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Thursday, November 27, 2008

To Grandpa and Grandma

Many hugs and much love from your 'lil turkeys in Colorado!

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Mostly just pictures

Wow, two kids is time consuming! I really didn't expect this transition to take so much getting used to. "Sleep when your baby sleeps" no longer applies to me. Not when there's a three year old in the mix! Oh well. I am slowly figuring things out. Some of Neil's family is in town for Thanksgiving, and I am lovin' the break. My mom will also be here next Wednesday, and I can't wait! I have never wanted my mama so much!

Here are some recent pictures, in no particular order.

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Ryan's first bath. He wasn't much of a fan.

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Chloe still loves her brother. Sometimes I think she loves him too much. :)

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Can you tell I'm in love?

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Stephanie and me with our sweet little boys (what do you think of Ryan's expression?). If you remember, Stephanie and I were due the same day (see our pregnant bellies
here). Her little Gregory, who weighed over 9 pounds!!!, was born November 12th, just three days after Ryan. Oh, how I loved calling her from the hospital to announce I'd beat her! :)

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Not big fans of the camera!

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This is the life!

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Cuddlin' with big sister

We are hanging around here for Thanksgiving. Neil's brother, Brad, his girlfriend, Courtney, Neil's sister, Lori, and cousin, Brady are all here to celebrate with us. Some of our friends are also joining us tomorrow and I am very much looking forward to a day of eating well! Hope everyone else has a relaxing and enjoyable holiday! Love to you all!
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy (belated) Birthday, Chloe!

Chloe celebrated her 3rd birthday on Monday! With all the recent happenings in our family, I wasn't exactly feeling up to a huge bash. Still, I think we managed to make it special for the birthday girl. To start off the day, we ate oatmeal with sprinkles, then headed to Chloe's 3-year check up. She's a petite little thing, we determined, in the 10th percentile for weight (26 pounds) and 25th for height (36 inches). Her personality certainly makes up for her size though! She didn't keep quiet the entire time we were at the doctor. Whether she was telling someone it was her birthday and that she was 3 but used to be 2 1/2, or pointing out her new baby brother, we exchanged lots of smiles with lots of strangers.

With sucker in hand (for her good behavior), we continued the day with a trip to Li'l Biggs, where Chloe and two friends of her choice enjoyed pizza, arcade games and inflatables. After that, we headed over to Target to let her pick out birthday presents. On our way home we grabbed a little birthday cake just Chloe's size, and spent the evening watching her dance around in her new princess dress, and opening presents from extended family. I'm normally much more of a planner, especially when it comes to celebrating birthdays. This year though, we kept it simple and spontaneous, and it really was perfect.

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Get 'em! Get 'em!

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Oh, to be a kid again!

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Chloe was OBSESSED with the merry go round and would hardly do anything else!

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Cashing in for prizes

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With pal, Matthew

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Here we all are!

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Cereal before dinner? Only on her birthday!

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Can you tell this girl loves princesses?

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Cheesy grin

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Presents!

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And more presents!

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Contemplating her birthday wish...

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This was delivered to Chloe yesterday. Thanks, Uncle Jim and Aunt Karen!

I can't believe my daughter is already 3! It's so cliche, but truly, where does the time go? Sure do love this girl. Happy Birthday, Chloe!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photo tag

Ali tagged me. Here are the rules:

1. Go to your pictures folder
2. Post and explain the 4th picture from the 4th folder
3. Tag 4 people

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Here is Chloe at 14 months. I remember this day well. We were exploring at the park. What a cutie. And to think this little girl celebrated her 3rd birthday on Monday!! Still need to do a post on that.

I tag
Natalie, Dayna, Camille W. and Amy P.

(In reference to my last post, let me just say today did get better! Thanks for all the encouraging comments. While I didn't convey it very well in the post, I really was laughing to myself as I wrote it.)
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Mother of the year

It is 9:07am. Already today, Ryan has peed through one outfit, blanket and our sheets, which, by the way, I just cleaned two days ago. Then only moments after putting him into a clean outfit, he threw up all over that. I'm not talking about a tiny dribble of spit up either. This was his entire breakfast! Needless to say, he's in his third outfit of the day, and I'm in my second!

Then there's Chloe, who has asked for a birthday cupcake about thirty two times now, talked back/yelled at mom, and been to time out twice. She also won't leave her brother alone, and I feel like at any second I'm going to throw her in the backyard and leave her there until noon!

