Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The baby was really just waiting until we had the nursery complete, which we did on Monday. Well, we're still missing the critical rocking chair, but the wall art is here and displayed, so it feels complete :-)

I ordered this from a company called Blik. They make vinyl stick-on wall graphics. I was a little apprehensive because of our textured walls, but they worked! Here are a couple pictures of both the process and the finished product.

They come in giant sheets, and then you peel them off and stick them on your wall, but this is an extra challenge when you have more than one color that you have to layer on top of each other. Here is Mike working on what was by far the most challenging piece. Basically, we put the color of the umbrellas up, and then had to get the lines and handles detailing to fit precisely on top. In one giant piece.

And the finished project. . .
These two pictures are on opposite sides of the nursery. The lettering was a gift from Mike's colleague, and fits perfectly with the images. Alone it would look like we were hyper-aggresive parents, but hopefully the image and the Dr. Seuss tie gives it the much more whimsical tact that was intended. I'm so happy with how this turned out! Mike's comment was, "It's very artsy." My sister-in-law's comment, who was here when it arrived but has not seen it put up yet was, "it looks like a project that will take lots of hands." Did I mention how much I love it? I haven't been so happy with a purchase in a long time.

Pictures of the changing table coming soon. I know you're waiting with bated breath!

You can come now, baby. Your room is ready!

4th of July

For the 4th of July, after having a small BBQ in our backyard on Saturday, we decided to escape the heat and head up to Duluth on Sunday night. We stayed at our favorite Sheraton hotel (thank you McKinsey), and just hung out in the little town. Highlights included the local aquarium, the film festival at the omnimax theatre where we watched a video on the Blue Devils and the history of flight, shopping at the Duluth Trading Company (Mike's personal favorite), and fireworks at the bandshell in the evening. It was good to get away!
The other photo I will share from the weekend is of an advertisement I saw in a restroom. While it is a bit random, hopefully you will appreciate the logic leap as much as I do.

In case you can't read it, it says something along the lines of Disney, GE and Microsoft were all started during depression, recession, or panic, and they advertised. You've never heard of all the companies that didn't advertise and went out of business. Advertise with us (on bathroom stalls) to be the next Disney!

Happy due date to us!

Yesterday was our official due date, but no baby. I had scheduled beforehand a massage, so either way it was a win for me. Massage yesterday, maybe baby tomorrow? I would be more patient, if only I could sleep at night :-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Notre Dame Weekend

Please note, these posts are not in chronological order!

I recently timed a trip home end of May/early June to coincide with our ND MBA 5 year reunion. Though it was lightly attended, it was really good to catch up with the people who were there. I don't have any good pictures, but highlights of the weekend were hanging out with my fellow pregnant lady Heather and her honey, meeting Pablo's new wife Mariana, a girls' afternoon to TJ Maxx, and a story brought to us by Nikos about the happy bar in London.

While I was gone, Mike was either missing me, missing Notre Dame, or just got bored. I came home to find his latest creations in the yard. He got to back to ND for a different reunion 2 weeks later.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My garden

Not to obsess on the wonderful things Mike does for me, but last year my pathetic garden did not give us much to eat. Located under 2 pine trees and the neighbor's shade tree, the poor thing has been converted to a shade flower garden this year.

But behind the fence, next to the alley Mike built me a garden bed so I could try again. I put a full picture in another day, but this is my first harvest. 
 Compared to my parents' acres of garden, it's not much. But compared to last year's garden, when I got no more than 4 green beans at a time, it's huge! Next will be peas, and my tomatoes and squash are peaking up over the top of the fence already. Yes, I am a mighty urban gardener! Now if I can just figure out how to keep the urban woodland creatures from beating me to the harvest. Apparently they don't care for green beans, but the score on the strawberries this year is somewhere around 238 to 1.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Best husband ever

Mike (and admittedly myself to a lesser extent) are a bit baffled at what we keep hearing from friend and family about how much work one baby is. It's just one baby, and they are supposed to sleep a ton, so what do you do all the time? I am a little more prone to believe every single friend who tells us the same thing, but Mike is suspicious that it just involves a little planning.

Take food, for example. Last week he suggested we make a bunch of extra food to put in the freezer, and have an order on hold with our local grocery delivery service. Luckily I found recipes and bought ingredients for freezer food. I was planning to make it one meal at a time in double batches and put half in the freezer, but on Monday he came home from work and said he was ready to cook!

