Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First School Pictures!

Andrew is an official big boy now... no, he's not entirely potty trained yet, BUT... he's had his first school pictures taken!  I seriously just about lost it when I picked him up and saw these pictures.  ADORABLE!!!!!  He looks like SUCH a big boy I just can't believe it.  Complete with the bite mark and bruise in the middle of his forehead, I'd say they are still pretty gosh darn adorable.

We've had a rough week at our house.  Last Friday Andrew's school called and said he had gotten sick so Craig went to pick him up early.  He was sick the whole weekend.  We were sad because we were supposed to go to Minneapolis to Andrew's cousin Jack's birthday party.  We hated to miss the fun!  This was really the first time we've ever had to cancel something because of Andrew being sick...I am sure it has only just begun, with him joining the germ world this year and being in school.

Monday we kept him home one more day (and mommy started to feel bad, too!) but on Monday night another round of sickies hit him and so we kept him home Tuesday and today, too.  He's been to the doctor twice, had blood work and xrays and everything looks fine.  He has no fever (thank goodness), but we were still getting worried about him.  He has a bad cough, which the doctor thinks was making him get sick so much.  She said it is probably sinus related, since he mainly coughs at night.  He is on the strongest antibiotic now, so we hope he's on the mend.  Mommy is feeling a little better, but I've missed two days of school this week too.  I can't wait for the weekend and for this long week to be over.  We want to be healthy again!  Thankfully, daddy has escaped things as of now.

I have to share a funny story about Andrew going to the doctor... I took him in on Monday to have his cough checked out (for the 2nd time in a month).  He was practically angelic the entire time.  I wish I had brought my camera, because he had this adorable little hat on, which he would not take off.  He actually walked over to the table and tried to climb up so she could listen to him.  He sat perfectly while she looked in his ears, and listened to him (he has never done that before!)  Then he even laid down on his own and she needed to check his throat.  So the doctor and I played a little "game" and said "Aaahhh" and looked in each other's throats, as Andrew watched very intently.  Pretty soon, he joined right in and said "Ahhhhhhh!"  It was too funny.  She got a quick peek and we had not one tear shed!  It was a miracle!  I am telling you, "Elmo Goes to the Doctor" is the best video on the market!  He has learned so much from watching that!  He is obviously not scared anymore, and he knows what to expect.  I highly recommend this movie to parents!

When we were leaving we walked over to get a sucker.  Andrew picked one out and said "Thank you, doctor."  It was the funniest thing ever!  We just laughed and laughed at him in his little hat standing there eating his sucker.  He is just growing up so much and getting cuter by the day (if that's possible).

Lately Andrew has been so cute about wearing his hearing aids.  When he wants to watch a movie if it is before we have them in for the day, he'll walk over to where we keep them and say "Andrew hearing aids???"  It is so adorable.  Also a sign that they are helping him, and he notices a difference when he wears them.  He never pulls them out anymore (well, only when he gets mad!  That is his coping tactic!)  and he is so good about wearing them.  He is learning so much at school.  He's eating better and talking a ton.  We are so proud of him!
Please pray that Andrew is on the mend and we all stay healthy and can avoid the dreaded H1N1.  I am so paranoid about it and one case has already hit Andrew's school (a before and after school elementary age child-so not in his room and not there during the day...but STILL!)

Happy October! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Birthday Fun

Thanks for all the birthday wishes on Facebook, emails, cards and comments!  I had a great birthday celebrating with my family- the only way I'd be happy!

This morning was extra special because I got to go in late to work to take Andrew to the audiologist.  Yeah, who knew I'd be celebrating taking Andrew to the doctor!?  It was extra special time with my buddy.  We had breakfast together and sang to Elmo in the car.  Dropping him off at school was the worst part of the day, though...for both of us!  I think he thought we were going to spend the day together (oh how I wish...) and he screamed and was reaching for me when I left.  It was pure torture.  Of course I called after 15 minutes and he had forgotten all about me. :)

My sweet husband had a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to school today!  I was so excited!  They are so pretty and look like fall.  I couldn't decide if I should leave them at school to enjoy them on my desk, or bring them home.  I ended up bringing them home so I could enjoy them more this evening!  I just love flowers!


