Saturday, June 28, 2008

Halfway there!

Well folks, I'm officially halfway through my pregnancy. Thursday was the big 20 week ultrasound, and other than our little wiggle worm being just that (not making for a very happy technician), the results were in our favor and it looks like we have a healthy (and good sized) baby!

The munchkin weighs 12 ounces, and is once again measuring large. I love how every appointment so far the baby has measured even further ahead of schedule than the time before (this time it was 5 days ahead of my original due date)! It was also determined that the kiddo has a large head, just like his big sister. At one point the technician asked us if Chloe had a big head at birth and we immediately knew where she was going. We're talking 88th percentile for head circumference! Can't say that gives me much hope for a vbac.

The technician was also able to determine the gender......

...and confirmed that the "parts" looked normal. Come on now, did you really think we were going to give in and find out?

Here are some ultrasound pictures

do you see the open mouth? Kinda creepy, huh?

2 perfect feet!

Chloe didn't show much interest until the ultrasound tech invited her to pound on the keyboard (when she was finished, of course). I think the goopy stuff on my stomach kind of freaked her out.

Here's baby on the outside

This was taken two weeks ago (18 weeks)

And here are some other pregnancy updates that some of you may have zero interest in:

Consistent cravings: fruit, hamburgers and pasta of any variation

Sporadic cravings: chili cheese fries, regular fries, caramel apples, pickles (cliche, I know)
A few weeks ago I was spotted in the kitchen eating pickles right out of a jar. When Neil walked in he chuckled and said, "want some ice cream to go along with those?"

Hi-ya!: I felt the baby move for the first time on May 8th (about 13 weeks). Since then a day hasn't passed where I haven't felt flutters or thumps of some kind. The baby kicks mostly inward (toward my back), which is strange to me because Chloe almost always kicked outward, making it very easy for Neil to feel with his hand. He still has yet to experience that this time around.

Puttin' on the pounds: So far I have gained 15 pounds. Neil keeps joking with me that before long I'm going to outweigh him. At the end of my pregnancy with Chloe I think I exceeded his weight by a pound of two, but at the rate I'm going I have a feeling I'll reach that point long before November!

Symptoms: I'm much more fatigued this time around, but then again I'm caring for a two-year-old 24/7. Some days I feel perfectly normal with endless energy and endurance. Other days I absolutely drag and have no motivation whatsoever! There's no pattern to it, which only makes it more frustrating. It also seems like a lot of my current aches and pains didn't come until my third trimester with Chloe. Sore back is primarily what I'm referring to. Not fun.

What I love most about being pregnant: Feeling the baby move, of course! I also love listening to Chloe talk to the baby and touch my belly. The other day she lifted up her shirt and said, "Feel my baby move!" Apparently Mommy isn't the only one who's expecting! Lastly, I love having a belly and can't wait for it to get bigger! Big pregnant bellies are beautiful to me!

So all in all things are going really well! I have a feeling these remaining 20 weeks are going to fly by a lot faster than the first 20 did!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Following in Daddy's footsteps

Last Sunday morning Chloe announced she was going potty. Not thinking much of it I congratulated her and continued on with whatever I was doing. Not a second later the same announcement was made, this time, with a request that I immediately come look! Not sure what to expect I proceeded to the bathroom to find that Chloe was indeed going potty - STANDING UP!

I think it's safe to say Chloe won't be watching Daddy do his bathroom business anymore!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Amazing births

My mom emailed me these pictures and descriptions and they were too incredible to not post! WOW is all I have to say!

Joey and Erin Maynard hold twins Abigail Rose, left, 12 pounds, 3 oz. and Sean William, 10 pounds, 14 oz., at the Forsyth Medical Center in Winston -Salem, N.C. They set a record for biggest twins born in the state.

Earthquake survivor Zhang Xiaoyan, right, was rescued on May 14 after being trapped for more than two days in a collapsed building in China. She gave birth on June 18 to daughter Ai, which means "love," who she named in honor of the rescue workers and strangers who showered her with gifts.

