucks on his fingers and thumbs

Too big for the head rest in his car seat
Goes down for sleep peacefully (after a very hard few days of letting him cry it out) (Except for when he's acting like he's teething... hahaha!)

Very ticklish

Sits up propped with pillows

Has taken a toy to his mouth after grabbing it (not sure if this was on accident, haven't seen it again)
Weighs 14 lbs+

Tries to sit up in his car seat (looks like he's doing little crunches)

He's growing fast! He's such a happy boy, but I'm wondering if he is indeed teething. He doesn't like to chew on the teething rings I have... but he does LOVE to chomp on my fingers.

You have to document these moments!

Too cute for words


Here is Reid's super cute church outfit. Yeah, the sweater is too big, and the label says 9 months, but eh, it still looks super cute. :)


His official 3 month picture!


Oh, and his chunki-ness moved to his arms.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Challenges...

So Reid is having a hard week... I'm not sure what it is, and of course the timing is wonderful, with me going back to work part-time next week.

So he was sleeping through the night and had sort of regular nap times... But then this weekend we had fun doing different things, and being productive... So his nap times got thrown off.

Anyways. Today he was so tired after eating at his normal late morning time... so I put him down an hour after eating (normally he goes for 1.5 hours or more before getting tired). Then he wakes up screaming with less than an hour of sleep (normally sleeps for 1.5-2 hours). I pick him up and he still doesn't calm down. Finally standing in the hallway looking at some pictures he starts to calm down. We leave that spot, and he's upset again. Eventually I did get him calmed down, but I had to hold him tight and keep walking or rocking him.

I checked his gums, and no signs of teeth yet. Could he be having bad dreams? What can you do for that?
I just wonder if its that, because he woke up in the middle of the night last night, and then cut his nap way short today. Then just now when I went to put him down, he was upset about it. Which he didn't used to do. Course, he's so exhausted cuz he's been awake for almost 4 straight hours, that he did crash pretty quickly. But could it be dreams? Or am I imagining it?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

2 months

I've started stressing that he isn't rolling over yet. My friends who had babies around the same time as me, have all posted about rolling over, and I got nothing! I'm trying to console myself that it is ok, but I'm a first time mom... so yeah right!

He loves chomping on his hands and fingers. We don't particularly want a thumb-sucker, but he has found it a couple times. We'll see how this goes.

He's chunked up. Seriously! When did that happen? He is almost double his birthweight, and he's not even 2.5 months! (was 12lb 4oz at his 2 month appt)

Check out those legs!

He's a morning person! Who would have ever thought that I would have a MORNING person growing inside of me. He's a great smiley baby, but it is way easier to get smiles out of him in the mornings.

Check out these big smiles! (notice the PJs, he'd just woken up)



He's sleeping 5-6 hours most nights, and will go down back right after a short eating. I'm hopeful he'll drop this middle of the night feeding soon.

He loves to stand.

He can almost hold his head by himself, but he still does a little head banging.

He's allll boy! He laughs or smiles after he passes gas! It is too funny, but man does it stink!

He's had 4 different babysitters, and I'm very grateful to all of them! Especially the ones who let Matt and I have a quick double date to go see Harry Potter! It was sooo nice!

And most of all, he loves his mom! It melts my heart everytime he smiles at me when I come to his crib or pick him up from the babysitter, or how he calms down when I hold him, and how he sleeps so sweetly on me.

This is right after he got his shots.

Yes, we did move

The reason we had so much family in town is because my parents left for their mission! (see missionaries) Leeds England! How cool is that?

Anyways, we decided to move into their house to take care of it, and rent out ours. Shouldn't be too hard, right? HA! Trying packing with a 2 month old. Doesn't happen! I'm indebted to my sister and Lindsey for packing my ENTIRE kitchen.

So, add in trying to help parents get ready to leave, by going over to their house every free night to learn more about their house and things to make sure it all gets taken care of.

Don't forget to actually spend time with family while they are in town.

Then oh yeah, live your normal busy life of work and church.

Then you also must remember to keep the house clean so that you can show it off to potential renters.