The original plan for this evening was to head to Ames and eat out at my all time favorite restaurant, Hickory Park.  We still ended up doing this, but the second part of the plan didn't work out.  I really wanted to go to the Reiman Gardens at Iowa State University to take Andrew to the Butterfly House and to see the exhibit there- they have "dinosaurs" set up throughout the gardens and I know he'd love it.  We found out when we got there that they were closed!  :(  I was sad because I really had wanted to do this for my birthday.  The first birthday I had after my dad passed away 6 years ago, we went to the Butterfly House and it was so special.  Butterflies land all over you and it just made me feel like my dad was there.  I loved it.  We hope to get back there sometime this month before the dinosaur exhibit is over.  We'll have to go on a weekend since they close early on weeknights.

We still had fun at Hickory Park (how could you not?)  They sang to me and I got a free brownie sundae, my favorite!  I didn't get many pictures, but here are a few...

Andrew was being silly and making everyone laugh, as usual (including everyone in the restaurant!)

He likes to give out hugs when he wants this case it was him wanting to sucker Ga Ga into taking him out of the booth to go run around!  (Do you think it worked??)  If you aren't sure...than you don't know my mom!  Lol!

Looking positively angelic...BBQ sauce on the face and all!

The best part of my day!

Thanks again for all the birthday wishes!  I am so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


What a busy weekend we’ve had!  I just love this time of year.  My birthday always marks the end of the summer and we usually head to the lake to take the boat and dock out, which is what we did on Saturday.  My birthday isn’t until Tuesday, but I’ve already started celebrating!  I like to call this my “birthday weekend” and celebrate from now until the big day! Lol!

This time of year is always bittersweet for me, too.  I feel sad saying goodbye to our special summers at the lake, yet I am almost giddy thinking about putting up my fall decorations and baking my first batch of pumpkin bread, taking Andrew to the pumpkin patch and dressing him up for Halloween.  I can hardly wait!

Saturday we had our last boat ride of the season.  It was picture perfect weather.  I almost enjoy the boat even more this time of year than in the hot summer.  The lake was like glass, and the leaves are just starting to fall.  It was a perfect day for a boat ride, and we took a LONG one!

Here is Andrew's new favorite way to walk!  If two people aren't holding his hands he'll use both his hands to swing with whoever is holding his hand!  Whenever we take him out of the car he says "hold my hand!"  It is so sweet.

This is the best thing in the world!

 He loves looking at the water.  It always makes him sleepy!

This just cracks me up!  Kick back and relax, Andrew! Lol!



Everybody got a little Andrew love on the boat!

Can you see that smile behind the towel?  This "nap" didn't last long!


This is what Andrew did while Daddy and Papa did this:

This was too funny not to take a picture!  Daddy practically falling out of the boat trying to get the cover off the lift!  I'd have laughed so hard if he'd have fallen, but I think he'd have been pretty mad so it's a good thing he stayed dry!  Lol!

Andrew loved throwing rocks in the lake!

Giving Papa "knuckles" while eating pizza on the patio at Ga Ga's that evening.  I don't think I've ever eaten pizza on the patio before, and it was so fun!

We pulled the boat out for the season and next weekend we’ll head up to take the dock out.  The true beginning of fall has arrived!

Today we took Andrew to A Day Out With Thomas.  Those of you who were following us last year at this time might remember that it was at this event last year where Andrew took his very first steps towards Thomas. 

September 2008

This year was so much fun too!  He loved playing with the train tables, getting a tattoo of James (his favorite train!) and seeing Thomas.  He was so cute when he saw Thomas (he calls him “choo choo”) he plopped right down on the platform where you are supposed to stand for pictures, and sat facing Thomas, just staring at him.

We barely could get him to stand still for any pictures, but we got a few!

Still checking out his tattoo, even with Thomas right in front of him!

