Friday, June 29, 2012

Potato Ham Bake.

This summer I am trying to kill two birds with one stone:
Eat healthy
Learn how to cook.

As I was flipping through my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, I got really excited when I saw this healthy, yet tasty looking recipe. It only has 346 calories per serving! It was super easy and made generous servings. I'll definitely be making it again.

Prep: 25 minutes     Bake: 30 minutes
Stand: 5 minutes     Oven: 400 degrees
Makes: 4 servings     Calories: 346

1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, sliced
1 8-ounce tub of light cream cheese spread w/chive & onion
3/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp snipped fresh tarragon, crushed (1/2 tsp dried)
8 ounces cooked boneless ham, cut into bite-size cubes
1 pound fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 1.5 qt baking dish (I found I need a bigger dish); set aside. In a medium saucepan cook potatoes, covered, in a small amount of lightly salted boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes or just until tender. Drain; transfer potatoes to a medium bowl and set aside.

Step 2: For cheese sauce, in same saucepan combine cream cheese, milk, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, and the pepper. Heat and whisk cream cheese mixture until smooth and cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in tarragon.

Step 3: Layer half of the potatoes, ham, asparagus and cheese sauce in prepared baking dish. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients. Cover with foil.

Step 4: Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes.

The Ingredients
After baking


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father's Day.

Paul is a fantastic dad.
I absolutely love seeing him play/love/hold/sing to our little boy.
Not only does he do a phenomenal job at providing and protecting our family,
he also helps out with the dirty jobs...
and I mean dirty.
Whenever Paul is home, he changes all of Vincent's diapers.
(I'm hoping this is a trend that continues for the rest of our kids!)
He also sacrifices sleep to help me in the middle of the night.
You see, it's very difficult for me to wake up in the wee hours of the morning.
Since Vince never cries or wakes up to eat, I set an alarm to keep him from going more than 6 hours at night. I feel absolutely NO motivation to wake up because he is sleeping like a champ. That's where Paul steps in. He gets out of bed and helps both me and Vince wake up.
Oh, and did I mention that he comes home from work and gets dinner ready?
He's such a great guy.
I can't explain how grateful I am for his help and his patience.
So without further ado, happy Father's Day to the best dad there is!
I love you, Babe!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

One Month.

I'm a bit late with this post, but on June 6th Vince turned one month old!

-- He never wakes up for food on his own, which means we have to keep on top of a feeding schedule so he doesn't starve to death
-- When we wake him up, he he gets the biggest frown and lets out the sweetest cry
-- At about 3.5 weeks he added a fake cough into his cry
-- He grunts, snorts and coos
-- In the first 2 weeks he grew 1.5 inches
--When he falls asleep he smiles and will occasionally laugh
-- In the past week he has started smiling while he's awake!
-- He hates tummy time, but has gotten pretty good at lifting his head and tuning it side to side
-- His favorite thing to do is sleep. He likes it more than eating
-- Sometimes he has man sized farts. It's amazing and hilarious.
-- He CALMS DOWN during the diaper changing process. Isn't he supposed to hate it?
-- He looks into your eyes and can track people as they walk by
-- When he was born, his legs were skin and bone. Now we can actually squeeze his little thighs!

To everyone else he is probably just a normal baby...
but we think that he is just the coolest thing!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

First comes love, then comes marriage...

Then comes the baby in the baby carriage! 

Here's the story of Vincent's arrival:

For the week before Vincent's birth, I would wake up in the morning and decide whether or not he was allowed to come that day or not. On Saturday, May 5th, I decided that he was allowed to join us. To help him on his journey, I planned an eventful day. Paul and I went garage "sailing" ALL morning. Following all of that walking, I took a short break. Then we went for another walk to campus so I could go to the library. I had felt a few contractions, but then I wrote them off as Braxton-Hicks.

Later that evening, Paul received a phone call from the EQP. No one from the presidency was going to be at church on the 6th to teach the lesson. He asked Paul to step in and give it. Paul agreed and then joked that the only reason he wouldn't is if I went into labor... haha

As we were getting ready for bed that evening, I gave up on trying to tell Vincent when to come. I decided that I would just be patient and he would come whenever he was ready. Well, it seems like Vince likes to play jokes, because 3 hours later, my water broke! I was sleeping when all of the sudden I woke up and jumped out of bed saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" over and over again. Paul woke up and was freaked out because he thought there was a spider.

When I stood up, the amniotic fluid came out even faster. I quickly waddled to the bathroom and began giving Paul orders: finish packing my bag, grab my deodorant, get the camera, pack the insurance papers, etc. I managed to keep calm, despite the contractions that were kicking in. Paul was scrambling all over. I couldn't help but laugh; it was like a chicken with his head cut off. I have to give him some credit though, cause I was asking him to do a lot of things all at once. 