Then add in a 2 month old with shots the day before you are moving. (Lack of planning and unforseen circumstances caused this.)

And don't forget to go back to first house to show it to potential renters, because you have tons of spare time.


Then

house full of belongings already + all of your belongings = my current state of entropy




Isn't it lovely!

(yes, I just took these pictures, and believe it or not, this is an improvement!)

More Summer Fun

A week after Reid's 1st swimming lesson, he got his first camping / jetskiing trip! It was tons of fun, and we practically brought the whole house! He ate terribly and was quite warm the whole time... But it was worth it! We had a blast!

Matt with his sister (and bro-in-law) in the background
Reid with Daddy on the jetski!

Here's where Reid slept
I got my red head!!!!
(ok, it's red in the sun, but definitely a strawberry blonde the rest of the time)
Just chillin' after his swim
Even the dogs had a good time
I had so much fun and look forward to it in the next years.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Update and Swimming!

We've had a wonderful time with family in town these last couple weeks.

We saw cool fireworks for the 4th with both in-laws.

We went to the Wildlife Museum.
I just love the cute things museums do for kids!
And I love the cute things kids do at museums!

We spent lots of hours playing games.


Reid received his baby blessing, it was wonderful, and I'm very excited to watch him grow up to be an amazing man!

True to form, Reid was, of course, cooperating for pictures

And Reid got his first swimming lesson!

While all of these have been fun, I was the most excited about the swiming lessons. He did GREAT! He enjoyed it thoroughly (as long as the sun wasn't in his eyes), and even tried to take a nap in the middle of it. hahaha! I LOVE water, so sharing this with my son, really brought pure joy to my heart!



Friday, August 21, 2009

I Know, I Know...

I am way behind.... everyone else is catching up on their summers, and I need to too. But as this moment I am babysitting my sister's 3 boys... 4 boys altogether, and ME! Matt will come later, but for now just me, so clearly this post must end, and I will fill you in later.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Motorized Lego Car Update

So, you may be wondering what terrible disaster has struck to prevent me from posting the fabulous updates to my motorized Lego car. (If you weren't before, you are now.)

Well, I got the microcontroller working via the serial interface. I wrote up a c++ program in Linux (I do all my c++ programming in Ubuntu because of it's built in c compiler) to send serial data to the microcontroller. This worked well, but took a bit of diving into header files and strange structures to get access to the I/O modules I needed. Using the USB port is easier in Linux because it's addressable as '/dev/TTYUSB0'. So, I decided to try it out in Windows. In windows, it's just a bus (USB = Universal Serial Bus), and the individual ports aren't addressed. But, COM7 showed up when I plugged in my USB to Serial converter cable installed the driver for it. I was able to get it working with Visual Basic 6 with only 2 lines of code. Ha ha, how lame is that?

I had gone down to DI (yes, the thrift store) and bought some old DC power supplies. You know... the bulky transformers used for cell phone chargers or power for computer speakers. I had these hooked up to power the motors with an H-Bridge because the computer can't supply enough current to drive the motors. So, the computer just toggles the voltage at the base (or gate) and switches the high-current DC power supply from the wall.

Just as I got started playing with the serial interface, the unthinkable happened...

Turns out I burnt out one of my 98¢ DC power supplies. I guess they really meant that whole 150 mA rating stuff printed on the back.

I guess it could have been worse. It could have tried to source (or sink) the current through the parallel port on the computer and zapped my motherboard. I guess this is an acceptable alternative.

Now I need to make another trip down to DI and be a little pickier about what random part I buy. Hopefully some ignorant LDS sap has unwittingly discarded the exact part I need. You know what they say, "One man's heavily-used, refurbished, and resold-at-a-discount-price hardware is another man's high-current electronics hobby."

In the meantime, we're busy packing up the house so that we can move. So, I have to pack up my hobby project for a few days. Hopefully I can find it after we unpack the boxes when we get there. We've been dropping off a truckload of boxes every time we drive over, so we've gotten a head start. At the same time, we've been helping Mom and Dad move things around in preparation for us to move in there. On top of all that, we're moving the same week as the Turnidges. Yikes.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Everybody Needs a Hobby

There's some element to having a hobby that keeps you from going completely insane. For a long time, computer games were my hobby. I quit playing WoW over a year ago, but never quite found a suitable replacement. I've been waiting for Starcraft II to come out, but as it keeps getting postponed, I need something to do until then.