Xochitl Parra, 17, holding her newborn son Alejandro, delivered him alone at home in the shower on April 30. She then got dressed and "started walking and jogging to the hospital," four blocks away, with the baby still attached by its umbilical cord. Doctors said she and the boy were fine.

Mother Bhuri unexpectedly gave birth to this baby girl Feb. 26 in the bathroom of a train in India. Family members said Bhuri passed out and the baby fell through the toilet and onto the tracks. The child, born around nine weeks prematurely and weighing only 3.22 pounds, lay on the tracks for nearly two hours until they found her -- alive.

At age 51, Rosinete Palmeira Serrao, center, gave birth to her own twin grandchildren in Brazil in September 2007. She was a surrogate for her daughter, Claudia Michelle, left.

In August 2007, Victoria Lasita gave birth to her second set of triplets. The odds of that are just one in 64 million.

Tamera Dixon, shown healthy at 4 months old in August 2007, weighed only 11 ounces when she was born in Trenton, N.J.

Amillia Sonja Taylor lies next to a pen at the Miami hospital where she was born to Sonja Taylor in October 2006. She went on to survive after weighing just 10 ounces at birth.

At the age of 62, Janise Wulf had her 12th child in Redding, Calif., in February 2006. At the time, she also had 20 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Lori!

Happy Birthday to my amazing sister-in-law, Lori! I love this girl as if she were my own blood. She is hard-working, optimistic and selfless! I am privileged to call her my sister and hope she knows just how special she is to me!

We love you Lori Jean, and hope your day has been perfect! Happy 26th!

{picture taken October 2005}

Nesting or just plain insanity?

The cabinets that we ordered for the basement and laundry room finally came in last Friday. As we were standing in the laundry room visualizing how they'd look once installed, it suddenly occurred to me that I needed to paint! I know, who paints their laundry room? And as if we don't have enough silly house projects going on right now! But I was determined, and Neil chose not to argue (smart boy). I know it doesn't even look like I painted (the color is just a touch darker than it was), but it really did make a huge difference. These days I am all about clean and complete, and that was my end result!

Neil blames my sudden urges on nesting, claiming it started when I got the brilliant idea to paint the exterior of our house a few weeks ago. :) I will admit that feeling the need to paint the one room that is probably seen LEAST by anyone else is a bit much. Hey, at least I'm not alphabetizing the cans in my pantry (yet).

~ before and after ~

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A belated wish...

to two of the most important men in my life!

Salt Lake

There are few things I love more than Salt Lake City in the Spring. And since Neil had to travel to muggy New Orleans last week, I decided to tackle the nine hour drive with Chloe to go see my family. We left Saturday morning at 5am and arrived in Salt Lake at 2pm. We made incredible time all things considered, and Chloe was a DREAM on the road. She slept at least half the drive and only had to stop to go to the bathroom once (I'm still scratching my head over that one). When she wasn't sleeping she was perfectly content watching a movie, chattering away about getting to see Uncle David and Grandpa Roy and Grandma Jill and Grandma Martha (and so on), and eating the mounds of candy I kept rewarding her with for her good behavior. No wonder she was so cheerful!

The week flew by in a flash, and I was actually kind of bummed when Thursday rolled around and it was time to say goodbye. We made happy memories though. A hop, skip and a jump to Sugar House park with grandpa Roy, date night with David (my brother), hearing mom speak in Sacrament Meeting, dad and mom's weekly film fest. with their wonderful friends (and dad's grilled salmon), seeing my surrogate big sisters, Angela (who just happened to be visiting that same week from NY) and Allie, lunch with my mom's siblings, an afternoon with Wendy and Chase, grocery shopping with dad (may sound silly to you, but it's one of our favorite things to do together), lazy afternoons on my parent's gorgeous back patio (where Neil and I had our wedding reception 6 summers ago), visits with my 91-year-old grandmother, whom Chloe adores, shopping at Down East Outfitters with mom (one of my favorite stores, which is naturally NOT in Colorado Springs), introducing 7-11 slurpees to Chloe (she was a fan), and breaking in my mom's bread machine with some good old home made pizza were just a few highlights. And speaking of amazing food, let's not forget Cafe Rio and Hires - 2 of my favorite places to eat in Salt Lake. YUM! It was a fun and full week! Chloe is officially in love with her grandpa. He was definitely the highlight of her trip, though Grandma and Uncle David weren't far behind!

