Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mt. Timpanogos temple

The Provo Bricker Family (Skyler & Rachel)

The Hollingshead Family (Whitni & Ryan)

Mom and Dad Bricker

It has been really cold here... I think as a result of it being winter... but anyway, we couldn't resist getting pictures after we went to the Mt. Timpanogos temple on Tuesday! The Provo temple was closed, so we took the short drive to American Fork. I think we are incredibly spoiled to have so many temples so close!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Our Christmas letter...

You will have to click on it to see it big, I think...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The glucose test...

So, around 28 weeks, which I am, you are supposed to get a glucose screening to make sure that you aren't developing gestational diabetes. Now, about 4 weeks ago I got my pamphlet on the screening and also on the testing if I failed the screen. For those of you who don't know, I am hypoglycemic. I might never have diabetes, especially if I am really responsible in my diet and health... but it is like a precursor. So, that means that if I have too much or too little sugar, I get light-headed, headachey, etc... Well, everyone does, but I think I am just more prone to it happening. I found this out when I was 20 when I was eating too many starches in my diet and not enough protein. So, since then I have been rather responsible. I have become increasingly more aware and tried to just bring snacks with me places or have food on hand just in case. I have also just been able to read my body better and quickly tweak things before I get sick. With that said, I don't like to intentionally spike my sugars. And that is exactly what the glucose screening does. They have you drink a bottle of glucose and then sit for an hour and see what happens.

When I was reading the details of the test, I thought, oh that can't be fun... but then I continued reading about the glucose testing. That was definitely worse. You have to fast and then drink glucose and have your blood drawn over 3 hours. I decided that the screening would be a piece of cake, and I just needed to pass in order to avoid the test.

Now about this time, one of my friends who is 4 weeks ahead of me had her glucose test. She has truly had a much harder pregnancy than me and had an awful glucose screening. To make it short, she couldn't keep the glucose down. I have had an issue with keeping things down and still have experienced nauseaus, even at 6 months. So, I decided to just start praying early about my glucose test.

I knew that everything would be ok if I planned ahead. So, I started praying a week prior that if it be God's will, I would pass the screening in order to avoid the test, which I did NOT want to take. So, I prayed. I prayed in family prayer and personal prayer. I talked to a nurse earlier this week and asked her for advice about not getting too affected by the sugar because I would have to teach my class shorter after my screen. She encouraged me to bring protein with me and I would be fine. So, I felt pretty good. I had protein about 45 min before our appointment. I looked at the hand-out again to make sure that there wasn't anything that I needed to know before I headed out. There wasn't. Then I picked up Skyler and we were off. I was feeling pretty confident that I was prepared and did not need to fear.

We arrived at the clinic 7 minutes early. I did a urine sample, and reminded them that I needed the glucose. They gave me the little orange bottle and said "Drink this in 5 minutes and let us know when you are done." So, I smiled at Skyler and started drinking. It really tasted like a melted orange otter pop. But the texture was a little thicker. Everything seemed to be going pretty well. And then about 1/2 way through the bottle, I started to feel nauseaus. But do not fear, I had crackers. So, in an effort to quickly fix the problem, I asked Skyler for a couple of wheat thins. That seemed to help, and I kept drinking. I was almost done with the bottle and running out of time, so I popped in a few more crackers... Then I heard it, "Hey... are you eating?" I said, "Yes, a few crackers to keep it down." "Well, we might not be able to count his test now..." Fear struck... they went to see if they had to cancel my screening, and I finished my glucose. They returned and told me that since I had "cheated" I would have to start all over again. This was of course a Thursday afternoon, the clinic is closed on Fridays... and now I would need to take it the following week.

I was sooooooo sad! I had felt so prepared. I had read and reread my handout. I had prayed. I had eaten protein and taken protein with me... and I still hadn't effectively finished the screen. The good news is that the midwife told me that I could take the test next time with jelly bellys instead of glucose. Hallelujah! I now know NOT to even think about eating anything during the test... and will hopefully pass!

Monday, December 7, 2009

27 weeks... and less than 3 months to go...

There was a request made that I update my belly shot... so in an effort to fully satisfy anyone's needs to see the current state of my belly... I give you a variety of shots, angles, and photographers :)

I took a couple of belly shots this morning during a study break...
Full frontal shot... it really doesn't seem to be the angle that accentuates the belly! :)
The side shot is definitely the one that makes it seem like there is a reason that sitting down is becoming less comfortable than it used to be.

What I most frequently see though is the shot looking down...

I can see that my angle might be skewed... so I had Skyler take a break as well... and take a few pics...
Once again, the side shot seems to catch the belly a little better... and I really am not trying to thrust my hips forward or my belly out.