I bought a set of stepper motors off some obscure website, along with the parts and schematic to make the serial motor driving circut too. I was really excited when it came. I bought a soldering iron of my own, and went to work assembling the circuit board. I got it all finished and to my utter dismay, it didn't work. You may be suprised to find out that neither of us own a voltmeter. So debugging the circuit wasn't really an option without buying one.

But buying things is such a difficult thing when it comes to engineers. You have to be sure you're buying the best thing for the money. And so you have to do all the research, and read all the reviews. You have to look at the specifications and the functionality. When you're finally done, one of three situations occurs:

1. You don't want it anymore because it took so long to figure out what you wanted.

2. You find that they don't have anything good enough to do what you want, or that you could build one yourself better than what is availiable.

3. You want the coolest one availiabe, thus making the item too expensive.

Needless to say, we still don't have a voltmeter.

I started my senior year at the UofA right after that, so I had very little time to work with my motors. The motors got shelved for more than a year. A few days ago, I was sitting there thinking, "I'm an engineer now; I probably know enough to fix that." It was a funny sort of realization.

I finally had a little time to pull out the motors again. It still didn't work. I spent a few days trying to figure out why. I finally decided that the circuit didn't do what I really expected it to anyhow, and that I could build one that worked better myself.

I was so excited that my wife had a geek box. Somehow her BYU tuition bought her something useful, where mine at the UofA paid for a lot of crap I never used, and neglected buying me real engineering lab supplies that I'd continue to use for years to come. Anyhow, I've been using her geek box for the past few weeks. She'll either decide she wants it back, or that I can have it. Either way, I'll probably get one of my own here soon so that I can clean up all the random parts strewn all over my desk and office floor, or just because I want to make a manly one instead of hers with seahorse and fish stickers.

I programmed a simple I/O application using the parallel port. I wrote it in Visual Basic because getting the GUI is just so quick. The Win XP's security causes the I/O to the ports to be somewhat limited, but it works for most practical applications. The RS-232 serial protocol didn't really suit my needs because I wanted to be able to control the individual data lines and keep my circuitry pretty simple. I ended up hooking up a 4-channel H-bridge to my parallel port. A little bit-flipping later, my motor was whizzing away.

Well... it sounded like it was whizzing anyway. Turns out I bought a stepper motor with 1.8 degree resolution. It's very accurate and I can tell exactly how far the motor has turned and can make minor adjustments to have a great amount of control over the motor. This is great except it maxes out on the realistic frequency at which the inductive coils can be energized and de-energized, even though that sounds somewhat Star-Trek-ish. Since the motor coils are inductive, it resists changes in current. I could do the math and figure out exactly what that frequency is, but I took the lateral-copout and let the computer do the very-fast guess and check. Turns out that the motor starts freaking out at about 200 cycles per second, which equates to about 30 RPM for my motor... 1 turn every 2 seconds. Yuck. The motor just can't go any faster than that. Oh well. I guess I over-valued accuracy and sacrificed speed without really knowing it at the time. That's what I get for buying my motors before I graduated, I guess.

Once I got the motors going, I showed Leann. She wasn't that impressed, although I coaxed her into giving me compliments on how good of a job I had done. Really I don't blame her, you can hardly see the motor's axle turning. I had to tape a wire to it so that I could tell it was turning while writing the code.

I built my first prototype out of cardboard and coat hangers. Mostly it was just a waste of time. The wheels didn't stay on very well, and the cardboard was too flimsy to hold the motor on straight. The rubber band I was using between the motor and the axle was too strong. It ended up bending the axle and tearing the cardboard. The car only survived long enough to prove that the motor had enough torque to power a vehicle with a little help of gearing.

