Friday, February 25, 2011


It actually started out a great week...let's just say I was ready to get dressed and hit Target the second Craig walked in the door tonight!  We've been occupying ourselves quite a bit, thanks to our sweet friends who brought over a "survival kit" for us last Sunday!  Thanks so much to Andrew's little friend Landon.  It has saved the day numerous times!

It just made me want to cry when Landon and his daddy (my friend, Greg, who I've taught with for 10 years) rang the doorbell and Landon said "We brought these things for Andrew!"  A bag FULL of delicious treats, things we can make together like cookies and pancakes, books, games and a new movie ("Bolt" which is now another one of Andrew's favorites and we've watched it at least once a day this week!)
We let Landon and his daddy sneak in for a few minutes... Andrew would have been so sad if he didn't stay, even if it was only a few minutes.  How cute are they?  I love how they both sat on opposite sides of the couch!  Ha!
Landon also brought Andrew this Buzz to go with his Woody- he was so excited!  It has been in bed with him every night since.
We've been playing a lot of games, as Andrew is getting more into them lately.  Although he does like to cheat!  Ha!  Here he was playing "Hungry Hippo" with the hippo!  Ha!
I also decided to kill some time and have him open his 2 sacks of Valentine cards and also mine from school I had been saving for him to look through with me since he was too sick to open them last week. 
He had a blast looking through everything!  And it took tons of time, because he wanted to know who every card was from.  It was so sweet as I named every little friend from his school he repeated their names and just smiled.
We were supposed to make a box for his Valentines for his party at preschool so we made this the weekend before Valentine's Day.  I was so glad he still got to go to his party, even though he came home from it sick!
A big CHEESE!!!!  With sticky sucker juice on his lips!
Did you know they have pancake batter in a squeeze container like easy cheese??  This was in our goody bag from Landon and I was so excited!  Pancakes are Andrew's absolute favorite thing.  He wants them every single morning.  Unfortunately on school mornings we have no time for this!  Luckily they have the frozen ones, which are probably not nearly as good (or as good for him!)
He's been waking up and asking for pancakes, so we've made this a tradition this week!  He loves it!  And I love it because there's no mess, it takes no time, and you only have to make as many pancakes as you want!
We added some chocolate chips just for fun, and they are soooo delicious!  Mommy has even enjoyed joining Andrew for breakfast this week!  I always try to sit down at the table and eat with him for every meal.  Our breakfasts have been so fun!

Partly because they are happening later and later!  (That's right!  I've almost got him trained to sleep in!)  Now we just have to work on him staying in his own bed overnight!  But seriously, I love nothing more than having him in bed with me in the mornings so we can cuddle.  He has been so sweet.  One morning I woke up to his little arm wrapping around me and him patting my arm.  My heart could have just melted it was so sweet.  Then he'll turn and look at me and smile a sleepy smile.  I'll rub his back and then he'll rub mine.  Then he'll play with my hair, or my face.  I just love him!  He is the sweetest little boy ever.

Once he gets ready to get up though, he is so funny because he'll open my eyelids with his fingers and say "Wake up mom! Pleeeeeease!"  Then he'll turn on the lights as bright as they can go (since we have room darkening shades, it is pitch black in there in the mornings!  Love it!) and get my glasses for me and pull my arm or grab my pillow until I'm out of bed!  Ha!  I guess when the kid is ready for his pancakes, he's ready!
More games from Landon's treat bag!  He actually played Memory!  He found matches and would get so excited.  Although then he'd decide if one didn't match he could just keep turning them over until he found it!  Ha!
Usually in the mornings he wants to cuddle after breakfast and watch a movie.  He'll be sitting on the couch as I am cleaning up and he'll say "Sit on mommy's lap!  Cuddle with mommy!"  It is just too precious.  Of course I drop everything and run to join him!  I'm home all day now, there's always time for dishes, right?  Ha!

The other morning we were watching The Incredibles, and the mom and dad kissed.  He looked at me and said "They love each other?"  I said yes, they do.  And then he said "We love each other?"  Again, my heart melted (as if it hadn't already melted a million times before!)

