Saturday, January 31, 2009

Hospital pictures

Here are some pictures of Ryan. He hasn't gotten much better but he also hasn't gotten worse. We will stay here again tonight, and hope tomorrow brings enough improvement that we can take our little guy home. He's slept really well today, and is in amazing spirits considering all the poking and prodding he's endured. Thanks for your continued prayers. We'll take as many as we can get!

He looks so chubby! Must be all those IV fluids they're pumping through him!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Prayers please

Hey all. I'm writing this post from Penrose-St. Francis hospital. Ryan was admitted this morning for RSV. I knew something was wrong when he hadn't eaten decently in nearly 24 hours and woke up looking gray. His oxygen levels were 81 as of 10:30 this morning, and have gradually increased to about 85. He has been such a trooper, and we are hoping to bring him home very soon.

Please keep our little guy in your prayers. We appreciate all the love and support several of you have already extended. More later, including pictures. He looks pathetically adorable tangled in all the wires, IVs and probes. Oh, I love him so much it hurts...

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I'm constantly feeling as though I couldn't possibly love this boy any more than I already do.
Then, magically, it happens!

Here he is at a healthy 2 1/2 months and 12 pounds!



I hoped it wouldn't happen, but it did. Ryan caught Chloe's nasty bug Sunday night. Oh, what a joyful week it's been in the Andersen household! He hardly cries because he's quickly reminded that it hurts. Luckily no ear or eye issues like Chloe. Just a nasty cough, sore throat, lots of whimpering. It breaks my heart to hear his hoarse little voice pleading with me to make it better!


And yet even amidst the misery of this ailment, he still manages to smile for his mama.

Get better soon, buddy.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Happy Birthday, Neil!

Happy 30th Birthday to my husband, Neil.


What a handsome little devil you were and still are!
I can't get over how much your son resembles you! May that only continue...


You're the best, babe, and we love ya! Happy Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ever have days like these?

...where all you want to do is sprawl out on the kitchen floor and go to sleep?

My poor, sick Chloe. What started as hoarseness and a cough Saturday night quickly progressed into:

  • an ear infection (first one ever)
  • an eye infection (also a first) &
  • a chest cold

My little girl has been MISERABLE these last few days, and I finally took her to the doctor this afternoon. I always hesitate to make that appointment. Call me crazy, but paying $60 to hear someone with a M.D. behind his name tell me my child is fine and to just keep giving her Tylenol every 4 hours until it passes doesn't exactly appeal to me. This morning however, as Chloe shuffled around the house with her blanket, refusing to eat, and looking as though she might pass out at any second, it was obvious that whatever I'd been doing wasn't enough.

I am hoping Chloe is back to her old happy, talkative, and yes, even sassy self soon. I miss her. Luckily the rest of us have managed to stay mostly well. My body has been fighting a sore throat and general achiness since Sunday, but if that's all I have to deal with I'll gladly endure it a few more days! The pediatrician took a peek at Ryan after Chloe's appointment and confirmed he looked perfectly fine. She did suggest I keep a close eye on him (duh), and Chloe a fair distance from him (right). I'll just wave my magic wand to make that happen. Actually, if I had a magic wand, I wouldn't be taking advice from a pediatrician because my daughter wouldn't be sick!

Here's Mr. Ryan this afternoon. At least someone in the house was happy today.Photobucket


Monday, January 19, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Read on, read on...

Amazingly enough, I've found some time to blog. So keep on scrollin'..... I have a few new posts!

Recipe of the Week

Wow, it's been a while since I shared a recipe. After receiving grief from a certain friend, I've decided to post a family favorite. It's nothing new. In fact I've been making it for over a year now, but it never gets old around here. I must give credit to Manya, who originally shared this with me.

An added bonus to this recipe is you actually get two separate meals out of it. The first night: rotisserie chicken; the second night: chicken noodle soup, or really anything else you could think of to do with tender yummy left over chicken!
Roast Sticky Chicken - Rotisserie Style

  • 4 t. salt
  • 2 t. paprika
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. thyme
  • 1 t. white pepper
  • 1/2 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 - 4lb. whole chickens
  • butter (optional)
  • 2 large oven bags

My own additions:

  • 4 medium potatoes, chopped into large chunks
  • 4 large carrots, sliced

In a small bowl combine spices. Remove and discard giblets from each chicken, rinse, and pat dry with paper towel. Rub each chicken inside and out with butter (if desired), followed by spice mixture. Place 1 onion into the cavity of each chicken. Place chickens in oven bags. Divide the potatoes and carrots among the two oven bags, and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 90 minutes. Once you've removed the chickens from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes. I generally serve this with a fruit or green salad and rolls.