I think it is kind of funny though. My bishop keeps telling me that I am barely showing and somehow it isn't what I want to hear. I think feeling like I have a legitimate belly makes me feel like there is a reason to have my feet hurt... but I am sure I will have reason enough in 3 more months! ;)
And yes... for those of you who are wondering... I am wearing a red shirt and pale pink sweatpants...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

"What to Expect" emails

Now a lot of you have probably heard me say, "oh well in my what to expect email..." I think that signing up for those emails was one of the BEST decisions I have made during this pregnancy. For those of you who aren't aware, it follows the pregnancy book, "What to expect". I get an email about everyday letting me know what is going on with me and my baby. Now, I have signed up for email lists before and usually stop reading them... well this hasn't happened. I sometimes reread the emails because I really want to know what they are telling me. They are FANTASTIC!

Now, they aren't perfect... sometimes they are a week early or a week late... but so far they haven't failed to let me know what is going on. These are just a few examples:
1. I started noticing that my hands were REALLY dry and started getting rash-like. Then next morning I woke up to an email about skin changes during pregnancy. Then I felt incredibly normal.
2. I got an email three days ago about braxton hicks and my midwife told me last night, oh sounds like you are having braxton hicks.
3. Last Saturday I had shooting pains down my leg, and this morning I woke up to an email about sciatica.
4. I got an email about heartburn and the next week I had to get medication to control my acid reflux.
5. More examples that you don't want me to share...

So, if you or someone you know is pregnant... sign up for the emails...

There is also one other BONUS... Every once in awhile, I will get the email and say to myself, "WOW! I am glad I don't have that problem..." While sometimes it shows up the next week, sometimes it doesn't and I feel incredibly happy and blessed!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

If the baby looks/is like Rachel

She will have dark hair and eyes.

Her hair will be a little wavy/curly.

She will enjoy sitting quietly :)

My post is boring right now... but I will pull out my other baby pics and see whatelse we discover ;)

If the baby looks/is like Skyler...

She will have great potential to do amazing things with her hair... And she will enjoy being an active participant in the world around her... especially meal time!

More amazing hair! Curiosity, cute cheeks...

She will look good in yellow :)

She will look fantastic in jogging suits! And once again... cute cheeks :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Don't tell the baby...

So, in order to get a better deal on our online shopping, we need to buy something for $2.50 at gap or old navy. So, the search began and ended in the baby gap section.
There it was... the Christmas gift waiting to happen (even though it was more than $2.50)! Since Skyler and I decided to put a stocking up for Eliza Lane, I felt a little weird not putting anything in it... so she will score with a beautifully nerdy onesie 2 months before she is even born! Lucky her!
Disclaimer: There might come a point in her life when she doesn't want to wear dictionary definitions on her chest. I will respect that, but until she can object... she will be our beautifully nerdy baby!

Why are you poking yourself?

So, I have been hearing this question for about a month. When I went to CA for my mom's birthday, my sister and mom both found it odd that I would just start pushing or poking at my belly. I guess I knew I was doing it, but wasn't really thinking about it. When asked, I would say, "cause it feels good." or "it feels better." I think my stomach is getting kind of stretched out and things are getting kind of squished and sometimes a push or poke just seems to put things in a better location or relieve tension.

I hadn't really been thinking about it until last night during Family Home Evening. Skyler looked confused and said, "Do you have heartburn?" Well, yes I did. But how did he know? Because I was poking myself. So, I think that maybe I will become a fan of acupuncture at some point, but until then I will probably just poke the uncomfortable parts of my body. Does anyone else do that?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Denial Girl

Once upon a time, Shannon and I decided to talk about our super powers. My superpower is that I am able to be in denial for an abnormally long time. Sometimes I don't even realize I am in denial... until reality hits and I am in shock. This is not necessarily a good thing. It means that sometimes I don't know and understand my feelings. For example, I thought Skyler and I were going to break up (for no reason) until I woke up one morning and realized that I was in love with him. I am sure that I could have figured that out earlier... but oh well. When we were engaged and talking about dates I realized that I wanted to move the date up so that we could have our reception at my grandpa's backyard. But I didn't realize until I was crying to my mom on the phone was how important it was for me. My mom said, "Wow. I had no idea that you felt that way." Skyler said, "Wow. I had no idea that you felt that way." and I said to myself, "Wow. I had no idea I felt that way." Shannon walked into the room and she looked at me like, "Wow. I had no idea you felt that way." So, in short, sometimes I don't realize how I feel until I am hit with it.
I knew when we were engaged that we needed to get ready to have a baby. This of course went against my personal conviction that we should wait a year before getting pregnant. But we prayed about it and started to make preparations. We even had our names picked out. A few weeks after everything was set, we were pregnant. I remember just a couple of weeks after a positive pregnancy test thinking to myself, "Hmmm, I wonder if I am really pregnant." This is a hilarious thought because I was really sick. We had an ultrasound at 8 weeks, and 12 weeks, and heard the heartbeat. It seemed a little surreal. But by about 16 weeks it was becoming more real. By 20 weeks, the sickness was not as bad and at our ultrasound I felt the baby kick me while I saw it on the screen. It was incredibly cool. From then on, I knew when I was feeling her move and kick. I would say that that is when it really sunk in that I was pregnant and that a healthy baby girl was really growing inside of me.