To top it all off, today is Neil's first day back at work. He just called from the other side of town to ask if I remembered to put his sun glasses back in his car after I drove it yesterday. Naturally I did not - they are sitting right next to me. And of all the days for him to not have his sun glasses! The poor guy has to drive to La Junta! He's going to have wrinkles around his eyes by the time he gets home tonight.

My house is also trashed. I would take pictures, but I'm too embarrassed. Just take my word for it.

Mother of the year, here I come!
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The story of Ryan's arrival

Saturday, 08 November 2008
From the start my day did not go as planned. My original agenda: clean/pick up my house, grocery shop, attend a baby shower, and prepare dinner for company later that evening. What actually happened? Chloe threw up and I got a migraine. I did manage to get the house picked up, but I didn't make it grocery shopping or to the baby shower. And worse, I ended up in bed the last half of the afternoon because I felt so crummy. Around 4:00, Neil's sister, Lori and friend, Amy drove in from Greeley to stay the night with us. We, along with friends,
Dan and Stef, had purchased tickets to attend Warren Miller's annual ski and snowboarding film that same evening. Not only are his films incredibly entertaining, but with each ticket purchased, a free lift ticket is automatically generated. Dan and Stef headed over around 4:30, we ate, and were all out the door by 5:30.

6:00pm
The minute we took our seats the contractions began. They were coming fast and furious, two minutes apart. While I immediately recognized that they were regular, I didn't think anything of it. I'd already experienced two bouts of regular contractions a week prior, so I wasn't about to get my hopes up over these! They were more intense than any I'd had before, but I still didn't think much of it and simply tried to relax and enjoy the show.

6:50pm
The first half ended and intermission was announced. We decided to head downstairs to enter some contests and pass the time before the second half started. That's when it happened. I stood up and GUSH! At first I thought my water had broken. It wasn't a ton of fluid, but enough that I was grateful to have worn dark jeans! I told Neil I'd felt something, but as we started to walk I didn't feel anything more coming out. Still, I thought a trip to the bathroom might be smart. When I entered the stall and took a look all I saw was blood - and A LOT of it! I didn't even stop to go to the bathroom. I just marched right back out and straight to Neil, who was standing around with everyone. He could immediately tell by the look on my face that we needed to leave - RIGHT THEN! Luckily we'd driven two cars, so Lori, Amy, Dan and Stef were all able to stay through the second half.

7:07pm
As we were pulling out of the parking lot I paged Dr. Baer. While we weren't sure whether we should head home or straight to the hospital, we figured it wouldn't hurt to stop and grab the hospital bag. By this point my contractions were intensifying and I was having to really breathe through some of them. We got home long enough for me to change pants and grab my bag. Dr. Baer also called just as we were getting ready to take off, and confirmed that we should head to the hospital to see what the bleeding was about and get the baby monitored. Our friend, Cindy, had taken Chloe for the evening and was, at the time, out and about running some errands. When I called to tell her what was going on, she immediately headed back to our house so I could kiss Chloe goodbye. Here's the last picture taken of us as a family of three! This was just moments before we headed to the hospital.

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8:16pm

Arrived at Memorial Hospital and headed straight to triage. The nurse checked me and said I was about half a centimeter dilated. She then did what basically seemed like a routine pap to try and determine the source of the bleeding. After getting me hooked up to the monitors, she commented that my contractions were coming fast and hard (as if I didn't know). The baby looked great and showed no signs of distress, but the bleeding was still a concern to all of us. She called Dr. Baer to give him the scoop, and a few minutes later I was admitted. It was still unknown whether or not I was there to stay, but the nurse told me as long as I was bleeding and having regular contractions, I was probably not going anywhere!

12:20am (now Sunday, 09 November 2008)
Dr. Baer dropped in to see how I was doing. He checked me and determined I was at a 1. Still not showing much progress though, considering how strong my contractions were. When he told me I could get my epidural at any time, I said, "Well I'm not getting an epidural until I know I'm here to stay!" And his response was, "Oh, you're not going anywhere until you have this baby!" I was thrilled! Dr. Baer, being aware of my desire to attempt a VBAC told me he was willing to let me labor through the night, assuming the baby continued to look good and my bleeding didn't worsen. By morning we'd evaluate where things were and decide from there what to do.

2:30am
Epidural!