Gazing at his tattoo of James!


This was a funny from the day...Andrew spotted Sir Topham Hatt getting pics taken with other he approached him and waved and yelled "Hi!"

We thought he'd like to get to see him up close and of course, another photo op for me!  So daddy waited in line while Andrew and I played with more trains (the line was a mile long!)  When it was finally Andrew's turn... well...the picture says it all!

Not so much!  So "Hatt" isn't his favorite character, I guess! LOL!  He talked about him nonstop the whole way home though!  I think he left an impression, if nothing else!

After seeing Thomas, we headed to my grandma’s house since she lives near Thomas (lol!) Andrew had fun playing and showing off his James tattoo.

Then we headed to Papa and Ga Ga’s for dinner.  They grilled steaks for my birthday and it was so delicious.  We ate out on the patio again and it was just such a beautiful evening. 

Then Andrew helped me open my gifts…

I had wanted one of these purses way back when they first became popular.  I may be a couple years late in getting one, but I was so excited!  Better late than never, right? (Andrew wasn't too thrilled!)

And then we had cake and ice cream!  Andrew could hardly wait for this part.  Ever since we walked in the door he kept saying “Mama’s cake?  Mama’s cake?”  He only ate his dinner because I told him he couldn’t have any of mama’s cake if he didn’t!  Lol!


It was such a fun weekend and I’m sad it is over!  I still have special plans for my birthday on Tuesday, which I’m sure I’ll blog about soon!  Have I mentioned I love using this blog instead of the care page??  It is so much quicker to upload photos and I like doing shorter posts like this, more frequently.  It actually saves me time, and if you ever miss an update, it is easier for you to just scroll down and catch up (no clicking “older” all the time!) 

I hope you’ve found the transition to be easier and the added touches on the blog more fun to read.  I am loving it!  I do miss your comments, though… thanks so much those who have let me know you are following us.  It really means a lot.  I fixed the comments now so it is much easier to leave one!  Just choose anonymous, but be sure to sign your name so I know who you are!  Please always email or leave messages on the carepage if you have trouble with any part of the new blog.  I want to make it easy!

Here is what Andrew looks like right now…

Have you ever seen anything sweeter?  I just want to crawl in bed with him!  He’s had a busy weekend and the work week is about to begin…back to school tomorrow!  I hope we’re all ready for it!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Crazy Day!

So Thursday was "Crazy Day" at Andrew's school.  These pictures just crack me up.  He was looking at me like I was completely nuts.  His shirt was on backwards (the back said "Born 2 Break Hearts") and his shorts were on inside out.  I almost doubled over laughing at his reaction to me putting these socks and shoes on him.  He kept looking down, like he knew something wasn't right!

The funniest thing of the day was how much gel I put in his hair to keep it spiky.  I made it stick up everywhere and gobbed hair spray in it afterwards.  I called to check on him over my lunch break, and his teacher told me that at his morning recess he had dumped an entire bucket of sand on top of his head!  They had to change his clothes and scrub his head. 

That's my boy!

She told me it was funny because most kids would have been upset about it, but he just thought it was hilarious.

Yep, that's Andrew!

When I got there to pick him up the other day, it was so sweet.  The kids were all coming in from outside and a few of his little friends (probably not the one who bit him! lol!) came in before him.  When he ran in the room and saw me, he immediately got this pathetic, pouty look on his face and "fake" cried, walking over to his little friend Charlie and gave him a hug instead of me!  I just cracked up!  Charlie hugged him back!  I couldn't figure out if he wanted to make me feel guilty for leaving him...or if he really didn't want to leave! LOL!  I am glad he's making friends and having fun!

Here he is after we got home with a different outfit on since they had to change his clothes!  The socks and shoes are pretty classic, though, don'tcha think?

I just have to share the sweetest thing... we have always said prayers with Andrew since he was a baby.  I couldn't tell you the number of times I have held him in my arms, him cuddled up to my chest as a baby, and prayed for him...for the too many other children we know born with CHD's...thanked God for him and the gift He gave us by letting us be Andrew's parents.  Being a parent is truly the most joy I've ever felt in my life, and how can you not thank the One who brought you that joy?