I gave him the recipes and answered questions on where things were hidden in the kitchen. 5 hours later, we had a freezer full of multiple casseroles, mac and cheese, cinnamon roles, and he even made brownies in single serve sizes. When I commented on the brownies, he said, "You don't think I'd let you starve, do you?"
To wrap it all up, in spite of the new slice on his finger from the cheese grater, he even cleaned the kitchen up.

It's the little things he does that shows me how much he loves me, and this was pretty awesome.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baby Shower #2

Baby shower #2 was thrown by my mom and Aunt Paula, who hosted it in Indiana. Again, I was amazed at the outpouring of love and support from everyone, as people gathered from as far away as Chicago and Tennessee.

My sister-in-laws hosted the games, and this time we played a little nursery rhyme jeopardy.

Here is Marie and Sarah playing Alex Trebec and . . . Vanna White?

Apparently my family is pretty well versed in nursery rhyme trivia, with one exception. Do you know who sailed off in a wooden shoe, into a sea of dew? Bonus points of you can answer without looking it up, and congrats to my Aunt Susan for getting it right!

Thanks for the wonderful gifts, and for making me feel so loved, everyone!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Baby Shower #1

My wonderful friends and family have had 3 different baby showers in 3 different states for me. Let me tell you about each of them. Since I have failed miserably on my 6 posts/week commitment, I am going to stretch this into 3 :-)

The first baby shower was in Nevada. I went to visit my sister Cinnamon and her family in Nevada a few months ago. Cinnamon was going to miss my shower in Indiana, and surprised me with one in Nevada on Mother's Day. I've spent a bit of time in Moapa over the years, and so know most of her extended family pretty well. Nonetheless, I was surprised and felt very showered with love by the fact that so many people came to support me. We played silly games like "feed the baby"...
 Pictured here are the winners, Frannie and Veronica. By the end we definitely realized the importance of the bib!

The kids had a crawling race, which I considered participating in. For about 2 seconds.

And we were well nourished by delicious treats. My darling niece has made herself at home in the middle of it. I think when seated she may be the same height as the chocolate fountain. Imagine an adult version of that!

Thanks, Cinnamon, for showering me with so much love! And yes, I did steal these pictures from your blog :-)

Friday, July 2, 2010

No nurses strike!

For those of you who have been very concerned for me about the impending nurses strike in Minnesota, you can be at peace! For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, basically nearly all the hospitals in the area have been in talks with their nurses union over the last couple of months to renegotiate their contracts. As I understand it, there were 3 main sticking points:

1) raises - nurses wanted 2-3% raises per year
2) pension and benefits - I think 16 hours per week qualifies nurses for full benefits, and pension reimbursement is pretty high
3) staffing levels - the nurses wanted a restricted level of patient to nurse ratios, no matter the volume at the hospital

Public reaction was pretty negative towards nurses overall, so I think for PR the stress was placed on #3 - to improve quality of care for patients, of course. I won't give my full opinion here, as I will be relying on these same nurses to take good care of me in a few weeks :-) The strike was looking imminent, and set to begin right after the July 4 weekend, but last night they came to an agreement in "secret negotiations." They agreed to no change in benefits, 0, 1, and 2% raises over the next 3 years, and a commitment to continue to work on staffing ratios

Hooray! It's not that I don't think the replacement nurses they would have brought in would be fully competent. It's that we specifically chose our hospital because their philosophy aligns pretty well with ours, and everyone we spoke with attributed it to the nurses. The hospital also has the lowest C-section rate in the state, and we're glad everything will be operating like normal.

Official vote is Tuesday, but everything looks good.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More babies!

Nothing too exciting from today. 6 posts per week may have been ambitious, especially if anyone is expecting them to be interesting :-) I'll make today short!