I pulled up my CAD program and started building a model of my car. I decided that building my car out of Legos would probably be the most practical, so I started modeling individual Lego peices. That took a long time because I was precisely measuring the peices so that they'd be to scale and virtually fit together correctly. After a few hours of modeling I decided to just go buy the real thing. So I got the Quad Bike / Dune Buggy dual set #8262. (If you have legos already, you can download the instuction booklets in .pdf off their website.) I did look at downloding the instructions and ordering the Lego peices off of a 3rd party distributor, but decided that was just too much work. (And you have to buy them in bulk)

I think Leann started feeling bad for me and my pathetic attempts at being a mechanical engineer. But, the best part is that I talked Leann into letting me buy a toy. Yeah, the stepper motors were a pretty good toy too, but that was a long time ago, so I got a new toy. It's been a long time since I actually bought a toy that comes in a box with colorful pictures on the outside with some boy pretending to play with it. I had to drive to three different stores to find one that actually had a decent set of Technic Legos. I needed a set with enough peices that I could make a few different things out of it so that I wasn't limited to just what it was *meant* to build.

Once I got home I built the dune buggy... the more promising of the two instruction sets. The set is meant to be built by a 9-16 year old boy. However, the steering assembly is complicated enough that I seriously doubt a 9-year old boy would ever have come up with that on their own. The poor kid would be doomed to always have to build an inferior Lego contraption. I'm an experienced Lego-builder. I even belonged to the Lego kids club and got the magazine each month. I owned the BlackTron space sets, and my little brother owned the ice vehicles (I can't remember their real name at the moment) I had the vehicle built in about a half hour.

I played with the car for an hour or two. It's a pretty good design, and is pretty fun to play with. It has a steering axle that comes out of the top so that you can turn the wheels while playing with it from the top. That was pretty cool, but in the process of playing, my inner-engineer began to kick in. The steering on the vehicle was just too wobbly. The turn radius was far too small to be effective. Leann went to bed around 11:00 pm, while I stayed up until 3:30 am re-building the steering assembly. Now, this wasn't an easy task. With limited parts, I had to change the vehicle from front-wheel drive, rear steering to rear wheel drive, front steering and improve the steering at the same time. But I managed to do it, and keep the shocks at the same time. The original design also only had power to one wheel off the drive shaft, so I changed it to be 2-wheel drive instead of 1-wheel drive.

Today I hooked the Lego car up to my stepper motor. I still used a rubber-band to transfer power from the motor's axle to the drive shaft of the vehicle. This isn't the best situation because of the stretch factor involved. It makes the car drive in spurts. The rubber-band stretches around the axle until it builds up enough torque and then the car lurches forward and stops. This would be better done with gears, but I have to figure out how to get a gear attached to the motor's axle without permanantly damaging the motor so that it can't be used for anything else. Even though the car didn't drive very fast or smoothly, this time Leann was impressed. (I was actually somewhat impressed myself) The car moved fairly well on my first attempt. Not too shabby.


Anyhow, I'll eventually replace the main driving motor with a plain DC motor so that my car can go faster. But at the current moment, the car is tethered to the circuitry and also the back of my computer so it can only go as far as my alligator-clip leads can stretch. But it's probably for the best. The desk isn't that long, so going faster wouldn't really do me all that much good anyhow. Unless I could get up to 88 mph and add a flux capacitor!

Check out the video of my car. Sorry for the crummy quality, I had to reduce the resolution so that it was small enough for email and such.


video

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Worse Than A Needle In A Haystack

Ok, so being a new mom, I am having many wonderful experiences: watching my child grow, seeing the many smiles he gives, being excited when he learns something, watching him turn his head when he hears my voice, laughing internally when everyone tries to calm him down, but then he gets handed to me and is happy as a clam! (hahaha)

But the one thing that seriously takes forever is finding a pair of matching baby socks in a load of clean laundry. I mean finding one of my pairs of socks is tricky, but then shrink the size of the socks, and it's nearly impossible!

There are many cool baby inventions... one that I particularly appreciate is how they make all levers, clasps, buttons, etc. on strollers red. If it is red, it can move and make the stroller move somehow. Great idea! Instead of hunting around for hours to find the magic release lever, I just have to try the 5 red thingys on the stroller. And you can even call them thingys, because by marking them red, it made your life that much easier!