8:30am
Still dilated 1 cm. Frustrated! Dr. Baer broke my water to see if that might get things going. By this point I'd come to the conclusion that if in nearly 14 hours of labor I'd only dilated to 1 cm., chances were, it'd be SEVERAL more hours before I was ready to push! My bleeding hadn't worsened, but it also hadn't slowed down. I'd reached my goal of going into labor on my own, and while I'd hoped for a successful VBAC, I was content with the idea of having another c-section. I was ready to have my baby in my arms, and didn't see the point in waiting it out, especially since we still didn't have an explanation for the bleeding. Dr. Baer and I came to the agreement that if nothing happened within the next hour, we'd do a c-section.

9:30am
As I expected, nothing had changed by the time Dr. Baer made it in to check me again. Neil's sister, who was now with us at the hospital, was given permission to be in the operating room during the surgery, and she and Neil got all geared up in their blue scrubs while the anesthesiologist prepped me. It took no time at all before they were wheeling me into the OR. I couldn't believe it was finally time to meet this little baby I'd been carrying inside me for the last nine months.

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This was the last picture taken before my c-section.

9:50am

Just as they were transferring me to the operating table, I threw up all over the anesthesiologist. Oh, it was horrible! Projectile and everywhere - even in his face! How I managed that, I'm not sure. He gave me a pretty hard time about it over the next few minutes, and while I felt absolutely humiliated, I was also relieved to be feeling so much better for those moments leading up to baby's birth. Neil and Lori watched on as I starred up at the ceiling, waiting to hear my baby's first cry.


9:56am
Just what I'd been waiting for - a good, loud, healthy and vivacious cry! This baby was clearly NOT happy to have been pulled from the warmth and comfort of mommy's womb! It was absolutely precious.

... ... ...

Neil: "Mommy, you have a son!"

... ... ...

Tears and more tears of pure joy!

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Neil brought him over and laid him next to my face. I rested my cheek against his and talked to him for a minute, gave him a kiss, and smiled for a couple pictures before they whisked him away. I was surprisingly alert and energized during the entire c-section. During Chloe's birth, I could hardly keep my eyes open and was shaking uncontrollably (just one fun side effect of the drugs). Neither of those things happened this time around, and it made the experience so much easier to enjoy. Dr. Baer also determined rather quickly following Ryan's birth that my placenta had started to separate from the uterine wall. That would explain the bleeding. Luckily no other issues. I was put back together and taken to recovery.

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Sometime around 11:00am
Held and nursed Ryan for the first time. Absolute bliss. Nothing better.

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Aunt Lori chose the right weekend to drive down for a visit, didn't she?

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Dr. Baer with Ryan

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First time together as family of four

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Ryan has brought such a sweet spirit into our home. He is much more cuddly than Chloe was, and loves to lay on my chest. He is nursing well, and quite frequently, which I hope eventually slows down. If he could have his way, he'd eat every forty five minutes! He's gradually becoming a better sleeper, and doesn't seem to have his days and nights mixed up like he did when we left the hospital. He has a bit of a temper like his mama, and makes it very clear when he's not happy. His lungs work well - something that was determined the second he left my womb.

I do love this little man.

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Chloe is adjusting well to not being the center of the universe anymore. She's had her moments, but overall I've been very impressed with her behavior. She is constantly asking to hold Ryan and wanting to help out as much as possible. She's also asking lots of questions. The other night while I was changing Ryan's diaper, Chloe said, "What's that?" (pointing to his you know what) "...I don't have one of those!" She also asked if there was another baby in my belly (apparently I'm still looking pregnant). :) She's been carrying around her doll, attempting to nurse, soothe and rock her. She's quite observant, I'm learning. I love her innocent curiousity. She is so sweet and concerned about her new baby brother, and I can already tell they are going to grow to be best pals.

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Neil, honey, we did good!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bliss

"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.

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We have a baby!

Our family has grown by two feet!
Introducing...our sweet baby
BOY!!!!!


Ryan Grant Andersen
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He arrived safe and sound (and unexpectedly) on

Sunday, November 9, 2008
9:56 am
7 pounds, 11 ounces
21 inches

Mother and son are both doing well.
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So are father and son.
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(They've already discussed basement plans and football stats)

And big sister is absolutely LOVING her baby brother!
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Lots more pictures and Ryan's birth story are to come. I'm too tired to do much more than this right now. Thank you everyone for your thoughts, prayers, visits and help with Chloe. You don't know what it's meant to us!

Welcome to the family, little man!
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We love you so much already!

