Thursday, December 31, 2009

and a happy new year

This has been quite the year for our family.
Difficult in some ways,
but wonderful in many ways.

Here's a little recap:
jan: setting new goals-learning to give more, and expect less

feb: announcing the coming of baby Andersen!

mar: cake decorating, ultrasounds, homework, and the eventual coming of Spring to Rexburg

apr: Kent and Becca both graduate with their bachelors from BYU-Idaho, a trip to California to see Mason off, baby showers and making almost too much baby stuff with Mom.

may: move to Texas (a bit of a rough start), Becca turns 22, we make an offer on our house

jun: we are homeowners! All thanks to ninety-seven cents.

jul: Kent turns 24, we work on the house. A lot.

aug: Nicholas joins our family. We are living the life.

sep: our moms come to help, Nicholas is blessed. I discuss motherhood.

oct: our first Halloween as a family.

nov: trip to Utah for Thanksgiving.

dec: first Christmas, trip to California.

We are happier now than we were a year ago. I think that is the definition of success.
Ninety-nine percent of that happiness is because of this little (or not-so-little) guy.

He has changed us,
and we wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

dinnertime at 4 1/2 months

We are having a grand time here in California.
Christmas was wonderful. So good. Nicholas enjoyed all of his presents-he would yell at them, grab them, and bring them straight to his mouth.
I'll put up some pictures later, but for now, you can see some on Grammer's post here.

We've been trying out two new things: our camera and baby food for Nicholas. Both things are a work in progress, of course. We've got a lot to learn about our DSLR, and Nicholas has a lot to learn about eating. The baby tongue thrust thingy makes feeding him pretty exciting.

Here's tonight's dinner time.

Nicholas is so excited for some food!
First up, carrots.
I'm thinking that's a no for carrots.
Back to sweet potatoes-he liked them last time.
By the end of the meal, I think only about a tablespoon actually made it into his stomach, but he sure enjoyed it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Nicholas slept through the night last night.

That is all I need to say.

Friday, December 18, 2009

two years

And each day better than the last one.
"Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and...the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.
"The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."
-“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct 1998, 24

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

my kitchen in a Christmas ball

Candles on the windowsill
Kent's shirt on the table
Two burned-out lightbulbs
Christmas tree in the living room
Caulking gun for some touch-ups
Croatian Book of Mormon for our neighbor
Rug from Pottery Barn clearance
Bumbo chair
Sink half-full

This is my kitchen, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas party

We went to Kent's USAA Christmas party last night.

When I saw the long line of Charter buses waiting to pick everyone up and shuttle us downtown, I knew that this wasn't going to be a quiet, little Christmas party. There were at least 20,000 people there. I'm not exaggerating. It was huge!

The food was delicious. Our favorite part was probably the dessert buffet. They had these little orange squares that Kent described as "squares of love." Airy passion fruit-mango something.
I don't know what they were exactly, but they were good!
I would have taken a picture of them, but in the midst of me telling our babysitter every single thing I know about Nicholas before we left, I forgot to grab my camera. Boo.

As for the entertainment, they had a gymnastics team, ballroom dancers, a stomp-style group called Jingo, "Candini the Mentalist," a fudge demonstration from Rocky Mountain Chocolate company, and a concert by REO Speedwagon.
Oh, and a casino and karaoke, but I don't participate in either of those activities.
Now, I'm only going to say three things about REO Speedwagon.
  1. I have only ever heard one of their songs.
  2. I don't think they have cut their hair or changed their outfits since 1983.
  3. They were loud. Unbelievably loud.
We only stayed to hear two or three of their songs. Not really our generation.
I think that next year they should get Josh Groban to come.

We came home to find Nicholas all cozy in bed. Beautiful.
It was a fabulous night, and I'm so glad we went!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

paper garland

When I was in Utah, my sister helped me make this fun paper garland.
We found some cute Christmas paper, traced some of Mom's cookie cutters, cut them out (that's where Sarah came in handy-she's a master with the scissors, and has been since she was just three!), punched the holes, then strung them on a red ribbon.

I love the "homemade Christmas" feel to it, and Nicholas loves to look at it everytime we go up or down the stairs.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

comfort and joy

my december

We had a frost last week,
and the next day
all the trees lost their leaves, in just a few hours.
I sat in the rocking chair in Nicholas's room and nursed him while I watched the yellow and orange leaves fly past the window, a flock of fall heading out for the winter.

It is our December here in Texas, and I love it.
Yes, I just said Texas and love in the same sentence.
I'm just as shocked as you are, but there's something special about December here.
Clover the green of Christmas spreading across the dormant grass, crisp air, drizzling rain, empty branches stretching into the gray skies.

