My Life of Travels and Adventures: January 2012

Recipe: Soft Pretzel Bites

18 January 2012

I saw this recipe a while ago and finally got around to making them this week.  I did make a few changes from the original recipe.


  •  1 1/2 cups warm water (around 110F)
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 pkg)
  • 6 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 quarts water
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • Coarse salt
  1. Combine the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in a large bowl.  Mix with a dough hook until combined.  
  2. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the salt and flour.  Mix on a low speed until combined.  Increase the speed until completely combined and the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl (about 3-4 minutes).
  4. Oil a separate bowl with the canola oil.  Add the dough and turn to coat with oil. 
  5. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size (about 1 hour)
  6. Preheat the oven to 425F. 
  7. Bring the water to boil in a large pot.  Add the baking soda. 
  8. Divide the dough and roll each piece into a long rope. 
  9. Cut the dough into bite size pieces or make cute little pretzels. 
  10. A couple at a time, place the pretzel pieces into the boiling water mixture for about 30 seconds. 
  11. Remove with a slotted spoon and place onto a sprayed baking sheet.
  12. Mix the egg and cold water together and brush over the pretzels
  13. Sprinkle with salt.
  14. Bake for 15-20 minutes (until golden brown)

These are so yummy!

January 9th

14 January 2012

January 9th was a crazy day.  January 9th is Reid's birthday.

Crazy right?

Let me start at the beginning.

Sunday January 8th, we went for a walk around the neighborhood for a bit then had a pretty lazy afternoon and evening.  We even went to bed a bit early.

All day my belly was hard but Reid wasn't really moving that much.  I really didn't think too much of it because he moves most in the evening and at night.  Well, like I said, we headed to bed a bit early.

Monday I headed into work and all was well.  Around lunch time I realized that I had not felt Reid move since the previous night.  Once I ate lunch, I called the Doctor's office and spoke with Dr. Heinzel.  He said basically what I had already concluded... At this point in the pregnancy it is both abnormal and  normal for decreased movement but to head into the hospital to get everything checked out.

Of course at this point I was already back at work from lunch so I had to kind of sneak out of work... The big running joke at work is that pretty much everyone wanted to know when I was in labor and wanted to see everyone else panic.  Humor at the pregnant ladies expense...  Anyways, I told my supervisor that I was headed to the hospital to get checked out as a precaution and told the other 2 people who saw me sneak out that I was okay and would be back as I casually walked out the door.

Once I made it to the car I called Neil.  He wanted to take off from work and meet us immediately at the hospital.  I figured that Reid was fine, they would monitor me for a bit then send me home feeling silly, so told Neil to stay at work and I would call him as soon as I knew something.

On the way to the hospital, I called my mom and talked to her... Both to let her know what was going on and to calm myself down.  I think deep down I knew the baby was fine but I knew something wasn't right too... If that makes sense.

So, by the time I arrived at the hospital it was around 1:30pm.  They sent me back to a room to be monitored... Unlike when I fell down the stairs a couple weeks ago, I did not get sent to a labor & delivery room.  That made me feel better, thinking that this probably happens all the time and I would be sent home shortly.

It was closer to 1:45pm by the time I was all monitored up and it was confirmed that the baby was fine.  I sent Neil a text message and had him call and update my mom.

At this point I figured I would be headed home shortly, but they came back in around 2 and started monitoring me more closely as my blood pressure was high.  They thought that it may be because of the stress or a sign of pre-eclampsia.  Looks like I would be here a bit longer.

They started an IV and drew blood work around 2:30pm or so.  I was told the lab work would take an hour.  The last thing I needed to do was pee in a cup.  As I was waiting for the nurse to come back in and unhook me so that I could go pee, one of the machines started beeping.  Not uncommon since everything in the room was beeping.  However, 3 nurses immediately surrounded me.