*If you're running low on time, you can always prepare the chickens the night before and let them sit in the fridge. If anything the flavors probably intensify this way.

I keep the juices from the chicken for my chicken noodle soup, which I generally make the following day. I don't really follow any recipe for my soup, but here's basically what I do:

Chicken Noodle Soup


  • left over rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • left over juices from chicken (this is what makes it so good)
  • 4 large carrots, sliced, then halved
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • fresh parsley, chopped
  • approximately 6 cups water (I use stock if I have it on hand)
  • approximately 6 chicken bouillons
  • the following spices to taste: thyme, oregano, garlic salt, rotisserie chicken seasoning, salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few handfuls of egg noodles (approximately 1 1/2 cups)

Throw everything but the noodles into the crock pot, set on low heat and forget about it. After 6-8 hours, add egg noodles and allow to heat an additional 15 minutes. Easy!!


Poor kid

This is what happens when I leave the room for two minutes.


Can you see the terror in Ryan's eyes? You should have seen the terror (and disgust) in Neil's when he discovered that his son had been accessorized with princess jewelry.

What's next, Chloe? Mom's makeup? Hey, don't get any ideas!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Two for one

Two tags, one post! This first one came from Wendy.

Here are 7 random facts about yours truly:

1. I am my own worst critic. No matter how much time or effort I've contributed to something, I always find reason to disapprove in the end. While I recognize this quirk, I'm not sure how to overcome it. Having kids has definitely helped me loosen up, but I think that perfectionist mentality will always be a part of who I am.

2. Both Mariah Carey and Cher bug me.

3. Beautiful and powerful things make me cry. Whether it be a musical number, a dance routine, an air show, a touching story, a climactic movie scene, my children, miracles, a genuine compliment from my husband, hearing that someone is pregnant or has just had a baby (always gets me for some reason) or reminiscing about special past times, it doesn't take much to get the tears rollin'.

4. Two of my biggest pet peeves include the inability to listen, and giving unwanted advice. There's nothing like carrying on a conversation with someone who's so in love with the sound of their own voice that they don't comprehend a word you're saying because they're too busy planning out what they're going to say next. I prefer to finish my own sentences, thank you! And with regard to advice, if I want it, I'll ask for it. Period!

5. I am a very fussy sleeper. First of all, I am all about white noise and have a very hard time settling down without it. Ridiculous, yes, but we run our fan every single night, no matter the season. And when we travel, I use ear plugs. If I can hear any outside noise I get antsy. Second, I am not a cuddly sleeper. If Neil and I come even remotely in contact, I will inadvertently push him or move away until we are no longer touching. That probably sounds mean, but he likes his space just as much as I like mine, which is why we're currently saving up for a king sized bed. :) And finally, I started sleeping with a body pillow during my first pregnancy, and haven't been able to kick the habit yet.

6. It makes me crazy when people pop their gum or chew with their mouths open.

7. Decorating stresses me out big time! Part of it stems from Neil's and my differing styles, and so it's quite a challenge finding something we both love. In the rare event that we do agree on something, one of us always cracks a joke that we should argue about it anyway. Aside from our differences, however, I just don't enjoy the process of decorating AT ALL! I can't visualize something in my head and trust it. I have to see the finished product to know if I like it. If I could afford to hire an interior designer who knew my taste inside and out, I'd do it in a heartbeat! No joke.

Okay, onto the next tag, which came from Allie:

1. What is my occupation right now? Mommy and homemaker: without a doubt the most challenging, exhausting and wonderful job I've ever had!

2. What color are my socks right now? Not wearing socks.

3. What am I listening to right now? Pure silence - a very unfamiliar sound these days.

4. Last thing I ate? Yogurt.

5. Can I drive a stick shift? It's what I learned on.

6. Last person I spoke to on the phone? My dad. I love him.

7. Do I like the person who sent this to me? Of course I do!

8. How old am I today? 27.

9. Favorite sport to watch on TV? College football. Neil converted me from NFL.

10. Favorite drink? Coke with fresh squeezed lime. Also love just about any kind of juice.

11. Have I ever colored my hair? Yes.

12. Favorite food? I'm a sushi girl. Also love Thai, Chinese and Mexican. Other random stuff: mixed greens with fruit and toasted nuts, peas, hot french bread or sourdough, pasta, and let's not forget Cafe Rio. Wow, talk about variety!