I was in Noodles and Co. today eating lunch and writing some thank you notes from my shower (which I will blog about at some point), when in walked a new friend of mine with her brand new baby. Literally. She is a friend I have made through various baby things. Specifically, we "modelled" clothes together at a "baby shower" held by some local businesses, and do yoga together roughly once a week. She is fabulous, and it has been fun to have someone in almost exactly the same stage of life (and pregnancy) to talk about things with. Anyway, she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Sunday, and she and her husband had stopped on the way home from the hospital to grab some food. She recognized my car and came in to say hello and introduce me to the baby. Just wow. It was amazing, and a bit scary to think they are going to let us leave the hospital with one of those tiny things some time in the very near future!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sarah's new toys

While Mike was gone last weekend, I went on a huge shopping spree. This is pretty unusual for me, as in general I'm pretty cheap, but there were some things we needed for the baby, and some things that were nice to have for the baby, and I may have gotten a few things for myself. In fact, I got 2 pretty cool toys. They may appeal to very different crowds, but you can decide which is cooler  :-)

Toy #1 feels a little cliche, but please understand that, after giving up my iphone birthday present for a blackberry that was compatible with McKinsey's security software, I have been waiting for the day I could switch back. What that means in practice is that I have been using a cell phone that is over 4 years old so I didn't have to sign a contract to get a new one. It was literally held together with scotch tape for the last 4 months of it's life, and the little track ball would only roll to the right about 50% of the time. So my dear husband reminded me on the day they started taking pre-orders that it was time to sign up. I got my phone a day early and it has been so much fun! I don't know that it is that much better than the last model, but it is soooo much faster than by 4-year-old phones, both the blackberry and the iphone.  If I were more techy I'm sure I would appreciate the differences, but I actually offered to trade Mike for his, because I think he would appreciate it more. He hasn't taken me up on it yet.

On to Toy #2. For anyone who has been to my home, you know that besides a few throw rugs, every single floor is a hard surface. This means either a lot of mopping,  or some really dirty floors. I'll let you guess which you find more of in my house. But it's getting really hard to bend over, and the dust bunnies under the beds are planning a riot because of the overcrowding. The Scooba is amazing! It's not perfect. It doesn't do edges well, and sometimes misses large spots in the middle of the floor. But it gets most of the dirt, and I can do touch-up work. Or not. Let's face it, having some dirty corners is a heck of a lot better than having a colony of dust bunnies under the bed.

In summary, yes. I may be a little bit spoiled :-)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Other babies at the Andersons

There is a little robin's nest on the fence by our sidewalk. About 2 weeks ago there were 4 eggs. Now there is one little bird, about to take flight. It is amazing how fast it has grown! I tried to take a picture of it, but every time I get near, the mama and/or papa bird buzz my head. I don't blame them really. I would probably buzz them if they perched right next to baby Anderson. Still, it has been really fun to watch him hatch and grow. Yesterday he was alone in the nest, and a bee was buzzing around him. He would snap at it and try to catch it, but I don't think he's that self-sufficient yet!

If you look closely, at the top of the fence you will see a little nest with some fluff in it. That is the robin. And yes, the fence is only about waist high. It is amazing any of them survived!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tired. . .

. . . is the word of the day. I cannot get enough sleep! This post will be short.

Pretty much I woke up a little before 7 and had breakfast. Then I took a nap. I went to yoga in search of some energy, and then went to a coffee shop for lunch and to get some work done. By 1:00 I couldn't keep my eyes open, so came home for another nap. A little more work, then dinner, followed by, you guessed it. Another nap! More food - at this point I was insatiably hungry as well. Then I watched a video on soothing your crying baby with Mike. And now it's bedtime!

Something more interesting tomorrow - I promise!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

36 weeks today!

So far, I've done an abysmal job of documenting the pregnancy. My goal, between now and when the baby comes, is to post something at least 6 days per week until it arrives. Since I have 8 months to catch up on, I should be able to do this without even getting too boring :-)

This picture is me at 36 weeks (today!) Technically there are 4 weeks left, but I keep hearing that I should be mentally prepared to go about 10 days overdue.

According to, the baby is now about 6 pounds and 18.5 inches long. According to my doctor, they will no longer try to stop me if I go into labor. There has been a pattern with the baby where he gets really hungry for a day or two (at least I do), and then I get incredibly sleepy for a day or two. Yesterday was a hungry day. I had no fewer than 4 snacks between dinner at 6:00 and bedtime at 10:30. Today after about 4:00, I couldn't function any longer and took a nice, long nap. I think it's bedtime again, so I'm going to go cuddle with my 4 pillows (no, there is no room left after the pillows are wedged in to also cuddle with my husband), and go to sleep!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My pride and joy