Thus I have decided they should make red tags for you to stick on your baby's laundry, so when you go to find something in the pile, all you have to do is look for red!

What's your favorite baby invention?

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Little Things

So, I'm finding with motherhood that I am somewhat deprived of my computer time. So here is an effort to fulfill my computer withdrawals and keep everyone updated.

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Now that Reid is 3 weeks old!!! I thought I'd update everyone on what he's up to.

- At 4 days old, he weighed 6lbs 9oz
- At 1 week old, he weighed 7lbs 20z
- At 2 weeks old, he weighed 7lbs 8oz
- At 3 weeks old, I don't know his weight, but he feels huge to me and he's finally getting his baby rolls

- He is a great eater. If he does a nice long feeding he'll go 3-4 hours before needing the next one. (this is great for nights)
- Usually when he eats he closes his eyes and is very calm while eating.
- Occassionally while eating he likes to put his hands around his face, which usually get in the way, and moves around a bunch. (This is cute, except when I'm really tired)
- If he does open his eyes, he loves looking behind me, so I've started trying to put colorful things for him to enjoy.

- He smiles a lot, mostly asleep, but some while awake. (and I think to think, some at me)
- He laughs... full blown laughter in his sleep. One time he did it right after I made a cheesy joke to Matt... his timing was awesome!
- He is starting to focus better on things, especially our faces.

- His hair is starting to come in more blonde.... here comes my little toe head!
- His eyes are a gorgeous deep blue.
- I think he is more tan than me!

- In the last week he has become more of a cuddler and wants to always be held
- He spends more time awake, especially if you aren't cuddling with him. (hahaha)

- His toes have gotten fat... yes, fat! They are stubby little dudes... super cute!

And the most obvious observation... he still looks 100% like Matt!


I love everything about this little guy... not gonna lie, I've had some adjusting to do, and it's been hard. But you find the strength somewhere in there.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Welcome the Geek Baby! (warning long post)

Per request here is my birth story. It was a bit of a whirlwind, so there aren't many emotions to describe because I didn't have time to feel them.
Just know that I didn't get to sleep until 3am that night, because my adrenalin rush was so high.

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For me it started Thursday June 11th. At 10am I had my doctor’s appointment. I was interested to see if I had dilated any more, because the previous 3 visits I had dilated to a 2, then a 3, then a 3.5. When she checked me I was dilated to 4cm and about 70% effaced. She said it was too early to induce because she didn’t want the baby to have respiratory problems. But she did stretch out my cervix to see if it would get the prostaglandins producing.

I headed to a funeral where I saw my mother and my sister, and told both of them that I thought something was happening, but didn't know for sure. The contractions were noticeable, but they still just felt like the Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been having the previous months, just more often and they didn’t go away.

Well, the contractions continued all day, something they hadn’t done before. So that night, Matt and I were driving across town and I figured, ‘Hey, let’s time them just for fun.’ Some were 5 minutes apart, some were 8, some were 10 or more. So we figure, definitely not regular. I’ve heard of women where this went on for weeks, so I figure no rush. They continued all night and I figured if I could sleep, then it wasn’t labor. And I slept great.

The next morning, Friday June 12th, I got up and made the Mint Oreo Truffles for Matt’s work picnic. I felt a few contractions, but not very many. I went ahead and went to work. I called my mother on the way to see what her thoughts were, and she said, it sounds like you’ve got something going on, but it could still be days. I thought days would be more likely because I was really hoping to have the baby early, which of course would mean that I wouldn’t… because of Murphy’s Law.

At work, they contractions continued. I felt that these contractions were more of all over as opposed to the Braxton-Hicks contractions where sometimes it felt like only part of my uterus would be contracting, not the whole thing.

Well, after completing a few tasks, and cleaning off my desk (just in case). I decided that if I was in labor, I definitely did NOT want to be at work. So at 12:15ish I left work and headed to Matt’s department’s picnic.