Maybe I won't miss the snow as much as I thought I would.

Friday, December 4, 2009

does your husband jump on the bed?

Someone (who shall remain nameless) broke our box springs.
By jumping on our bed.

We got a new(er) one from a friend about a month ago.
But our old, squeaky, broken box springs has been sitting in our bedroom for the past month.

While I was gone last week, Kent painted our bedroom. It looks beautiful. It desperately needed the paint. (No one should ever paint one wall of their bedroom gold. Yuck.)
And because he wanted it to look good when I came home, Kent also cleared out the bedroom, hung up pictures, moved the pile of unfolded laundry, etc.

Leaving us with this:
Some people put couches on their front porch. We put box springs mattresses in our kitchen.

And now we can't figure out how to remove it from our house. It won't fit in the back of our car. It certainly won't fit in our garbage can. And I refuse to let it get shoved in our out-of-sight-out-of-mind pile in the garage. It would be there forever. Not to mention our car would no longer fit in our miniscule garage if a box springs was in the way.

So, until further notice, it is in the kitchen.
Kent suggested drawing pictures on it and propping it against the sliding doors. They are, after all, in need of curtains. It would solve both of our problems, he said.
You'd be surprised at how quickly you can get used to something like this being in your way. Just slide it across the floor when you need to access that corner of the kitchen. No big deal. I almost don't even notice it.

my little helper

Two nights ago,
Nicholas helped me make dinner.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

giving thanks

We have had the most wonderful vacation.
Nicholas has never had so much attention; he's loving it! When we get home on Tuesday, I'm going to have to find some siblings to rent for him.
And I feel like I've been so spoiled-I've hardly had to do any work this week; everyone wants to hold him, rock him, change his diaper, entertain him, etc. It has been so nice! If Kent didn't have to go back to work, I think I'd like to just stay here for a few more weeks. Or months.

But I must get back to my husband before he wastes away from eating like a bachelor. He told me that he made a batch of chocolate chip cookies and that's all he ate for breakfast and dinner almost the whole week. Yes, I've got to feed that boy some vegetables!

While we've been here Nicholas has had a lot of firsts:
First airplane flight (he was a perfect baby, and thanks to all the tips, everything went very smoothly)
First snow
First cold, poor baby
First taste of candy (what are grandparents for, right?)
First medical oddity (he's got a deep hemangioma- basically a cluster of blood vessels on his shoulder that are growing abnormally fast and will continue to get bigger and bigger until he's about one year old and then they will just dissolve. Weird.)
First time grabbing toys-I can't believe how fast he learned that one!

He's still absolutely adorable, even with a little bump on his shoulder. I'll have to get a good picture of it-it looks just like a big, lumpy bruise.
Oh, and he's now 15 lbs 10 oz. Whew!

Kent had his first Black Friday experience. It was pretty wimpy, though.
We went to a local print shop here called Inkleys.
We didn't have to wake up until 5 am.
We got there only half an hour early, and Kent was the first in line. No pushing, no running, no shouting. Piece of cake.
But what really makes me happy is that we bought this.
Shhh. Don't tell us. It's our Christmas present, and we're not supposed to know about it.

My family set up the Christmas tree on Saturday night, and my mom made matching pajamas for all of us. We read "Mr. Willaby's Christmas Tree" and then everyone set up sleeping bags around the tree and we had a slumber party in the living room.

My grandma and grandpa Wood came all the way from St. George to see their newest great grandson. I'm so happy I got to see them while I was here. Grandpa Wood had Nicholas laughing out loud for the longest time-it was something about an "Orange Popsicle," I think.
I've been so glad to be here to visit with my grandma and grandpa Murray, and we've spent lots of time over there for cuddling and playing with Nicholas.
And what would a visit home be without a bath from Grandma Murray?
Kent left last night, and I'm going back home tomorrow evening. It's been a beautiful week,
and I'm grateful.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

thinking on a sunday afternoon

I'm going to Utah in only two more days.
I am so, so excited.
Thanks for all the flying tips,
I think I'll be just fine, and hopefully
Nicholas will be too.


Yesterday we were driving home from helping our friends
move into their new house.
I was sitting by Nicholas and I started making
one of those silly noises that you never know how to spell.
Bamoufthphbm. Or something like that.
Nicholas laughed out loud.
For the very first time.
I couldn't stand how adorable it was,
and Kent almost couldn't drive;
we were laughing so hard at Nicholas's laugh.

Being a mom is so much fun.
Especially now that I'm starting to feel normal again.
The fog is lifting. He'll be three months old tomorrow!


Kent is so hard to get Christmas presents for.
All he's asked for is
a projector,
and a new laptop.