13. Last movie I watched? The Family Man.

14. Favorite day of the year? I don't have a favorite day. From Thanksgiving to Christmas is the time of year I love most.

15. How do I vent anger? Calling my husband or parents, depending on the circumstance and who it's appropriate to discuss the issue with. Letting it all out is usually the only way I can feel completely better about something.

16. Favorite toy as a child? Barbies.

17. Favorite season? Fall.

18. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries.

19. Living arrangements? Hubby and two precious kiddos.

20. When was the last time I cried? This afternoon.

21. Favorite celebrities? Jack Black, Kristen Wiig, Peyton Manning, Vince Vaughn, Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, Kate Beckinsdale, Jennifer Aniston, and Ellen Degeneres. Oh, and I think Daniel Craig is hot. Don't worry, Neil knows. :)

22. What is on the floor of my closet? Shoes, tupperware containing sentimental items, and luggage.

23. What did I do last night? Took dinner to a friend who just had a baby, had some friends over for dinner and games, calmed my fussy son and snuggled with my husband.

24. What am I most afraid of? Tragedy striking a loved one or my home.

25. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheesy and spicy - oh, how nice it will be when I can eat spicy food again.

26. Favorite dog breed? It's a toss up between a rottweiler and bulldog.

27. Favorite day of the week? Whatever day lets me relax and enjoy my family most.

28. How many states have I lived in? 4 - California, Utah, Oklahoma and Colorado.

29. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds.

30. Favorite flower? Lilacs and tulips.

Okay guys, it's your turn now. If you're reading this, consider yourself tagged!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Our little chatterbox...

Oh, my sweet Chloebug: the child who's mouth never stops. Up until a couple months ago I was really good about jotting down all the silly things she said. But between a demanding newborn and her endless chatter, it's become impossible for me to keep up!


This morning after bringing me a “teapot” containing “Mommy’s lunch”, Chloe said to me, “You better eat it before it gets still!” (stale)

As I "ate" pretend lettuce, string cheese, a hot dog bun and watermelon out of a pot, I had to smile as Chloe enthusiastically asked over and over again, "Do you like it, Mommy?" Anyone who gets that excited over such a simple thing must be a happy person. Though she has plenty of sassy moments, she also has lots of precious ones. And in an attempt to capture some of those, I decided to interview her. Here you'll see what a typical conversation can be like with Chloe; how she can ramble on and on and on, prolong a simple answer or statement, and change the subject all in a matter of minutes. Keep in mind these questions were just thought up as we went along.

V: "What’s your name?"
C: "Chloe, and my name’s Chloe!"
V: "How old are you?"

C: "Tha-reeeeeeee!"
V: "What’s your favorite color?"

C: "White. White’s my favorite color. And blue is my favorite color. Blue and white!"
V: "What’s your brother’s name?"

C: "Ryan. His name’s Ryan."
V: "And how old is he?"

C: "Mommy, how old’s Ryan? Mommy, can I cut something in half?"
V: "What’s your favorite movie?"
C: "The Lion King is my favorite movie."
V: "Are you sure? Isn’t Mary Poppins your favorite?"

C: "Um, Mary Poppins is my favorite and Lion King is my favorite. I wanna watch Mary Poppins now!"
V: "What does daddy do?"

C: "He plays Mary Poppins on."
V: "Is he at work?"

C: "Yeah. He goes to work sometimes."
V: "Where does Daddy work?"

C: "He works at Home Depot."
V: While chuckling at Chloe's last answer, "What does Daddy like to do?"
C: "He does not like to do anything."
V: "What’s your favorite thing?"

C: "Mary Poppins."
V: "Who’s your best friend?"

C: "Cindy."
V: "Why is Cindy your best friend?"

C: "'Cause I like her."
V: "Why do you like her?"

C: "Because did I like to see her!"
V: "What’s your favorite food?"
C: "I don’t like food."
V: "Interesting. What’s your favorite snack?"

C: "Uhh, fruit snacks. Mommy, fruit snacks are my favorite!"
V: "What do you like about your brother?"

C: "My brother’s my best friend."
V: "I thought Cindy was your best friend?"
C: "Cindy is my best friend and my brother is my best friend!"
V: "Oh, okay. Well w
hat’s your favorite song?"
C: "Twinkle, twinkle. I’ll sing it to you later, Mom. No, Give oh give said the little stream."
(She then heads to the piano and starts banging on the keys while singing what she knows of the song)
V: "Did you have a good Christmas?"
C: "Yeah, I had a good Christmas. How was your good Christmas, Mom? Did you have a good Christmas too?"
V: " Yes I did, thank you! What did you get for Christmas?"

