The Past 17 Weeks

I figured I should publicly record what has been going on with this pregnancy thus far so here we go...

We found out that I was pregnant when I about four weeks along.
We told my family on Christmas day (so I was eight weeks along). I actually wrapped up the pregnancy test for my mom. The first thing she said was, "It's a fruit leather!" Then when she realized what it was, she said, "Has this been used?" Her Christmas Wish List had "A Grandbaby" on it. Merry Christmas, Grandma! This is the video. Sorry I was shaking so much. I was really excited!

The only symptom I have had is that I am exhausted! I take a nap almost every day. Luckily, I haven't thrown up and I don't feel nauseous at all. I am getting excited to feel the little fetus kick and now that he/she is five inches long, I feel like this will be happening any day! Oh yeah, oh yeah! I have not missed class a single time! So Jessica (lame girl who ditched out on our final presentation), boo-ya! Even though I am always extremely tired, I drag my pregnant booty out of bed and get to an 8am class. I am so tired, my kitchen frequently looks like this:
My first doctor's appointment was really scary. I waited a long time to set up an appointment with the doctor and so my first appointment was around thirteen weeks. Sam came because we were going to hear the heartbeat through the Doppler! Unfortunately, they couldn't find the heartbeat. After a few minutes, I started crying and was worried that either I had never been pregnant or I had miscarried. Sam held my hand while the doctor called the nurse in and told her that we needed to do an ultrasound. As soon as the ultrasound was started, we could see the baby and the heart beating. It was very healthy and fast. He/she was the right length and had a heart rate of about 167 BPM. Fast little baby! The reason they couldn't hear the heartbeat from the front was because I have a tilted uterus. However, we have passed all the risk related to that and now there is very little chance that I will miscarry.

I still work out a lot. And I think that working out has really helped me feel better. Sam can attest, I never stop eating. However, for the last four months, I have been having an aversion to chicken. I have only eaten chicken once in the past four months and we were having dinner at someone's house. This has been hard, because I love Del Taco's chicken soft tacos. I always craved them before I was pregnant, but since I have been pregnant, they did not seem appetizing at all. I know Del Taco is ghetto, but I can't resist! Anyway, this has all changed! I drove past Del Taco a few days ago and realized that the thought of chicken soft tacos didn't make me want to dry heave. So today I went! And I loved it! I am so happy!

My weight gain has been... strange. I lost eleven pounds in my first trimester. Even with my constant eating! I have since gained about five pounds back. I can still fit into all of my pants quite well (it helps that I mostly own baggy pants due to my nonexistent butt). I haven't had to leave any pants unbuttoned.

This is me at six weeks:

And again at eleven weeks:

And again at sixteen weeks:

I really feel like we will be having a boy. And Sam really wants a boy! But, of course, we would be thrilled for a girl as well. Either way, I already have some outfit ideas.

I forgot to mention, MY SISTER IS PREGNANT! Michelle is due on September 13th and we are so excited to have our first kids so close together. Unfortunately, Michelle has been miserable. She works full time and has been having a hard time getting to work because of the morning sickness. But she's a champion and can totally make it!

Tuesday Thyme: Tuna Melt Sandwiches

Tuna Melt Sandwiches
serves 6

1 (6 oz.) can tuna, drained
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 hard boiled egg, diced
2 oz. cheddar cheese, in 1/4" cubes
1/4 c. sweet pickle relish
12 slices of bread

1. Hard boil the egg.
2. Combine filling ingredients. Mix well.
3. Spread the filling equally on 6 slices of bread. Top with remaining bread.
4. Spread a small amount of butter on the outside of the bread.
5. Cook in a sandwich maker or an electric skillet, turning, until both sides are golden brown and cheese is melted.

*This is really simple. You can use fancy kinds of bread, different kinds of cheese, add onions, whatever you want. Enjoy!*


Baby M.A.S.H.

A few Sundays ago Sam and I played Baby M.A.S.H. during Sunday School. I put the other things that were on the list so it will hopefully make more sense. But the one in bold is what won. Anyway, here's what we got. We will see how accurate it was in a few months!

M.A.S.H. - we will be living in a shack. Awesome.

Gender - girl
(other option: boy)

Delivery - epidural
(other options: C-section, natural)

Hair - blond
(other options: brown, red, black, none)

Eyes - blue
(other options: green, brown, hazel)

Due date - on time
(other options: early, late)

Birth State - Ohio
(other options: Illinois, California, Utah)

Size - big
(other options: little, normal)


Tuesday Thyme: Manicotti

This recipe is from cooks.com and it is really good!