So, this past week a couple of things happened that took my focus off of being pregnant and onto the reality of our future arrival. The first was seeing my friend Eliza's brand-new baby girl. She was precious, adorable, and very very real. The second is that my mom gave us some presents that she had made and picked out for the baby. They were the first gifts for our baby. My mom had written cards talking about how exciting it was to prepare for a little one, especially our first. As I opened the blankets and outfits, I realized that in 4 short months they would be covering our little baby. Also, my sister, Emily, had offered to let us use a lot of her baby stuff, sling, clothes, swing, etc. So, we went through her stuff and tried to see what we would be able to fit in the car. When it came to actually packing it in our car, I asked Skyler if he thought the swing was going to be able to fit. He said he would try to make it fit. He had to take it apart so that it would fit. Once it was in and we were ready to head back to UT, I could not stop talking about the swing. I think I talked about how wonderful it was for like an hour in the car. Skyler said, "Wow I had no idea you felt that way about it." And I replied, "I didn't either." So, somewhere between Provo, Orange County and Provo I realized that I am going to be a mom and have a little baby girl really really soon., and that I was really quite attached to Emily's swing. I came home on a quest to find a dresser to put her clothes and blankets in. I get teary-eyed this week when I talk about her coming because I am sooo excited to see her and hold her in my arms, which didn't happen while I was in denial.
It really is funny how you can know something in your head, but you still have to let it sink in. So, in case you hadn't realized it yet, Skyler and I are going to have a little baby girl in 15 weeks and 6 days (well... probably not that day, but sometime around there) :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Mom's 60th

My mom just turned 60 last week. So, the family decided to have a party in Orange County to celebrate. Nathan's family and my parents came from Modesto. Skyler and I and Jer's family came from UT. And Emily's family hosted.

My mom and dad took Isabel to Disneyland on my mom's birthday. I heard it was almost as fun as the American Girl hub in LA.

Saturday was the big party.

Diana was in charge of the decorations and used pink and brown for a Sweet 60 theme. It was great!

Everyone showed up at Zach's soccer game and it was fun to see him play and be together.

Then there was whale watching... and they saw dolphins.

We did a lot of cooking and eating and spent a lot of time in the kitchen. We had brunch and then later a great dinner of soups and salad.
Then came dessert with the triple chocolate cake from Costco, an assortment of ice cream and a chocolate fountain. Yummy.

We also had a program with some games and also of course the grandkids singing a cousin camp song.
It was fun to be with everyone and celebrate! Thanks for having a birthday Mom!

Friday, November 13, 2009

23.5 weeks

My belly is real now. I am wearing a lot more maternity clothes.
Skyler is holding up nicely :)

And we are excited that the last three weeks have been wonderful!
These were taken on our way out of Orange County on Tuesday. The family went to the beach on Saturday afternoon, but we were trying to get find someone to fix our car on a saturday afternoon (didn't work). We could have gone on Monday, but we were distracted by the car yet again... but to celebrate our repaired car and return to UT, we took a little detour and had literally 7 min at the beach. It was great!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The adventures of getting a H1N1 flu vaccine...

Details to come when I have a little more time! :)

But to foreshadow... it involves 4 hours, snow, coughing children, outside, lots of bellies... etc... :)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lifting Burdens

Lifting Burdens

If you haven't seen the short videos that puts out. This is a great one to start with. 3 minutes about the healing and transforming power of Christ and His atonement.

Good news!

So, Dr. Wendy Baker let me know that our article is going to get published in March!! YEAH!!

The journal SYSTEM is focused on "applications of educational technology and applied linguistics to problems of foreign language teaching and learning."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

20 week ultrasound

It was fun to have another ultrasound. Here she is:
She wasn't as active this time as she was last time. Maybe because I wasn't highly caffeinated...