So, our kitchen faucet has been leaking for at least the last year. Since we don't know how to fix it, and it didn't seem to be hurting anything, we just let it go, but finally enough was enough! But I am definitely a bit of a DIYer, and with my new-found free time I found a class through the local community ed that taught "home repairs for women." My theory is that, even if I never fix anything by myself, I at least will be able to use the lingo and not have to pay too high of an "ignorance tax" when we hire things out. The first of 3 sessions was on faucets and drains, and after that session, I came home with a burst of confidence at realizing the problem was likely just 2 little o-rings that needed to be replaced, and why call a plumber when you can just fix it yourself? HA!
I quickly found it absolutely impossible to get the faucet apart. I could get pieces off, but could not get to the part I needed to. After having a kitchen faucet in pieces for two weeks, we finally gave in. Our old faucet now looks like this.

 At the end of the day, my faucet that should have cost <$10 for the parts, and maybe $100 for the plumber, end up with $200 price tag for the new faucet, plus all the tools I had to buy (another $70?). After 7 trips to the hardware store, 6 hours of class, and many hours of frustration later, here is my gorgeous new faucet.
Now I just need to remodel the kitchen to match!

I have to give a huge credit to Mike, without whom there would have been a plumber involved. Apparently, while I can handle assembly just fine, I struggle with dismantling. After this three week project, I definitely will not be touching toilets or electricity, the other 2 modules of the class!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I had a fantastic trip to Seattle to visit our friends Heather and Paul a few weeks ago. Mike, unfortunately, did not get to join me this time around :-( I didn't get a ton of pictures, but highlights from the trip included a shopping day with the girls, where we were joined by Carrie Householder, a brunch at Heather and Paul's full of Amazonians, lot of great food including fresh dungeness crab, and the inner city transfer station (see picture below)

Dungeness crab at Chinooks, where there were real fishing boats out front including a couple from "The Deadliest Catch." Apparently they winter over here. Also note the majestic Thor. If anyone knows the history of this boat, we are very curious! Paul's brother Mark, who just moved up to Seattle with his wife, was my stand-in date for the night as both of our spouses were out.

 The ferry to Bainbridge. That's Heather and Paul on the left, and me with the space needle in the background on the right. I swear that coat I'm wearing is green. Lime green.

The troll under the bridge and a giant Lenin in Fremont, where we had dinner on my last night. The picture is a little dark, but the troll has just eaten a VW bug. You can see the tire under his hand.

In spite of the troll and the Lenin statue, this wins the award for strangest sighting of the trip. It is half bus, half truck bed and roams Seattle collecting trash, and giving hair cuts. Such a combo! There is an additional sign in the back that says "no asbestos, chemicals, dirt, toilets," but it is unclear whether you cannot get rid of toilets or there is not a restroom in the barber shop. Maybe both?

On the last night, after dinner, we drove across town to buy the perfect eclair. The ordering process went something like this,
Heather - "I'll have a vanilla eclair, please."
Store lady - "No. We close in 10 minutes. We only have creme puffs."
H - "OK. I'll have a cookie cream puff"
SL - "No. We only have cookie cream puffs with green tea filling."
H - "Okay. A plain vanilla cream puff"
Sarah - as the lady goes to get Heather' cream puff, "Make that 2."
SL - "We only have one."
At this point, tired of playing the guessing game, and not really wanting green tea filling (which by default was our only option), we came home with one cream puff and split it among the 3 of us. It was delicious, even though the story may not be as funny in retrospect :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Valentines Day Part II

So, I actually did an embarrassing job on my 12 day of Valentines. Mental note for next year - do 10 days of valentines, and take 2 days to plan! A few of the highlights are below.

We made valentines for friends and family. Somehow I missed pictures of this, but we had glitter, construction paper, lace, and everything you would need to make homemade valentines!

I decorated Mike's car

A romantic evening, complete with fire and candles

Sent a box of Valentines goodies to my brother in Estonia (Garrett, if you haven't gotten this yet, there may be a chance it's still sitting in my car!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Embracing Valentines Day (and my girly side)

 So, I have a distant friend who loves Valentines Day. Years ago I randomly stopped by her house one day on Feb 15ish and it looked like the heart gremlins had puked valentines all over the apartment (or Saint Valentine and his doves had come and scattered romance - you can pick which image appeals to you most :-)) I don't mean that to be derogatory - the place was amazing, covered in red, hearts, more roses than I had seen in my life, chocolates, homemade valentines, candles. It had everything!