Manicotti with Cheese Filling
serves 6

8 oz. manicotti shells, uncooked
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
15 oz. ricotta cheese, drained (can substitute cottage cheese)
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 T. chopped parsley
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
32 oz. spaghetti sauce

1. Cook manicotti according to package directions; drain. Cool in a single layer on wax paper or aluminum foil to prevent manicotti from sticking together.
2. Combine cheeses, parsley, salt, and pepper for filling; spoon into manicotti. Very carefully!
3. Put a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on bottom of a glass 9" x 13" baking pan. Arrange manicotti in single layer over sauce.
4. Cover with remaining sauce.
5. Cover with aluminum foil.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes.
7. Remove foil; bake 15 minutes longer.


A little person.

Here is the promised picture. This was around 13.5 weeks. The other pictures look a lot like this so I will only post one for now. Kind of hard to see but he/she was only three inches long so it makes sense. Yay for the baby!


This new cool company thing.

For my organizational psychology class we have to make up our own business and design a website for it. My group's company sells doormats (not really, we just pretend for the project). The name of the company is Door Matters. You should go see our website here. You don't really need to actually. It's boring. But this is my picture to promote door mats and it is NOT boring! Yay!

Contest Results

Everyone's guesses made me laugh, but here are the results!

1. What grade did I first go to public school?
My family lived in Highland, Utah for a few months and I went to one semester of 4th grade at Legacy Elementary. I started going to school full time in 9th grade though. Good job, Mom! You were the only one who got this right.

2. How many siblings do I have?

3. What number child am I in my family?
I am number 4!

4. What instrument do I play?

Before my first college concert with my awesome stand partner. She was hilarious. We were supposed to be wearing all black but we boycotted.

5. What extracurricular activities did I do in high school?
People kept reminding me of them with their answers. Softball, swimming, ASL club, Christian club, volunteering at the library, and NHS. That's all I can think of right now.

6. What was my dream car when I was 16 (color, make, and model)?
My dream car was a pink Volkswagen Beetle. My dad is the only one who got this right. I got a silver Volkswagen Beetle instead. Apparently Volkswagen doesn't make them in hot pink. But my dad almost painted it for me once!
This is a Barbie car. I am so glad that I do not drive a hot pink Beetle now. It doesn't really fit my style anymore.

7. What were our wedding colors?
Green and gold.
My mom made a ton of ties and skirts for everyone.

8. What is my major?
Psychology. And I will be graduating in April!

9. What is my favorite brand of jeans?
Lucky. My most favorite jeans just tore in the crotch and I had to throw them away. I was so sad. But I bought them my sophomore year in high school so their time had come. Luckily I have backups.

10. Where do I want to travel to the most?

Hong Kong. I am giving you the point if you guessed China even though Hong Kong is a "special administrative region" of China. I just learned that!

11. What are my favorite kind of cookies?
Chocolate chip. Yum.

12. What is my biggest pet peeve?
Incessant noises. Pencil tapping, foot tapping, people tapping my desk with their feet, songs that repeat the same lyrics over and over, etc.

13. What is my middle name?

I didn't have a middle name until I got married. Now my middle name is Neil!

14. What is Sam's middle name?
He got his middle name after his dad's name.

15. What is my favorite song?
Dream Big by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband. It is on the playlist on our blog.

16. Who gave us the name samily family? (Just guess what his calling was in our singles ward because I have never mentioned his name.)
He was the executive secretary. Nice guess, Shannon.

17. What is my favorite book?
I totally forgot about The Book of Mormon but you only get half a point if you guessed that. My favorite book is The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.

18. Where did Sam and I go for our first date?
Beauty and the Beast at the Center Street Theater.

19. What color is our comforter on our bed?
Brown and blue.

20. What is my favorite cereal?

Kix. Sam doesn't really like Kix so I get them all to myself!
I am pointing to "Mother Approved!" My kids are definitely going to eat Kix. If there are any leftover for them, that is.

Here are the standings:
1. Mom. Of course. (11 points)
2. David (9.5 points)
3. Dad (9 points)
4. Camille (8.5 point)
5. Lauren (8 points)
6. Kayla (7.5 points)
7. Geneva (7 points)
8. Andrea (5 points)
9. Shannon (5 points)
10. Holly (1 point. She was my older sisters' friend so this makes sense. We just became friends through blogging!)