The only drawback to these Utah trips is not getting to see everyone. It's quite impossible considering 95% of my family and even a small chunk of Neil's family lives in the area. And with how little I see my parents and brother, they are naturally my first priority! So if I did not see you, I am sorry! We will be back right after Christmas and hope to see more of you at that point!

Here are some pictures from the trip. Thanks again for everything, Dad and Mom! It was just perfect!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"A good swift kick!"

Funny story I just had to share! Tonight as Neil and I were chatting (he's in New Orleans this week on business), I decided to let him say hi to the kid. Yes, cheesy, but hey, I'm kind of a cheesy girl! Anyway, I pressed the phone up against my belly and only a second after he started talking, felt the strongest kick that I have yet! It was sudden, sharp and somewhat startling! When I got back on the phone to tell Neil that whatever he'd said to the baby had apparently made an impression, he laughed and proceeded to share their "conversation" with me:
"Hi baby. It's your dad! Hey, give your mom a good swift kick for me, would ya?"

Already obeying daddy's commands... what an obedient child!

Friday, June 6, 2008

And while we're on the topic...

...of babies, I am proud to announce I am going to be an aunt! We got a call from Jeff this week, Neil's younger brother, informing us that he and Allison are expecting their first child. She is just a couple weeks behind me, due around November 25th. We are so thrilled and know she and Jeff will make wonderful parents! These cousins are sure to be pals for life! Congrats you two, and also to Dave and Susie on what will make make grand child #4!

November is apparently the month for babies in the Andersen family!!

{Pictured above: Jeff & Chloe - Christmas 2005; Allison & Chloe - Thanksgiving 2006}


Thursday, June 5, 2008

There's a baby in the house!

Here's Chloe's newest gal pal. Her name is Ellie and she's a dream! She'll be spending future Thursdays with us indefinitely, and we are thrilled! Chloe L-O-V-E-D having her around yesterday, and believe it not, Ellie was quite fond of Chloe too (despite the poking, pulling, attempts to pick her up, smothering kisses, disrupting her morning nap, etc)! I don't think I've met a more layed back baby. Definitely makes my life easier!

The favorite activity of the day (for both girls) had to be swinging time. Not sure how safe it was, but let me assure you I was close by the entire time! I had Ellie in the swing right next to me while I painted our front door. Chloe was of course sitting right in front of her (didn't leave the poor girl alone all day), and started manually pushing the swing back and forth and giggling up a storm! Within seconds I realized Chloe wasn't the only one giggling. Those two were just cracking each other up, and it was absolutely hysterical! They were complete entertainment to one another. Unfortunately I didn't capture the really good laughs that were exchanged, but here's a tidbit of the excitement.

Thanks for coming to play, little Ellie girl. Can't wait to see you next time!


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Random updates

Gosh, lots of updates to share! Here goes...

Just another reason I love Craigslist!

Check out this Craigslist find! 356 diapers (297 newborns and 59 size 1's) for $40! That averages just under $0.9 a diaper, which is especially awesome considering the majority are Pampers Swaddlers (my favorite, and one of the more expensive brands). Definitely a good start to the many of these we'll go through!

Family visits and house projects
Neil's sister, Lori came down from Greeley Friday afternoon and spent the weekend with us. We warned her beforehand that she might regret the visit since we'd likely put her right to work, but she didn't seem to mind one bit! And man, she was a tremendous help to us!