Andrew is old enough now, that we have embedded this into our nightly routine.  He actually looks forward to our nightly prayers, and he has come to expect them.  After we brush his teeth and read him a story, we head upstairs and he immediately gets into bed and folds his little hands and says "Dear Jesus..." with a big huge smile on his face.

It is the most precious thing I've ever seen.  It is almost like he knows Jesus, and he is happy to be talking to Him.  Like He is one of his friends.  He loves to listen to daddy or I go through the long list of family members and friends we pray for, and after we pray Andrew says "Amen!"  It is something I need to get on video sometime. :)  The best part is, listening to him on the monitor after we leave.  He keeps talking and praying, and we can always hear him repeating the names of his little friends and family members.  It just makes my heart melt.

I want to touch on a couple of technical things for a moment... I promise soon I won't blog about the blog anymore! Lol!  But I really want to encourage everyone to do something... I have talked to several friends who say they check my blog regularly now, and they like it better than the care page.  The bonus: you don't have to sign in!  I have been told it is almost easier to just make a "favorites" bookmark with a list of blogs you check and periodically visit them.  That is what I do, too, and I love it.  I find it easier to update this blog more frequently than the care page, too, so I don't end up having to do a 2 part update on the care page all the time and swamp your inboxes!  There will be some weeks I'll post things more often than others, but I have found it enjoyable to come up here in the evenings this week, jump on here quick, upload some pics (which is WAY easier on the blog than the carepage, too), and type a quick update.  Since this is my way of journaling about our lives, I like to do shorter updates sometimes, that way I don't forget anything!

So, I encourage you to add our blog to your bookmarks.  Just make a "blogs" folder and keep adding ones you find that you like.  I am going to add some to my sidebar that I enjoy, too.  If you choose to get email notices for my updates, there is a link and a really quick way to sign up for that, is also on the sidebar on the right.

Oh, I had my comments section set wrong so some of you had problems adding an anonymous comment.  I fixed it now, so you're all set!  You'll see an "anonymous" choice at the bottom if you don't have a blog already.  If you do have a blog, you already know to just choose the label of the blog you have.

I apologize that this transition has been a little confusing, but I am confident that everyone will enjoy it even more once all the kinks get worked out!  I think we're making progress!

Thanks for checking in on our little man!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Homecoming Week at Treehouse!

Welcome back to our blog! Thank you so much those of you who are sticking with us! We've already had close to 150 hits and it's only been a couple of days. I am so honored that so many choose to continue reading about our adventures. I hope you will soon love the blog as much or even more than the care page, and that you will find it easier to use than you thought. Many other heart mommies are jumping on the blog bandwagon and we are all learning and discovering together. My good friend Stef discovered some new things I want to share about leaving messages and receiving email updates from our blog... I shared this info on the care page already, but for my blog readers only I wanted to make sure everyone gets the info. I'm going to post it at the end of the update so you can read the fun stuff first! :)

I first had to share this funny picture of our new great idea. Someone was taking over the big TV with Elmo and Curious George and driving us crazy, so we had this brilliant idea to bring up our old mini TV from the basement and let him use it upstairs sometimes. He LOVES sitting at his little table and watching his special shows. Now daddy can keep the football on. I'm wondering...where's MY little TV??? LOL!

So this week is Homecoming week in Ankeny, so Andrew's school is having spirit week too! I think this is just adorable! Monday was hat day. Here he is over the weekend, "practicing" wearing his new hat!

And here he is on Monday, all ready to go to school! He actually liked wearing his hat, but only because Papa wears one, too. Whenever he puts it on he says "Papa hat?" It is so adorable!

Today was pajama day so all the kids wore their pj's. Don't they all look so snuggly and cute? I wish I could have stayed there with them all day! They had a movie day. Sounds good to me!