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Feelin' bummed

So last Thursday night I started having contractions at 9pm. They were pretty intense right from the start and coming two minutes apart. By 9:45 I had a pen and paper and was jotting down their frequency to confirm they really were coming every two minutes - sure enough, right on the dot! After 3 full glasses of water, an episode of 'Criminal Minds', and a hot shower, they finally slowed down (right at 11). They continued throughout the night here and there, but by 5am were getting stronger again. At 6:30 when I couldn't lay in bed any longer due to the discomfort, I started to think this might really be it! And so, in a panic, I started cleaning my house, folding laundry, and trying to get as organized as possible. I certainly hadn't planned to spend Halloween in the hospital, but it was looking as though that might be a possibility! By 8:00 I'd accomplished a TON, but then the contractions just stopped almost all together. So weird.

Well, I figured even if all those contractions didn't put me into labor, they at least had to have done SOMETHING! But alas, my doctor's appointment yesterday indicated no progress whatsoever. In fact, Dr. Baer said he could hardly even find my cervix! I was on the verge of tears driving out of his parking lot. If those contractions didn't do anything, what will? I am pretty much convinced this baby will be a November 19th c-section (we changed our "deadline" date from the 21st). I'll keep my fingers crossed, but I'm certainly not getting my hopes up about going into labor on my own. Not now.

I am also a little stressed by this new job. I think all of us (myself, Neil and the doctor) were expecting it to be much more low-key than it's actually turned out to be. It's so frustrating that someone could just walk out on a job, leaving a huge mess behind. I can't imagine lacking such a conscience! Since Friday I have put in 25 hours! Luckily all patients still active in these studies are being seen this week, which means none will be coming back for another 4-6 weeks. While there's still lots I'm trying to learn and clean up, I am hoping to tie up enough loose ends by Friday afternoon so that next week I can just relax at home and enjoy my remaining days of being mother-of-one with Chloe. The poor girl has been thrown around so much this week, and I just feel like the worst mother in the world! I'm so involved though, I just wouldn't feel right backing out on this poor doctor. Neil has been very patient and encouraging, and I honestly think he's the reason I'm still going. I've certainly learned a lot from this experience. Not only do I appreciate my role as a mom and my ability to stay home full-time more than I think I ever have, but my heart just absolutely goes out to all you working moms who don't have the choice! I really don't know how you do it, but I respect you on a whole new level.

Aside from some of the stress and disappointments this last week has brought, I'm feeling okay. My feet and ankles are swollen, my back is hurting (mostly just in the morning), and in general I'm feeling more and more like a waddling machine. Still, I've managed to keep my endurance and have yet to feel as miserable as I did at this stage of my pregnancy with Chloe. We'll see what another week does. :)

14 days or less!
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Monday, November 3, 2008

It never slows down around here

Keepin' busy, as usual! Here are some of the fun things I've been up to:

Completing these cute stitcheries.


Preparing 2 weeks worth of freezer meals.
freezer meals

Hosting a baby shower (with the help of many).
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Re-painting my kitchen (was yellow, is now beige).
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Chloe's bedskirt, for which I give all credit to
Dayna! It was originally a two man job, but in the end, she really did it all. Somehow I still feel a huge sense of accomplishment every time I see it.
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Digging out the carseat and packing the hospital bag.
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Taking on a part-time job. Hey, you don't have to convince me that I'm crazy. I wasn't out searching for a job or anything, it just sort of stumbled into my lap. A doctor Neil calls on who does clinical trials on the side unexpectedly lost her coordinator last week and needed immediate assistance in finishing 3 Diabetes studies. There are just a handful of active patients left, and all are in maintenence, which means they are only coming in every 4-6 weeks for routine visits. There's been a lot of work upfront in learning the various protocols and how this doctor functions, but by the end of the week I think I'll have a good handle on things. For months I've actually wanted something very part-time (mostly for my sanity), but never did I imagine an opportunity (especially something right up my alley) would present itself 2 weeks before delivering a baby! The doctor is very aware and supportive of my situation, and has already told me to bring Chloe and/or baby in with me anytime. We tested it out today with Chloe, and while I don't plan to make a habit of it, I'll have to say she did pretty well (both at being good and stealing the hearts of many). The studies I'm helping with should finish up by February, and after this week I'll only be going in a few times a month. So in the grand scheme of things, it really won't conflict much with my normal routine.

Feelin' proud of my hubby. Saturday Neil and his friend, Dave finished the electrical in the basement. Huge accomplishment! Once we pass this last inspection, it's drywall time!
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And last but not least, getting that much closer to having a baby. Hopefully I'll have something to report after tomorrow's doctor's appointment! Stay tuned.
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