Because my family members were the top three and that would be lame to give them the prizes and no one else, I decided to also give a prize to the person who gave the most creative answers. That winner is Holly! I was partly biased because I really want to give her this prize.

HOLLY! I am going to take you out to lunch! If you want. You know, it's up to you. We can figure something else out if you want, but I really want to meet you! Yay!

Thanks for reading this far. This post took forever. Goodnight.


Tuesday Thyme: Broccoli-Raisin Salad

This is delicious. Just trust me.

Broccoli-Raisin Salad
serves 6

1/2 large head broccoli, washed and trimmed
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/4 pound bacon, fried crisp and crumbled (optional)

1/4 c. + 2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. vinegar
1/4 c. sugar

1. Cut broccoli into small florets, peel the stem and cut into 1/2" pieces.
2. Combine broccoli, onions, raisins, nuts, and bacon.
3. In a small separate bowl, make dressing of mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar.
4. Pour dressing over salad.
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
6. Toss before serving.

This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for hours or even overnight.


A good reason to gain weight!

We have some big news!

A BABY Merkley is on the way!

I am fourteen weeks along and due on August 6th.

This is the video from when we first found out (Thanksgiving weekend). We are so excited! Sam is really confused because he didn't realize I was recording. He thought I was just taking a picture. But he really is excited!

It has been pretty hard to keep this a secret but the word is starting to spread so we figured it was time to tell the online world. Happy day!

Of course I will post more information and baby pictures once I scan them. He/she is so cute and little (about three inches long)!


Tuesday Thyme: Trifle

I only have eight entries for my 100th Post contest! Which is pathetic. Just guess already!

Raspberry Trifle
1/2 yellow box cake, prepared according to directions and cooled
1 large box (6 oz.) raspberry jello, prepared according to package directions
6 c. frozen raspberries
2 bananas, sliced
vanilla pudding (recipe below)
1 c. whipping cream + 2 Tbsp. sugar

Vanilla Pudding
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
2 1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
2. Add the milk and cook on medium-low heat until thick. (be patient!)
3. When mixture is thickened, add part of mixture to egg yolks; mix well. (It is important to temper the eggs so you don't end up with scrambled eggs.)
4. Pour egg mixture back into mixture in saucepan.
5. Cook until thick; take off stove, add butter and vanilla.

Assembling Trifle
1. Crumble 1/2 of the cake into large glass serving bowl.
2. Over the cake, ladle 1/2 of defrosted fruit, one sliced banana, 1/2 of the still warm pudding, and 1/2 of the jello. Repeat layers once more, ending with jello.
3. Set in the refrigerator to cool.
4. Top with sweetened whipped cream before serving.

This could be much easier too! Instead of using a box of yellow cake, buy premade angel food cake. You can also buy pudding if you are really short on time!


100th Post!

Okay, this is the first time I have ever done a contest but I thought it would be fun for my 100th post! So here are the rules:

At least ten people must enter for this to even happen. I don't want one person to enter and therefore win by default. Whoever gets the most answers right about me will win! I realize family has an unfair advantage in this so I will try to be very sneaky with my questions.

I will reveal the winner and the answers in a later post!

Write your answers as a comment!
Good luck! Just guess if you don't know!

1. What grade did I first go to public school?
2. How many siblings do I have?
3. What number child am I in my family?
4. What instrument do I play?
5. What extracurricular activities did I do in high school?
6. What was my dream car when I was 16 (color, make, and model)?
7. What were our wedding colors?
8. What is my major?
9. What is my favorite brand of jeans?
10. Where do I want to travel to the most?
11. What are my favorite kind of cookies?
12. What is my biggest pet peeve?
13. What is my middle name?
14. What is Sam's middle name?
15. What is my favorite song? (1/2 point for the correct genre.)
16. Who gave us the name samily family? (Just guess what his calling was in our singles ward because I have never mentioned his name.)
17. What is my favorite book?
18. Where did Sam and I go for our first date?
19. What color is our comforter on our bed?
20. What is my favorite cereal?

Now for the PRIZES!
First, I will think you are awesome because you remember lots of pointless things!
Second, you will have a feeling of accomplishment for winning.
And last but not least, you will get a $20 gift card to Bath & Body Works! (It's not much, but I'm trying.)

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