We can't afford either of those, so I'm kind of stumped.


I should be cleaning the kitchen floor right now.
We've got a lot of people coming over for dinner tonight.
Obviously, I'm procrastinating.


My hair is falling out.
By the handfuls. By the armfuls.
I'm a little bit freaked by that.
Kent said he'd still love me if I was bald, so I guess I'll be okay.
But I don't want to be bald.

Please tell me that this hair loss is normal.
And that I won't lose it all.


You know those placemats I posted about like four weeks ago?
I've still got two (of four) left to finish.


Nicholas is getting hungry. My post is over.

Friday, November 13, 2009

so excited

Kent's company is having a Christmas party in a few weeks. It's a formal party.
As in, fancy dresses.
I haven't gotten "dressed up" since my senior prom in High School, so I am pretty excited. The theme of the party is something to do with sparkles (Kent couldn't remember it exactly), so I'm now on the hunt for some sparkly earrings or something.

As for the dress, I ordered this yesterday.
I found it two weeks ago. Kent told me that he loves it, my mom encouraged me to get it, and my friend Allison encouraged me, too. But I have a hard time spending money on myself.
I think it is one of the reasons Kent married me, actually.
One of many, of course.

I'm so excited to get it, get all dressed up, and remind Kent of one of the other reasons he married me.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

on a jet plane

Although I do happen to know when I'll be back again, (sorry-that song is in my head, and now it's in yours, right?) Nicholas and I are going on an adventure next week.

I'm flying. By myself. With a three-month old.

We're heading to Utah for two weeks. Kent is going to join us, but not until the day before Thanksgiving. And so, I'm about to take a flight with a baby for the first time ever, and I'm doing it by myself.

Yeah, I'm a little bit anxious. Airports make me stressed even without a baby. I'm just certain that Nicholas is going to have the biggest blowout of his tiny life ten minutes before boarding begins, or something like that.

Do you have any tips?
Any magic tricks for flying with a baby? Anything that I must be sure to pack in the diaper bag? Any hints for passing through security unscathed?
If you do, please share.
I'd really like to be able to simply "sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight."

Thursday, November 5, 2009

a day

In the life of Nicholas.

November 4, 2009

1:00 am: Wake up, Mom comes in and feeds me.
4:00 am: Wake up again, Mom changes my diaper and feeds me, then rubs my face with her fingers to make me fall asleep again. I love it when she does that.
7:00 am: Wake up as Daddy leaves for work. Give him a snuggle, then join Mom in bed to eat.
7:30-9:00 am: Play time in the big bed. This is my favorite time of day. I laugh and smile and tell Mom all about the dreams I had.
9:00: Time to get ready for the day! I've just about outgrown my changing table. I don't know what Mom and Dad are going to do with me when I do.

9:30 am: Sit in the bouncy chair while Mom takes a shower. It's so fun to play with my toys, and I just LOVE the pattern on the laundry bag that hangs by my chair. I could smile at that bag all day long if Mom would let me!10:30 am: Play by myself while Mom eats breakfast and gets ready for the day.
11:00 am: Eat.
11:45 am: Mom puts me in the stroller and we go for a little walk.

Being outdoors makes me sleepy.

12:30 pm: We're home now, and Mom changes my diaper. Aren't I the cutest?
1:00 pm: I take a short snooze in Mom's lap now while Mom checks the blogs.
Side not from Mom: This is why I haven't been the best at blog commenting lately. I do read all your blogs, I just can't comment very easily because I have a sleeping baby in one arm. I suppose I could put him down...but look at that face! Sorry. Won't do it.

2:00 pm: Eat again. Fall promptly asleep and stay that way until Dad comes home from work. If I didn't have this one long nap a day, Mom would never be able to keep the house clean. So I sleep out of kindness.
5:00 pm: Dad's home! I eat again, and then Dad buckles me up in the carseat. I am a little bit nervous about this, not knowing where Mom and Dad are taking me.
I fall asleep in the carseat, so I miss out on Dad's USAA work party where Mom played arcades for the first time in her life and Dad won the jackpot with this little ball-dropping thingy. But Dad looks pretty un-excited about it, so I probably didn't miss much.
7:30 pm: A Costco trip. Very exciting.
8:30 pm: Home now, and I MUST be fed. I let Mom know. She feeds me. We have a great system going.
9:00 pm: I'm up unusually late, so Mom and Dad give me a bath. It was so relaxing that I couldn't stop myself from forcing them to refill the tub twice, if you know what I mean.
9:45 pm: I finally fall asleep while Mom and Dad are watching Heroes on Netflix. I think I already mentioned that I like to have someone touch my face while I fall asleep. Here is proof.
It's a wonderful life I've got here.