They had me lay down more, roll on my side, roll on my other side, put my arms above my head... All while poking my belly and moving the monitors.  They tried taking my pulse but couldn't find it.  Surprisingly, as they are saying that they can't find my pulse, I felt better because the problem was with me and not the baby.   It took a good 5 minutes or so until they calmed down and I relaxed.  Ultimately, the baby's heart rate had a rapid deceleration and did not come back up on for a minute or two.  They think I may have been having a contraction as my tummy was hard but I did not feel anything nor did the monitor pick up that contraction.

Now I would definitely be here for a bit longer this afternoon.  My doctor was at the hospital and they were going to have him look at the baby's heart rate chart to check it out.  They came back in shortly and told me that Dr. Lavern said it could be normal at this point and happening all the time but was only picked up because we were there.  They were going to monitor me for a bit more.  If his heart rate stayed stable and my lab work came back okay then we would be out of there shortly.

I was allowed up to go pee in a cup for them and then hooked back up to the monitor.  A few minutes later, I was once again surrounded by the nurses.  His heart rate was dropping again.  It did come back up slowly on it's own after a bit.  At this point around 3:15pm,  I called Neil and told him he should come in soon.

Around 3:30pm they nurses had me finish answering all the hospital admitting questions as they assumed I probably would be admitted.  A few minutes later I was shuffled into a wheelchair, piled high with my belongings and wheeled towards labor and delivery.

We met both Dr. Lavern and Neil in the hallway coming to find us.  Once in the delivery room, the monitors were hooked back up and Dr. Lavern came to talk with us around 4pm.

He wanted to do an ultrasound to check the baby's cord.  The ultrasound showed that my water level was a 5.  Dr. Lavern explained that from 0 to 5 they immediately deliver the baby.  From 5-8 they will induce labor and 8+ is a good number.  They also checked my placenta.  It was highly calcified meaning that parts of it stopped working.  My placenta was a level 3, the worst on the scale.

Based on the ultrasound, my blood pressure and the baby's heart rate, I would be leaving the hospital with a baby.  We decided that an induction was the way to go.  I think both Neil and I were in a little bit of shock at this point.

 Neil called my mom and told her she should start heading out (She had a 6 hour drive in front of her).  I could hear my mom on the phone yelling "Are you serious?" repeatedly.  Kinda funny and very much like her.

Around 4:20 things settled down, we had a plan and I sent Neil home to get changed and get our goodies.

At 4:50 one of the residents came in with the nurse to insert the cervidil.  The plan was for me to have the cervidil overnight, see where things go and start the pitocin in the morning.  Anyways, when she came in the baby's heart rate dropped again.  Again, I was up, down, on my left, on my right... finally his heart rate started climbing again.  However, this through a loop into things.

I talked quickly to my mom at this time, Dad and her were on their way.  Woohoo!

Dr. Lavern came back into talk with me (Neil was not back yet) around 5:10pm.  He was concerned about the baby's heart rate dropping with every contraction as I labored.  He presented two scenarios: we proceed with the induction but if Reid's heart rate kept falling then he would be born via emergency c-section or I just opt for the c-section at this time.  His feelings were that Reid's heart rate would keep dropping and I would end up in the OR either way.

Neil finally made it back around 5:15pm and Dr. Lavern filled him in on the situation.  I knew Neil's decision without needing to talk to him.  Lucky thing we were both on the same page and opted for the c-section at that time.  I figured I would rather go into the surgery with everything calm and okay with me and the baby than be even more concerned going in.

The funny thing here is that our only question to the doctor was from Neil.  He asked, how long until we  have a baby?  Dr. Lavern's response surprised us both... 30-45 minutes.  Umm, whoa this just became real.

We were left alone for a few minutes and Neil called my mom to let her know that they were not going to make it in time for Reid's birth.  Neil and I talked for a few minutes before I talked to my mom.  I could tell that she was upset and when I hung up with her, I lost it.

I had held everything in all day.  I knew everything would be all right and we were both being taken good care of.  But I was going into surgery, I was going to have a baby soon and I wanted my mom.

When they wheeled me away around 5:35pm, I had calmed down.  Neil was okay, I was okay, the baby is going be okay.