Saturday was pretty much spent outside. Lori and I made some progress on the trim (she painted along the roof while I worked on the lower areas of the house). And Neil spent the day shoveling out the remaining rock that was laying around the backyard, roto tilling and leveling everything out in preparation for sprinklers and sod.

Here's the yard, ready for action!

And let's not forget Daddy's little helper!

Ta da! Okay, so it doesn't look very pretty (yet), but it's a big improvement! I cannot tell you how excited I am to look out my window and see grass for a change! Just one more week!

Lori workin' hard on the trim

We're getting there...

Recipe(s) of the week
Food always seems to taste better when A) you're camping, or B) you've been outside workin' hard. That definitely proved to be true yesterday when we enjoyed some yummy grilled chicken that had been marinading all afternoon. It was so good, in fact, that I am going to share the recipe.

~Chicken Garlic Lime Marinade~
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
6 T. soy sauce
6 T. Worcestershire sauce
juice from 2 fresh limes
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Combine ingredients in ziploc bag and marinade up to 6 hours, but no longer as the citrus will start to toughen the chicken. Rotate the bag often to ensure even coating. I quartered the limes, squeezed the juice into the bag and threw the rest of the limes in too (I figured it might help intensify the lime flavor). I grilled 2 large chicken breasts and 4 drumsticks and it tasted incredible! This chicken would also be great the next day over green salad and Creamy Cilantro dressing. In fact that just may be on my lunch menu for tomorrow!

And while we're on the subject of recipes, Camille and Nells both asked for the "chicken and noodles" recipe (based on the picture from my last post). I had to laugh because I wasn't expecting those requests, but simply stating my latest pregnancy craving (and how grateful I am that my husband isn't a picky eater). I don't really have a recipe, but here's basically what I do:

~Chicken and Noodles~
I saute about 1/4 c. chopped onion over medium heat for a few minutes. I then add 1-2 chicken breasts (chopped into chunks), along with some garlic salt, cayenne pepper and basil (all to taste). At that point I add a little more butter (if needed), then let everything saute, stirring frequently, until the chicken is browned and the onions look practically burned - it's partly what gives the dish such good flavor. I then add some heavy whipping cream. I never measure, but I'm guessing I add about 1/2 c. At that point I turn the heat to low, cover and simmer a few minutes longer. A lot of the cream is absorbed into the chicken (which just makes it more moist), but what does not absorb only thickens to make a great sauce! I sometimes add red bell peppers in addition to the onion, but only when I have them on hand. Then I just pour it over some cooked noodles (egg noodles or fusilli noodles are my top choices). I really have to give my mom credit for this because she made it up! She cooked it for us several months ago when she was out here, and I've made it several times since (most frequently within the last few weeks). Somehow her version still tastes better to me than my own, but I suppose it's that magic touch that only moms and grandmas have!

New Calling
I received a new church calling today! I've been on the Enrichment board for almost a year, and was released today and extended a new calling as Activity Days leader. I'll be working with the 8-11 year-old girls in the ward. Don't really know much about the program, but I believe it's in preparation for Young Women's and the responsibilities that come with that transition. It should be fun. I've worked very little in the Primary program, and while this isn't really a typical Primary calling, I think it will be a refreshing change!

Chloe's say
So like many expectant parents with a toddler, we've been asking Chloe the common questions: "Are you going to have a little sister or a little brother?" and "Is Mommy going to have a baby girl or a baby boy?" At first Chloe would go back and forth with her answers, or even change her mind two seconds after she'd told us. But for the past week she has consistently informed us that she is going to have a "little stister!" She is absolutely determined, and actually corrects us when we even suggest that it might be a brother. Kind of makes me wonder... What do you guys think? What has your experience been with this type of thing (for those of you who have more than one)? Are the kids usually right? I tell ya, I would sure be thrilled with another girl! Wouldn't have to buy her any clothes, seeing how she'll practically share a birthday with her big "stister". Time will tell, time will tell. We are pretty positive we have names picked out, but until we are positively positive, I think I'll wait to share. Hehe. :)

Happy June, everyone! Yay for summer!