Thursday, June 30, 2011


Lately I have just been writing down things that Andrew has been saying because they are so funny and I want to remember them.  I have them on sticky notes, notecards and pieces of paper strewn all over the house!  Ha!  So I wanted to compile them and do a post all about Andrew (along with a few of the things we've been up to lately!)

So, we've noticed that Andrew has just been talking up a storm the past couple months.  He'll just go on and on and on, telling us stories, or all about things.  Sometimes we can't get him to be quiet (ha!)  Anyway, Ga Ga and Papa went on a vacation and drove through Jellystone Park so they had to get him some Yogi Bear toys.  He has been loving them and drags them everywhere with him.  Well, the other day he was lining them up and feeding them food from his kitchen, which I found funny, since Yogi is always stealing people's picnic baskets!
Then he would talk to them.  I hear him saying "You're eating so good!  Good job!" It was so.stinkin.funny!
• Then later I heard him talking to them again and he put Yogi in time out for some reason.  He said "You stay right here until I come get you!"  Then pretty soon he comes back and was explaining why Yogi was in time out and he looked right at him and said "Do you understand??"  Ha!  I was dying laughing around the corner.  He obviously knows the drill!  Ha!

• Something else I've gotten a kick out of lately... it is quite obvious that I rarely get dressed in the mornings around here!  In fact, if we have nowhere to go, I very rarely ever change for the whole day (Andrew too!  He is obsessed with his jammies).  So it makes me laugh when I do decide to run an errand or something and I come downstairs all showered and dressed with make up on.  He takes one look at me and says "Bye bye Mama!"  Ha!  He totally can tell the difference when I'm staying home or leaving!  I love it!

• The other night he ran into the bathroom (connected to our laundry room) and saw a huge pile of clothes I was sorting through and ready to throw in the washer, laying all over the laundry room floor.  He stopped dead in his tracks and said "WHOA Mommy!  What a MESS!"

• The other day when I was actually dressed and getting ready to run an errand, I asked him for a hug and kiss before I left and he goes "No, I'm busy!"

•  We were getting the finishing touches on the nursery done (pics to come soon! I promise!) and I was showing my mom and Jim when they were over for dinner one night.  My mom had her hand on the crib and Andrew said "No!  Don't touch it!"  Then before we left the room, same thing with Papa, he was just resting his hand on the side and Andrew set him straight!  "Papa!  Don't touch it!"  I was cracking up, because I was telling him this the other day when I was trying to arrange the quilt and pillows on it and he kept climbing in and throwing everything out!  Ha!  I guess now he thinks no one is allowed to touch it!

•  His latest thing he loves is something special my dad used to do with me that I remembered and thought Andrew would like.  Sometimes if I go to the store and pick him up a little something inexpensive, or if he's earned a prize for whatever reason, I always tell him "Andrew, close your eyes and hold out your hand..."  then I put it in his hand.  I loved this when I was little, and Andrew loves it too!  He gets so excited.  Now he also loves bringing things to us and telling us to "close your eyes and hold out your hand!"  It is so funny.

The other night we took him out for a special date to eat out, see Cars 2 and do some shopping at our favorite mall.  After the movie, we made a special gift for baby sister.
I loved this part- he kissed the heart to put inside her bear.
Putting the heart inside... We plan to have Andrew and his baby sister exchange gifts when she is born.  I have heard this is a good way to make him feel special and included, especially with all the attention baby will be getting.
Combing and giving the bear a "bath."
This isn't the best picture, but Andrew wasn't real happy because he wanted to get something else from the store!  I think he thought we were crazy to leave with nothing for him and just his sister!  Ha!  Even though he seemed excited and picked this bear out for her himself.  I just think he thought he'd get a turn!  Oh well!  We reminded him that baby sister would be getting him a present too!  Of course that helped a little!
This is my latest "nesting" project!  Ha!  My poor husband, he always gets stuck doing all the work for my projects!  The truth is, we have needed to landscape since we moved in about 7 years ago!  We have never had landscaping, and just didn't know where to start (neither of us knows anything about it!)  So our sweet friend Greg came over a couple different days and helped us get going!  
A work in progress... luckily we picked a couple of days that weren't too hot, and my mom kept Andrew overnight for 2 nights so we could get this done!  Andrew loved the time with Ga Ga (because they had been on vacation and missed each other!) and we loved having time to get things accomplished.  I feel so good about things now, and definitely more prepared for baby to arrive! (Not that landscaping has anything to do with her arrival!  Ha!  Craig totally thinks I am nuts, I know!)
I am still getting a little ornamental tree for the far left side, by the bistro table.  That little table was my mom and dad's first table when they got married.  We had it at the lake for years and ate breakfast on the porch together almost every morning at that table.  So I wanted to include it in the landscaping somehow.  I plan to get bigger pots to put in the seats and plant flowers in them.
My sweet hubby posing in front of his project (I made him take the picture! Ha!).  Thanks for doing all this work, honey!  I love you!
While Craig was busy working on the house, I made a trip and met mom and Andrew at my grandma's since it was her birthday.
Andrew loved her little cake we bought.  It had balloons and pinwheels!
He just loves it when it is someone's birthday!  He doesn't even care that it isn't his, he just gets so excited to sing happy birthday and have cake!  Ha!
Helping Tootie blow out the candles...
Happy 83rd birthday, Grandma Tootie!  We all love you lots!