However, once I was in the bright OR room.  The tears came back.  At this point, I was scared.  Scared of surgery, scared of the pain, scared of the spinal, scared to be alone and scared to be a mom.

The nurses were great and really supportive.  They held me and talked to me while I was getting the spinal.  They talked about the baby and other random things to distract me.  Thanks to them I calmed down some.

It wasn't until they brought in Neil around 6:10pm, that I was okay.  I knew everything would be okay.  Neil was great and held my hand while they pushed and pulled the baby out.

Reid was born at 6:21pm and was crying up a storm.  They cleaned him for a second then brought him over so I could see him.
The neonatologist had to remind Neil to take a picture.

They pulled Neil over to cut his umbilical cord and again the neonatologist reminded Neil to bring the camera.  I kept telling Neil to go be with the baby.  He was so cute and afraid to touch Reid.
Then they started checking Reid out and cleaning him up.
A couple minutes later they brought Reid over for Neil to hold and me to see.
I was able to take some pictures of teary eyed Neil and Reid.
Shortly, there after they took Neil and Reid out of the room and finished up with my surgery.  The doctor's and I talked about skiing and the new section of the hospital that they are building.

I was wheeled back to the delivery room and reunited with Neil.  He had called my mom, my sister and his mom already.  I called and talked to my mom who was so excited to get to the hospital .

Finally around 9pm, I was in my postpartum room and Reid was brought to us.

The whole baby thing was still so unreal. Three days ago Dr. Lavern told me to be prepared to make it until my due date or longer. Now Reid is here.
I had called the doctor 5 1/2 hours ago for something I thought was in my head.  Now Neil has held his son.  
Everything was okay on the monitor 4 3/4 hours ago.  Now I am a mommy.
I was admitted to the hospital 3 hours ago.  Now I have to care for a baby.
Just 2 1/2 hours ago, we were talking about an induction and a baby on Tuesday.  Now it is still Monday and I have had a baby.
Just 1 1/2 hours ago, I was scared to go into my c-section.  Now, I am excited to hold my baby.
 Just 45 minutes ago, I was getting a needle in my back humped over a big ole belly.  Now, my belly is empty, but my heart is full and my baby is born.
Reid Charles McGarvey

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I am living,
my baby you'll be.

Born at 6:21pm on Monday January 9th, 2012
8lb 1oz. and  20.5 inches long
Perfect in every way!

Baby Reid

11 January 2012

Scenes from January 9th...
Introducing Reid Charles McGarvey.  Born January 9th at 6:21pm via a c-section.  He weighed in at 8lbs 1oz and is 20.5 inches long.  

More pictures and stories to come...

Recipe: Mmm... Cookies

07 January 2012

I have no idea what these cookies are called, except for good.   This recipe came from Neil (way back in 2003) and he called in Mmm... Cookies, so that is what I will too.

1 cup butter
2 cup flour
1 tsp soda
2 1/2 cup oatmeal
12 oz chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz hershey bar (grated)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

1. Measure oatmeal and blend into a fine powder.
2. Cream the butter and both sugars together.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla.
4. Mix in the flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder and soda.
5. Grate the hershey bar.
6. Add the hershey bar and chocolate chips.
7. Roll into 1in balls and place 2" apart.

8. Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350F.


Final Nursery Reveal

04 January 2012

We finished and cleaned up the nursery these past couple weeks.  So it is time for the big reveal...

Looking into the room.

Looking out of the room.

Some details...

There you have it.  We have completed the baby's nursery in time for his arrival. 

Recipe: Peanut Butter Chip Chocolate Cookies

03 January 2012

I made these cookies recently.  They are pretty tasty.

2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2-10oz pkgs peanut butter chips

1. Heat oven to 350F
2. Beat the sugar, butter and eggs together.
3. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
4. Mix in the peanut butter chips by hand as the dough will be stiff.
5. Round the dough into 1 inch balls, then slightly flatten them on a cookie sheet.

6. Bake until firm around the edges but still soft in the middle... Around 12-14 minutes.

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