There I ate a hamburger (something I was amazed that sounded good, because I have thrown up every non-restaurant hamburger that I have eaten this whole pregnancy), well only half of a hamburger, because the homemade pizza was far more phenomenal that I expected…. so I ate 2 pieces of that instead.

After hanging out for about 30 minutes, the contractions felt a little stronger, but still not painful, just uncomfortable. I tried to fake it and act pleasantly happy, but they were strong enough, that I wanted to go home. I told Matt that if this continued, I’d want to go to the hospital tonight. He said, “Great!” So I headed home, but Matt stayed and played volleyball for a little bit longer.

On the way home, just after 2pm, I called my mom to see what she thought. Not sure what all powerful knowledge I expected her to have that she didn’t have that morning, but it somehow made me feel better. She again agreed that my body was getting ready, but it could still be hours or days… there is just no way to know. At this point I wanted to be hopeful, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was excited, but didn’t want to expect too much.

When I got home I logged on to work and finished up a few things. My co-worker had a family event, so I kinda ran out of things to do, because most of my tasks in the last few weeks were just to support her. So…. I started roughly timing the contractions. They were kinda seemed like they were 5 minutes apart. So I was grateful when Matt got home before 3pm so he could help time them.

I told him, let’s start timing these. Well, he didn’t have a stop watch and figuring out the seconds and the minutes between the contractions was becoming a pain, so he decided to write a stop watch program really quick. (Yes a computer program... we really are that geeky) Again, roughly timing contractions while he wrote his program, they seemed to be about 5 minutes apart, not exactly, but about.

After about 15 minutes he got the program working, he realized he needed to document how far apart they were, so he opened up Excel and realized that Excel can just add the times for him… so he set that up. During this time we discussed we should probably get the rest of the stuff hospital bag together, because we probably were going to go to the hospital that evening regardless, if for no other reason than just a sanity check. We were also planning to take the dogs over to Lindsey’s on our way to the hospital.

All of the sudden the contraction I was having got painful. I got down on my knees and leaned over the automan, and starting rocking my hips and breathing deeper. Well, wouldn’t you know the next contraction was 3.5 minutes later. When Matt told me this, I said, “We gotta go now.” So between a few contractions I grabbed the items on my last minute list, and the car seat. (We still had not figured out how to put the car seat in the car, so we just threw it in the trunk.)

Well, of course in our one car garage home, the truck was on the driveway, so I had a contraction, Matt jumped in the truck, I jumped in the Jetta, we swapped cars, and just in time because the next contraction came when I was moving to the passenger seat. The we headed to the hospital.

On the way I called Lindsey to tell her that we were not bringing the dogs over, because all of the sudden my contractions kicked in, and we were rushing to the hospital. Then I called my mom to tell her we were headed to the hospital, and I was consumed with emotion. Shock, excitement, nervousness, anticipation and lots of love were all inside of me. But I didn’t want to let these emotions to the surface. I wanted to maintain control of myself and keep logically thinking. And if I let emotions out, they would burst out like opening the flood gates of a dam. And I didn't think I'd be able to gain control of myself if I let that happen.

We got to the hospital at about 4pm, I walked in the door and the first thing she asked was, “Are you ok to walk?” I said yes, because I knew I could. She took our information, and sent us straight to a room, instead to triage for assessment (no one told us why, maybe I just looked like I was in labor, I’m not sure).

While Matt went to go park the car and bring our bags into the room, the nurse had me change into a hospital gown, and then lie on the bed and started asking me questions about my pregnancy. Then she checked my cervix to see how far along I was. She estimated that I was 5-6cm. Then said that my doctor just finished delivering a baby, and so she would be in shortly to check on me.

This whole time I kept waiting for someone to tell me that I really wasn’t in labor, and that I should go home. Because no one ever just said, "Yes you are in labor, and you should stay at the hospital." I know the fact that I was dilating and wearing a hospital gown should have been a clue, but I still just hadn’t heard the words, “You are in labor.” So it still didn’t feel like it was really happening.