So we have been keeping very busy, enjoying having daddy home a lot, and doing things together as a family.  We got maternity photos taken last night.  I can't believe we have less than 2 weeks before baby is born.  Where has the time gone?  I am definitely ready (physically) for her to come anytime.  It is harder to get around, find a comfortable position in bed, and do my normal "tasks" of cleaning and doing things around the house.  But I have enjoyed this pregnancy so much- every minute of it.  I know it is my last, and I am savoring it!  And since I never made it even close to this far with Andrew, I have enjoyed my third trimester and getting to feel her move more and watch my belly move.  I love it!

We are taking one last mini trip to the lake this weekend for the 4th of July (I got doctor's permission!) I hope the weather is good and these hot days pass quickly!  Have a safe and happy 4th!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Day at the Zoo...

Last Monday (June 21st) was our 8th anniversary.  We got married in Clear Lake, where I spent my summers growing up.  I always love to spend our anniversary at the lake, and most of the time we get to do it, but this time, my mom was on vacation, so we had our little man with us all day.  And it turned out to be a really special and fun day!  Just the three of us (we are enjoying these days together a LOT lately, because we know soon our world is going to change!)
We wanted to do something fun, so we took Andrew to the zoo.  They were having a dinosaur exhibit and I knew Andrew would just go nuts.  First we rode the train (this is how excited Andrew was when the train got going!)
Our plan was to do the dinos last on the way out, but Andrew was seeing advertisements everywhere, and all he wanted to do was see them and didn't want to look at any other animals until he did!  Ha!  So on the way we spotted a tortoise, and swung by the penguins...
But soon after we made our way to the dinos...  Andrew was so funny when we approached the door- he wouldn't go in!  You could hear dinosaur sounds (sorta scary!) at the entrance and he just stood there and stared in at them.  I was surprised, because he was so excited to go, then I had to push him in!  Ha!
Once he got in there he went nuts!  He just stood there and stared.
Then he put up his hands and growled at them!  Ha!
 They really were neat, I can see why all the kiddos were going nuts!

 They had all different kinds of dinosaurs, he walked all around and looked at all of them

 But he kept making his way back to this big guy!  He loved T-Rex.  It was his favorite!

 They even had rubbings where you could make a dinosaur fossil.  Andrew liked doing this, I think he made 3 of them!
 His buddy, T-Rex!

After we drug him out of the dinosaur exhibit, we got up close and personal with a giraffe!  Ha!
 This impressed me more than anything else!  There was one right next to the fence!  I couldn't believe I got up this close to one! (And it isn't even zoomed in!)
 Andrew still wanted to go up on the platform to see them, but I thought that other one was close enough!
 The giraffe behind them was eating!
 Then Andrew went crazy when he saw this peacock- he kept saying it was from Kung Fu Panda 2!  And it did look kind of like the one in that movie.  He always makes connections between things he sees or has done before- it is so good!  Makes this teacher happy!
 Monkeys were climbing right up the cage in front of us too!
 Andrew got to "drive" a safari jeep!
And watch some sleeping lions.

It was a really beautiful day- not too hot.  We all had a great time together!  Afterwards we went out to eat at our favorite restaurant and we all got dessert to celebrate!

And for our 8th anniversary... I have 8 things to share that I love about my husband (and there are many, many more...)

1.  I love that he has given me 2 beautiful children, a son and a daughter, everything I always wanted in life.  He has made all of my dreams come true, and I still often think back to our first date when we fell in love, and I still have the same feelings that I did then.  And I love that.

2.  He is the best daddy in the world.  I love to watch him play and "wrestle" with Andrew, teach him to ride a bike and take him to the park for me so I can rest or get things done.  He takes good care of us.

3.  I love that he can still make me laugh, and jokes we had 8 years ago still make us laugh today.

4.  I love that he still asks me for help to match an outfit!  Ha!  He pretty much lets me do things I want to the house and doesn't care what color I paint, or what I pick out to decorate.  He knows this is my area of "expertise!"  Ha! (I know lots of husbands who don't let their wives do this...and I am lucky!)  He pretty much always says "yes" to me! :)

5. We have a strong mutual trust in each other.  We both know how much we love each other, and we can always trust one another.  That is so important in a marriage.

6.  I love what a hard worker he is, and how much pride he takes in his job.  I know his job (as an athletic director) takes a lot of time away from us, especially in the evenings and for school activities, but I am always so proud of him when I go to the school and run into many different people (coaches, teachers, parents, etc) who all tell me what a wonderful guy he is! (Like I didn't know!) :)

7.  I love that no matter how demanding his job is, he still makes time to do things with us as a family and puts Andrew and I first.  When we go up to visit him at school, he'll drop everything to take Andrew on a ride in the gator, and drive him around and show him off to everyone.  I love how proud he is of his son.