When I got there to pick him up they were playing with home made play doh they had made. I just love his school, he is learning so many new things every day. He even has learned to eat better. I was so hoping this would happen, and I am so excited (but trying not to get TOO excited yet!) that he has really added to his array of things he'll eat. He hasn't eaten chicken nuggets for several days now! They used to be on the menu at least once a day, sometimes twice! It was all he'd eat. The last week he's been eating all his lunch at school. The kicker...the other day he actually ate SALAD with tomatoes!!!! I about fell over when I heard that one. Yeah, he actually ate lettuce. Never would have done it at home. Have I mentioned how good school is for him? In more ways than one.

Plus, it wears him out totally. He's in bed by 8:00 (sometimes earlier) every night so Craig and I actually have some alone time to watch our favorite list of season premieres coming up in the next few weeks! One thing I've always loved about reading other blogs is they sometimes ask a question for their readers to post answers to so we can all learn more about each other! I'm going to start this my question for you tonight is, what are some of your favorite shows in the fall line up? We are looking most forward to Private Practice (starts Oct 1st and left with a major cliffhanger last season), but Brothers and Sisters and Desperate Housewives (Sunday nights) are also high on the list! I just love it when fall rolls around...I can whip up my famous pumpkin bread cake (maybe I'll have to do a recipe soon!) and chill out with my hubby watching our shows. We sound like TV junkies around here, but I promise we don't actually watch TV all the time! LOL!

Thanks again for sticking with us and putting up with the changes... I am still adding to my blog daily, so feel free to check in whenever you like. But I am going to post info here on how to sign up for email updates, if you'd like them. It's super easy! Thanks, Stef for passing the info on!

You can receive my blog updates by e-mail if you do the following:

From this page, scroll down until you see on the right hand side "Receive E-Mail Notification When My Blog Is Updated". Click on the blue link that says "subscribe to A Little Monkey Business by e-mail".

When you click on it a new box pops up that will ask you to enter your e-mail address and also type a code that you see in the box. Once you do this it will send you an e-mail from FeedBurner e-mail subscriptions. It will give you a link that you need to click on to activate your e-mail subscription and then you will receive all of my blog updates by e-mail.

Like I said, you can stop by and visit my blog anytime so don't feel like you have to wait until you get an e-mail. Something that I do to keep track of the blogs I read are to save them all in a list in my "bookmarks" folder, so whenever I'm online I just go to each one every so often. If I've missed an update, it is easy to just scroll down and read from where I left off, because you can post several updates on a page at a time.

Ok....onto the next item - leaving messages. I know some of you were confused or having trouble so here is what you need to do. At the bottom of all of my posts you will see "Posted By Jen (time) COMMENTS".

1) Click on Comments and they will pop up (if there are no comments posted yet it might just pop my blog page back up and all you have to do is scroll back down through my post and you will see a comments box popped up.

2)Type in your message to me and be sure to add your name at the end so I know who it is from and contact info if you want me to respond. You will then see below the message box a drop down menu that says "post as" and then it wants you to choose from the selection. To make it easy for most of you just select "Anonymous". Click "post Message" and then it will pop up a preview and ask you to type in a code that appears on the screen. Once you do that and hit Post it will post your message to my blog. This is really easy to do! We love getting messages, so I hope you will all still post messages (thanks to those who did it in my last post! I loved reading every one of them!)

I know this is a lot to take in and learning something new seems like such a pain but I am telling is no different than when all of you logged onto care pages for the very first time. There were some steps you had to take and it seemed like such a pain at first but once you got used to it you loved it. I am always going to be here to help ALL of you if you have any questions or problems with the blog, etc. You can always leave me messages on here or e-mail me at

I will continue using Andrew's carepage to update for medical things, and for a while I'll still update it when I update this blog, in case you haven't had a chance to set us up in your bookmark section or sign up for email notices.

I am still working on my blog and adding new things to it often. Think of it as being under construction and once I am more comfortable with things I plan on adding new stuff from time to time.

Thank you for your patience and to those who are so supportive of our family! I appreciate it!

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