C: "Shhhh, I’m playing the pliano."
V: "But Chloe, I want to know what you got for Christmas!?"

C: "A ball. Mommy, I want to do my game!"
(She then disappears out of the room only to come back a moment later with her baby's burp cloth. And by the way, I don't recall her getting a ball for Christmas.)
V: "What’s your favorite toy?"
C: "Uhh, stickers are my favorite toys. Mommy, I’ll let you have the burp cloth", she says while wrapping it around my arm.
V: "What are you going to do with Daddy when he gets home?"
C: "I’m gonna start playin’ with him."
V: "What are you gonna play with him?"
C: "Shhh, my baby’s asleep!"
V: "What’s mommy’s name?"

C: "Mommy! Valeri!"
V: "What does mommy do?"

C: "She, um, plays with me, and Cindy plays with me sometimes. Mommy, I put my sock on!"
V: "What’s your favorite thing about Ryan?
C: "He’s my favorite color!"
V: "What’s his color?"

C: "Um, um, um, it’s white. He likes white better. Mom, it’s time to go home. I’m gonna go home now. There's my home!" (pointing to her bedroom down the hall)

If you're not exhausted (or asleep) after reading this, I'm about there!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

A second Christmas

First of all, I have to say I am so proud of my children! I was not looking forward to the eight and a half hour drive to Utah (not including the stops), but both Chloe and Ryan handled it amazingly well. Ryan slept the ENTIRE way (minus feedings, of course), and Chloe was an extremely good sport, entertaining herself with the contents of her new backpack, watching movies and eating lots of sugary snacks (hey, you do what you can to keep 'em happy during road trips). Between only two stops and great driving weather, we made it to Salt Lake in ten hours! Coming home was even better, if you can believe that, miraculously requiring only one stop! I am still scratching my head over that one. No, I did not starve my son. Lucky for me, he takes a bottle.

Only moments after meeting, Ryan's already warmed up to Grandpa Roy!

My cousin, Heather, who lives in California, arranged a trip out during the time we were there. JD is five weeks older than Ryan, and we've been itching to get the babes together. We only wish Misty, Heather's sister, who also had a baby boy at the end of September, could have joined us.

I am holding JD and Heather is holding Ryan.

Chloe with the boys.

Grandma Martha with her new great grandsons.

I love how she's looking at Ryan in this one. Too precious...

Smiles to Uncle Curtis.

Chloe and Aaron. Aaron's mom, Leslie and Neil knew each other at BYU and were recently reconnected (thank you, blogging) after several years.

This photo is courtesy of my husband. Sure do love this man (and his mad picture taking skills).

Grandma Jill with her favorite kids.

3 generations: Aunt Pat, cousin Wendy, me, Chloe (who's surprisingly rejecting the camera) and Mom.

Bet you can't guess who Brandon cheered for at the Sugar Bowl.

Bedtime stories with Aunt Holli.

Snugglin' with Uncle D on New Year's Eve.

More smiles to Grandpa and Grandma.

We were on the go pretty much the whole trip, but saw mostly everyone we hoped to. We also ate Cafe Rio (a must) and managed to sneak away one afternoon to cash in a gift card to Market Street Grill (kid-free, of course). Ryan was smiling up a storm, as seen in the above pictures, and everyone naturally fell in love with him. Chloe, the proud big sister, also soaked up plenty of attention, and we are still having some withdrawals as a result.

It feels good to be home. Saturday we made the transition from pack 'n play to crib. It hasn't even seemed to phase Ryan. I miss hearing all his little noises at night and knowing he's within reach, but it's also been nice getting more restful sleep.

The guest bedroom furniture is still in Ryan's room and will be until the basement is finished. Here's a peek at the room now (or at least the half of it that belongs to him). Neil finished putting up the beadboard paneling the day I went into labor, and we painted the room the first week Ryan was home. I am loving the blue.


Here's my sweet little guy after his bath last night. I can't believe he'll be 2 months tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My baby's a Sunbeam!

No more nursery for this little girl! She's a Sunbeam now!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Flashback Friday

When I noticed Ryan lounging in his bouncer just moments before the New Year's ball drop, I remembered a VERY similar picture I'd captured of Chloe exactly three years earlier. Can you see why?

Chloe - New Year's Eve, 2005 (6 1/2 weeks)

Ryan - New Year's Eve, 2008 (7 1/2 weeks)