About 20 minutes later my doctor came in and checked my cervix, I had dilated to 7cm. Then she broke my water, it just felt like warm water coming out of me. I think at this point I finally thought, well, I guess I am staying here at the hospital. But I still didn’t realize that I was full fledge into labor; I just simply thought that I had started labor. My doctor told me that she had some paperwork, and probably wouldn’t deliver me, unless I went in the next hour. But she still requested to be kept in contact for the next little bit.

Well, the contractions continually got stronger. I couldn’t believe the pain. All I could do is grab the side rails of the bed and try to breathe through it. The times when Matt was there, it helped much more. Still was really hard, but just having him there meant a lot to me. The times he wasn’t next to me was because he was calling my family, or getting me ice chips, or something else helpful.

At one point I got nauseous, and thankfully Matt listened and found garbage can. Because a few contractions later, I leaned over the bed, shoved his legs out of the way and grabbed for the garbage can. Apparently it smelled horrid, because he asked the nurses to change the bag very quickly. But the nurses were quite proud of me that I actually got it into the garbage can.

Well, as the pain got more intense I knew I could not do this for hours… it hurt just way too much. And I STILL thought I was just starting labor. So I told Matt I wanted the epidural. Being the good husband that he was, he kept double checking with me, since I so desperately wanted to do this without the pain medication. But at this point, they wouldn’t let me out of the bed, and so I just had to lie there in pain, no rocking, no movement or lamaze techniques to help me deal with it. I asked for a birthing ball, but they were taking too long to bring it. The nurse double checked with me whether or not I wanted the epidural, and I kinda wavered again. So she said, let me check you. I was dilated to 8cm at this point. I mentioned that if I was progressing this quickly there may not be time for an epidural, and my nurse said, “I’m glad you realize that.” But still, could I really be progressing THAT fast? I surely thought, no.

At this point my nurse called the doctor to let her know how quickly I was progressing, and to find out how much time the doctor wanted before they called her for delivery. The doctor said she was 10 minutes out, so have me do a practice push and then call her.

Then I’m not really sure what happened, but at some point I progressed to 9cm, and my nurse asked if I wanted the squatting bar, and I said yes. At first they didn’t put down the foot of the bed, so it was kinda tricky. But after a few contractions they put the foot of the bed down, and it made it way easier to pull myself up to the bar. I used the bar as Lamaze class had taught me. I pulled up on it, as soon as I felt a contraction starting, and then laid back down on the bed in between. I told the nurse that I didn’t need the epidural any more I just wanted to get this over with, and I felt I was progressing quickly. She agreed and told me that I was doing amazing. I told her she better not tell everybody that.

The nurse checked me and I was 9.5cm, and she told me to let her know if I felt like I needed to poop. Well, she had amazing timing because the next contraction I had that sensation, not strong, but slight. She checked me again, and said I just had a little bit of a lip of my cervix left. When the next contraction came she told me not to push, but the contraction pushed on its own. I tried not to, but the pushing urge is really strong. Well, after that contraction pushed for me, she checked me again, and I had gotten rid of the lip. She told me I could go ahead and do a practice push, but that was awkward cuz I didn’t do it with the contraction. She said I did just fine, and that we could go ahead and push with the contractions. Pushing really wasn’t that hard… it came pretty naturally, and it felt like my body did a lot of the work involuntarily. Then they called the doctor to tell her to go ahead and come.

They went ahead and removed the squatting bar, and then had me lay down, and put my legs up. Matt had my right leg, and a nurse had my left. Well, I was pushing with the contractions, and about all I could comprehend was ‘wow, that hurts’. So I just kept saying out loud, “Ow, ow, ow.” In the mean time, I had a cheering section Matt kept saying, “Oh wow!” “And you’re doing great!” (but mostly just “Oh wow!”). Then the nurse just kept saying, “The burning sensation is normal. The burning sensation is normal.” Which I was grateful for, because then I knew something wasn’t wrong, and I just continued to push as much as I could.

Well, I felt like I was making progress, but really had no idea. They asked if I wanted to touch his head, and I said “No!” I’m glad they didn’t push that, because I really had no desire, I just wanted to be done pushing.