Eventually we made it to the car and began our drive to Timpanogos Regional Hospital. Bumps in the road and potholes have never been so painful. Luckily, Paul was able to avoid most of them. As we drove to the hospital, we both noticed how big and bright the moon was. We found out later that it was a "Super Moon". Turns out that more babies are born when there is a full moon. Weird, huh?

We arrived to the hospital and were admitted. It was crazy to know that I was going to deliver a baby within 24 hours! Although I was very nervous, it still seemed surreal. Regardless, I was very excited that I was about to be done with this pregnancy! Can't you see how happy I was?!  

The night nurse came in and started getting me ready. She put the tocometer and fetal heart monitor on my belly and then got ready to put in an IV. She had a nursing student with her and I encouraged her to give it a shot. I felt it was necessary to offer up my veins to a nursing student and pay it forward because of all the kind patients that did the same for me over these past few years. She successfully made it into the vein... but then she kept advancing the needle and she popped out the backside of the vein. This made for a lovely bruise. The nurse then went to my other hand. She was going to do it, but I offered up my other hand to the nursing student. IVs can be really intimidating-- especially when you think you only have one chance. I am pleased to announce that she did a great job and got it in the second time!

Once they finished getting me attached to all of the equipment and monitors, they checked to see how I was progressing. A dismal TWO centimeters. I knew then that we had a long day ahead of us.

Eventually, the night nurse went home and we met the day nurse. She was not a very happy woman. Initially, I attributed this to the fact that it was early. Unfortunately, she never got any better. I'm pretty sure I met all of the nurses that day. Why? Because my nurse was always doing something else so a random nurse would pop her head in to check on me. I am grateful that I'm in the nursing program, because I feel comfortable in the hospital. Otherwise, I think it would have been really tough to have a neglectful nurse. 

A few hours passed and I was in a lot of pain. I had been trying my best to stay calm and relaxed during the contractions, but I was to the point where I couldn't didn't want to do it any longer. A short while later, I was enjoying my epidural. It was perfect. I could hardly feel the contractions, but I was still aware of what was going on with  my body. I was able to completely relax and I began to doze. (Keep in mind, the previous day was really busy and then I only got 3 hours of sleep before my water broke. I was exhausted!)

Paul began watching the tocometer and he noticed that I was hardly having any contractions-- even though I was on pitocin. We were getting really worried that I wasn't progressing, which got me thinking about the possibility that I might have to get a c-section. I was terrified. Finally my nurse came back in and checked me. I was prepared for her to tell me that I was still a 2. To my delight, I was close to a 5! It turns out that the tocometer had shifted and wasn't picking up my contractions. What a relief! 

I began to feel more pressure and I knew that I was getting close. Then, we began to notice that Vincent's heart rate kept dropping. Paul and I started to get nervous. I was expecting a nurse to notice what was happening on the screen and then come and bust the door down. No one came, so Paul went and got someone. After wearing an oxygen mask for a while and completely turning on my side, his heart rate improved-- but it still wasn't where it should have been. 

My nurse eventually made it back into my room to check me again. I was completely dilated and effaced! She told me she was going to call the doctor to see if we could begin pushing. She also informed me that some doctors like it if you wait a little bit so the baby can continue to descend on his own.

An HOUR later she came back. She then revealed, 

"The doctor said that you could start pushing, but I needed to take a break. I'm ready now!"

WHAT?! Who is this lady?? Somehow I just brushed it off and got ready to push. I pushed for an hour and the doctor showed up just in the nick of time. Two pushes later, his head was out. The cord was wrapped around his neck, which is why his heart rate was dropping. The doctor tried to pull the cord over Vincent's head, but just as he was about to get it over the crown of his head, the cord broke! I heard the snap and saw blood spatter. I had no idea what happened but I knew something was wrong. I finished delivering the baby and Dr. Rees clamped the cord within seconds. Had the cord remained unclamped, Vincent could have bled to death! Thankfully, Rees was very prepared and knew what he needed to do. 

He put Vincent on my chest and I just stared at him. I couldn't believe that I was finally meeting him! He hardly cried, which actually worried me. I was scared that he wasn't clearing his lungs and breathing properly. It turns out that Vincent is just a very calm baby and he doesn't cry very much. (I hope this lasts!)

He was born at 5:02 pm on May 6, 2012.
He weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces and was 19 inches long. 
He was perfect.

He won our hearts over immediately.
We went through a bit of a scare that night when we found out that he was hypoglycemic. I couldn't believe how quickly I became attached to him. I had met him just a few hours earlier, but I couldn't imagine what I would do if something happened to him. Fortunately, he recovered and didn't need to go to the NICU.

We took him home, as planned, on May 8th. 
We have been loving him to pieces ever since.