I always wished I loved Valentines Day that much. Even though I have someone amazing to celebrate with now, I just can't get over the cheesiness of it all. Red roses, white bears, cupid? But this year I will give in to the hype and try to fall in love with Valentines Day! Every day between now and Feb 14, I will do something to celebrate love. I'll start with changing the background on my blog, and keep you posted here! We'll call it the 12 days of Valentines.

Love to all!
p.s. I will do my best to keep my Valentines Day cynicism out!! 
p.s.s. As a previous Valentines Day minimalist, I welcome ideas for celebrations!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


We just spent a weekend in Madison, visiting some old friends. Had we only known all that Madison had to offer, we certainly would have gone to visit much sooner! Here's my top ten list for our trip to Madison.

10. Our wonderful hosts Becky and JP Montufar (who were the real highlight, but so expected they couldn't be at the top)
9. Nap time!
8. Visiting Mike's cousin and meeting the new baby
7.15 year old cheddar
6. Tug of war with Walter and Anabell
5. The Madison Roller Derby (Go Vixens!)
4. Lot's of really good food, most of which would keep even me full for half a day!
3. The International Mustard Museum
2. 40 degree temperatures
1. The taxidermy museum (credit goes to Becky for the pictures below)

This is a Wisconsin Badger. Obviously.

Most of the rodents in the museum were posed into scenes like this.

There were over a dozen albino squirrels. Do you think he got them one at a time over his lifetime, or did he find a community of them?


The most intricate of all, the bar scene. It was complete with dancers, a piano player, the storyteller fisherman just off the lake, and a squirrel passed out on the bar.

So strange, yet amazing! It may be the only one in the world!

Thursday, January 28, 2010


At long last, here are some pics from our vacation in December. I will just show the highlights here - there are more on my facebook profile, and if you ask really nicely I'll send a link to our Picasa site! It's a long post, but stick with it. The last picture is worth it!

We started in Chile, where we visited Laurel and Alejandro, friends from grad school. They were amazing hosts! They threw a BBQ in their backyard with some other Domers, toured us around Santiago, took us to their beach house in Valparaiso, and took us on a long weekend trip to Pucon in the south of Chile (not necessarily in that order). All while Laurel was about 8 months pregnant. Here is a picture of the BBQ, where we ate a lot of meat, and had good times with old friends.

After being there about 5 days, we took a mini-excursion to Easter Island. After a 5.5 hour flight, we spent 4 nights and 3 full days touring the island. Highlights of the island were the giant Moai and Mo, who we adopted for an afternoon. You can tell which is which in the pictures below.

From there we traveled to the Lakes district with Laurel and Alejandro. The eight hour drive filled with scarce gas stations, moderately crazy "environmental refugees," and sharkey (aka dried horse meet) was well worth the trip. After a lovely day of hiking through the forest, Mike and Alejandro climbed Villarica, a semi-active volcano, while Laurel and I had a spa day.

Best of all, they got to slide all the way down the mountain on their rear ends, with a pick axe in their hand for a brake! And yes, that steam is actually sulfuric gas from the volcano behind them.

At this point we said goodbye to our friends in Chile and took a flight south to Patagonia. While there, we saw the Magellan penguins in Punta Arena, took a tour of Torres Del Paine National Park (land of the wild Guanacos) and then headed east to Argentina where we saw Perito Moreno Glaciar. One of the coolest sounds in the world is decidedly that of a glaciar calving! We took an afternoon and went for a hike on the glaciar. Crampons and sunglasses were the required tools. We're hard core!

From el Calafate, we went to Buenos Aires to finish up our trip. Buenos Aires is the home of Evita Peron, the tango, and the giant mosquitos, and we saw them all! Okay, only Evita's balcony and tomb, but we saw enough mosquitos to more than make up for it.

We also took a day trip across the river to Uruguay and watched the final championship futbol game. Imagine our surprise when Banfield lost 2-0 to Boca, and then started celebrating with the champion cup. I guess the rules are different in Argentina, where you use the overall standings to determine the champion!

After a wonderful vacation, we came home, ready to begin our next great adventure.

(I know you were wondering why I didn't climb the volcano with the guys :-) )