Then all of the sudden, it felt like a relief of pressure… like something came out, and then I felt more slide out of my body. I knew in the moment that my baby was here. My heart leaped, and my eyes looked for him immediately. The nurses were holding him up in front of me, and I could touch him. But the cord was wrapped around the waist, so they had to get that untwisted, and they put him on my chest. The funny part is that they put him facing away from me, so I couldn’t even see his face. But all I could do was kiss his vernix covered head. Then someone asked me what I thought, and through the tears I told them I couldn’t see his face. So they turned him for me. I just held him, so happy that he was here, and so loving and adorable.

At that point my doctor walked in the room, and everyone told her she missed it. Well, apparently from the time they called the doctor to the time she walked in the room it was 8 minutes. So I was only pushing for about 10 minutes.

They took the baby and got him all cleaned up, and Matt went over to that side of the room and took care of the baby and took pictures. They weighed him and he weighed 6lbs 13oz, and was 19in long, and his official birth time was 5:52pm (less than 2 hours after I got to the hospital).

The doctor sat down and delivered my placenta… which just popped out, I didn’t have to do anything for that. Then I asked if I tore, and they said yes. I asked how bad, and they said it wasn’t too bad, and that it was about the most common tear. She then spent about 30-45 minutes stitching me up, because I tore diagonal and it was hard to piece together. My parents showed up at this point, and I just didn’t care who was in the room, so I said for them to come in. My mom came and held my hand while I got stitched up.

As soon as the doctor was done, and they put the bed back together, and handed the baby to me so that I could nurse.

This whole time everyone was asking what his name was. So Matt and I realized we needed to pick between the two names we had decided on months ago. He came over and asked what I thought. I told him that the name I have been thinking for the last 4 months was Reid. It is just the name that would pop into my mind each time I would think of the baby. But I didn’t know what Matt was thinking, I was so happy that he agreed. And we named him Reid Matthew.

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Here are a few pictures:


Just got cleaned up.



Later that night
1 week old , 7lbs 2oz

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tagged - 8 Things

So, I've been tagged, and sometimes I do these, and sometimes not. But right now, I have nothing to post about except I am bored at work (cuz my responsibilities are pretty much done, cuz I'm taking 3 months maternity leave) and I spend all my time wishing I was going into labor.

So in the mean time... here's a little about me:

8 Favorite TV Shows:
- Chuck
- NCIS
- Stargate
- Big Bang Theory
- Alias (its old, I know, but I still love it)*
- Heroes
- Animaniacs *
- Bones

8 Things I Did Yesterday:
- Went to Lindsey's to let the dogs play
- Worked
- Made dinner
- Hung out with Sarah and her adorable baby
- Ate a large amount of chips and salsa (YUM!)
- Made and ate strawberry milkshakes for me and Matt
- Laundry
- Sat around uncomfortably most of the day

8 Restaurants I Love:
- Gavi's
- Outback
- Texas Roadhouse
- PF Cheng's
- Casa Molina
- Eegee's (that counts, right?)
- McMahon's
- Tucanos and Bombay House (even though they are in Utah)

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:
- meeting my son
- not being pregnant
- seeing my siblings and their families this summer
- my parents going on a mission (I'm just really excited for them, not that I want them to leave)
- taking 3 months off of work
- hanging out with my sister this summer
- taking a vacation
- seeing Matt as a dad

8 Things on My Wish List:
- a happy baby
- new TV
- new kitchen table
- the ability to understand finances perfectly
- the ability to manage finances perfectly (hahaha)
- more patience with others
- live closer to more friends and family
- a clean car

8 People I Tag:
- I never tag anyone cuz I don't want to guilt them into it, but if you are bored... by all means, please feel free.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Baby's Room Progress

So, Matt has done a lot of work on the baby's room. He got the chair rails and the crowning up. I got the bedding washed, and remade the baby bed.



















We got some navy blue curtains for the inner window. And my parents graciously gave us their old rocking chair... still need to get a navy blue chair cover. :) (don't mind the mess next to it... still organizing)


















Then we went and found these adorable decorations at the discount home decorating store.









It's turning out really great!

We're just about ready for him to come!