8.  Most of all, I love that through it all, we love each other more today than 8 years ago.  We have been able to sustain our marriage and make it even stronger.  We have been through so much together (losing my dad one month after our wedding, Andrew's heart diagnosis, putting our son through 3 open heart surgeries, etc) and we never wavered.  We can get through tough times together, and I just think that is amazing.

Honey, thank you for giving me the life I always wanted.  You still make me happy and I love the little family we have created.  You are still my knight in shining armor, and if I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change a thing.

Happy Anniversary!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Heartwalk 2011

Last weekend was our local Heartwalk.   It was our fifth one in a row, and it was just as awesome as it is every year.  We had a great team out to support our family.  We also ordered new shirts this year, and it was fun to see them all being worn at the same time.  We had lots of friends and family order who couldn't walk this year, but we'll be wearing them in future years too!  We were so excited to sell over 50 shirts!  Thanks to everyone who supported our team!

I was taking a picture of Andrew and he tilted his hat to the side like this.  Funny kid!
This is Andrew's classic "stinker face!"
 Daddy and Andrew
Andrew and one of his best friends, Lilly.  Lilly has been at the heartwalk every year, and it has been fun watching them grow up together.  Sometime I need to dig back and find a picture from every year and post them all together!
These are the survivors wearing their red hats.  Andrew and I are in the front left. 
This is our team- Act for Andrew 2011! 
Papa and Andrew beginning the walk!
I thought this picture was so neat with the fog in front of the buildings.
Andrew was squished in the wagon!  Not sure what we'll do next year when there's two of them in it!  Ha!
I LOVE this picture of Lilly and Andrew holding hands in their wagons. 

I just love having the walk at the capitol.  I think it is such a pretty setting.
Andrew and Lilly again- Andrew being silly as usual!

Someday Andrew just won't know how to pick between these two girlfriends!  Ha!  Lilly and Norah have been his best buds since they were all babies.  He and Norah were born 2 months apart.  He just loves both of these girls so much!  They are just the sweetest little girls, too.  He is so lucky they are both so sweet to him!  Ha! 
These girls are Hadley, Finley and Norah.  Our families were all neighbors and friends before we had kids and we all had so much fun together!  Now we live farther away from each other, but we so appreciate that both these families still support us and we still get to see each other once in a while!
The walk is always so fun, afterwards they have such great activities for all the kids!

Andrew had trouble climbing this at first, but he got the hang of it after a million times!  Ha!

It was a pretty fun surprise to see Cy sitting at the bottom of the slide!

Andrew and Norah with Cy- our families are both big ISU fans!
This is Norah's mommy, my good friend Andrea.  We grew up together in Ames and were even in the same kindergarten class!  It is so fun to have kids the same age and have them be good friends, too.  This is sweet Stella, she didn't want to walk so they hung out with Cy instead!
Sweet friends
These are our good friends, Kevin, Alissa and Lilly.  Alissa and I met as teachers and became instant friends.  Lilly and Andrew have known each other their whole life.  I am so grateful to have Alissa as such a good friend, as she was there for me during all our struggles getting pregnant and when we found out about Andrew's heart.  She is the kind of friend who has a healthy child, but she "gets it" and has always stuck by me and supported me.  So many heart moms say they have friends who drifted away when their child's heart diagnosis happened.  The opposite is true for Alissa and I.  I am so grateful for her.
These are our friends, Gwyn and Bob and their sweet daughters.  Gwyn was my student teacher many years ago (I always joke that she was just a kid then, but I guess I was too!  Ha!)- She was one of the best student teachers I ever had!  She is just awesome and I love that we've kept in touch over the years.
Andrew giving her daughter Grace a hug.
When we went over to their house to meet Grace's new sister and drop off their heartwalk shirts, Andrew was just enamored with baby Sophia.  He LOVED her!  He wanted to hold her (without my help!) and just loved on her the whole time.  I told him I hope he is that sweet to his own baby sister!  Ha!
This isn't the best family picture, but I had to post it because of my enormous belly!  Ha!  It just makes me laugh.  I was 36 weeks pregnant here, and waddled my way along the one mile walk route.  There was no way I could have made the 3 mile route!  Everyone kept asking how I did it, but I just kept plugging away!  I wanted to walk for my son!  I was determined.  Ha!  The funny part is, the morning of the walk Craig and I had to trade shirts because mine didn't go over my belly!  Ha!  It was way too tight!  I think it made Craig feel good that he could wear my shirt!  Ha!  It was worth a good laugh anyway.
Andrew with his Ga Ga and Papa who he just adores (if you couldn't tell!) 

My special little survivor!
Our family (-1!)  Although I did order baby sister a shirt for next year!  I'm sure she'll be swimming in it!

Andrew was having fun after the walk running up the hill and rolling back down!

Our team raised $1,200 this year.  Five heartwalks... and over the years we have raised almost $10,000 total!!  That just amazes me.  I know for a fact that we have made a difference in the lives of children born with congenital heart defects.  

And it is all because of this special little boy...
Our heart hero.  You have much to be proud of and thankful for my sweet boy.  

Thank you again to everyone who supported us either by walking, donating, ordering shirts... you have all made a difference in our lives and we are so thankful for your support!

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