The thing next to her nose is not her hand... but her feet :)

That was her ear, foot, and stuff...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

20 weeks means 1/2 way there!

So, yesterday was our 1/2 way mark in our pregnancy. That means that technically we are on the downhill as of today. I have been contemplating everything that has happened in the past 4 1/2 months... I think of a lot of good advice, a lot of new experiences, a lot of new medications, a lot of thinking about what I need to have done by March 6, a lot of hormones, a lot of ya know... everything.

A few days ago, I ran into one of the professors that I used to work with. He congratulated us on our upcoming arrival and said that he understood what we were going through. He said, "Well, if you hadn't figured out that your spouse wasn't perfect yet, that first pregnancy helps you become quite aware of it." He then shared a couple of experiences of when his wife was first pregnant and how he would accidently do things that made her throw up. We laughed.

So far most of my favorite memories include my practically-perfect husband! We had crazy adventures trying to find food that would settle...
-like driving all over springville looking for inspiration and finally deciding that little caesar's might be good if I wiped the grease off. Well... let's just say 2 bites into my pizza, I smiled and said, "No thank you!" Then we drove to the ghetto grocery store by our house to find cabbage (we hadn't eaten any of that since we got married). It was small and overpriced... but it tasted great!

We had adventures trying to find a toothpaste or deoderant whose scents/flavors didn't make me throw up, adventures with unisom (meaning really incoherent Rachel in the middle of the night), adventures with vomit bowls, adventures with sleeping on every bed, air mattress, and couch in the house to find one that was the most comfortable for that day, adventures going to the hospital to have ultrasounds to see if everything was ok, adventures trying to find something that would fit me well in the inbetween stage that comes before maternity clothes, an adventure with an overflowing toilet... not a good combo with pregnancy...

Anyway, my favorite memories have been moments: like laying in bed while Skyler sticks his mouth up to my belly and sings bedtime songs to the baby or falling asleep while Skyler gently strokes my hair. Those are the moments that I think, "Everything is gonna be ok! Life is gonna be WAY different in 4 1/2 months... but everything is gonna be just fine." And I can't think of a better preparation for fatherhood than taking care of me right now! Thanks babe!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sick days and haircuts

So, I have been daydreaming about two things today. One is about how I think sick days should be improved and the second is about cutting my hair.
1. Sick days-I have decided, particularly today that sick days are less effective. It is true that they help you relax and give your body rest to fight off whatever is attacking it. I think that those are the definite advantages to sick days. If you didn't take them, you would just remain sick, or get worse. So, I am not refuting the validity of sick days, I just think they could be better. My problem with sick days is that you just really feel sick. So, you sit around the house, drink fluids, lay down, take naps, drink fluids, eat soup, eat bread, take medicine, drink fluids, go to the bathroom, take another nap, watch something because you are bored, talk to people on the phone, drink fluids, and then go to bed. By about 7pm on a sick day I look around and see everything that I could have gotten done, laundry, dishes, homework, etc... and think to myself, "why didn't I get that done today?" And the answer is obvious, I didn't feel good. So, I think that if we were able to have 1 hour of feeling perky for every 5 hours that we don't, sick days would be super fun! It would be amazing. Because on sick days no one has any expectation of you getting anything done. So, it would be this really cool pleasant surprise if your loved one came home and there were 3 loads of laundry done and folded, or whatever it is that you would like to have done. I don't think sick days should be exploited, I mean, they are meant to be relaxing in your home, but I think that diligent relaxing should be rewarded with a potential burst of energy every five hours. What do you think?
2. Cutting my hair- So, I have donated my hair for Locks of Love twice and I have been growing it out to do it again. My hair is officially long enough to donate, though maybe I should wait til it is longer... but that fact has made me start thinking about my new short future haircut.
Side note: Two of the girls I grew up with are pursuing their acting and singing careers in NY right now. Morgan James and Chelsea Costa... so you should look for them there.
I mentioned the side note because while I was looking at Chelsea's headshots... I decided that I like her haircut.
This is what her hair looks like now... so this is hwo my hair would start growing out. I think I like it because her hair is curly like mine... and it looks like it could be sort of low maintenance for my hair type...
So, my question is: Should I wait to cut my hair until spring? Should I cut it now? Do you think this would be a good cut for me?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stanley came to visit

Stanley is Rylee's friend who came to stay with us for a litlte bit to learn about Provo, UT. We had a responsibility to help him learn about Provo and see the sites.

We took him on two major excursions. One was to Wal-Mart in Springville, and the other was to the BYU campus. Now Rylee has to make a poster about his trip and a presentation.

We thought we would share some of our favorite photos of Stanley in Provo. (Yes he is the small flat man)