We've been playing lots of trains, too!  Since daddy fixed up his train table again, he just can't get enough of it.  He'll play this for a good hour before moving on to something else.  The other day he lined up every single train in different places all around the table.  Then he found the little cards that have the train names and matched them up by each one saying it was their "ticket."  Every once in a while he'll say "All aboard!" as he's playing.
My little engineer is figuring out how it all works!  Ha!  He sees daddy look at this diagram of his table when he puts it together.  Andrew was looking at it and finding pieces and then getting up and pointing at where they were.  He has always loved looking at brochures and things that go with his toys.  He studies everything so closely, it is so funny.
He wanted to keep posing by his trains- he was so proud of how he set them all up!
He's been really into band aids lately too.  He'll pretend he hurt himself and ask me for one.  Then he'll stick it in all different places- his foot, his head, his finger...and the other day, his nose!  Ha!
Then once he's "all better" he'll stick it on one of his stuffed animals!
 One afternoon he dug through his closet and found his Halloween costume.  So we had to put it on of course.
And throw on the Woody hat to go with it!
Pretending to shoot lasers like Buzz!
We dug out his Toy Story dominoes, which he loved.  He figured out how to match them up so the pictures match.
Then of course we had to set them up and knock them down (about a hundred times!)
He's been playing with jewelry too (Ha!)
And of course, watching plenty of movies.  Woody and Buzz have become his "buddies" this week, since he has been friend deprived!  Ha!
We've made cookies, too!
Another sweet treat from Landon.  What would we have done without that survival kit??  Ha!

He's been inquiring quite a bit about staying home versus going to school.  He'll suddenly pop up and say "Stay home today mommy?  No Miss Erin's today!"  And he seems excited about it.  We'll see how long that lasts!  Ha!  I've been telling him there is no school this week- and that mommy has no school either.  He always mentions that daddy is at work though!  As if to reassure me, he looked at me and smiled and said "Mommy, I happy!"  (more melting!)

Thank goodness daddy had his schedule cleared this week (because remember??  Andrew was supposed to be in the hospital this week!)
Andrew is just thrilled when daddy comes home from work and takes him outside for some fresh air (mommy loves it too!)
It hasn't exactly been that gorgeous 70 degree weather we had last week, but it hasn't been too bad either.
Daddy is trying to teach him how to pedal (because, no, he still doesn't know how!)
He is getting the hang of it!  It'll be his goal for the end of the summer!  Last summer it was potty training, so I'd say this goal is more attainable!  Ha!
Daddy even charged the gator so he could drive around!
He was loving every minute of it!
Being silly on the swingset in the backyard...

And I hope he's not planning on doing this after his open heart surgery!  Yikes!
Thank goodness for daddy!  And look at that face!  He is thinking he's pretty glad daddy is here too!  He had just pointed at me and said "go away!"  Ha!  I think he is tired of me taking pictures of his every move all week!  Plus, I'm sure it's nice to have someone else entertain him for a while!

I had to laugh, in all these pictures he's in his jammies!  After he comes in from outside with daddy, he immediately strips down and puts his jammies back on!  Ha!  I can't seem to get a picture of him with clothes on!  I promise I do bathe him every once in a while!  When I came downstairs dressed to go to Target tonight he just looked at me and said "Mommy put clothes on!"  Ha!  I had to laugh.  You know, since I've been in my jammies all week too!  (And I also do shower...once in a while.) Ha!
Since I actually showered and got dressed tonight I thought I'd have Craig take my 20 week belly shots! I can't believe it, but time really is flying now.  I told Craig by the time we get back from surgery it'll be time to start getting the baby's stuff upstairs and the room ready!  I have been feeling baby move a lot this past week, and I just love that feeling.  It truly is the best feeling in the world!
Andrew loves "his baby."  He is always feeling his own tummy and saying "My baby!  Be careful!"  (Can you tell I have to say that to him countless times a day as he wants to wrestle and jump on me all the time!)  
He had a stuffed animal stuffed up his shirt and was pretending it was his baby!  Oh boy.  I hope I don't have to have "the talk" with him at this young age!  Ha!  For now we settle for "only mommies can have babies."  And that satisfies him for a while.

He still wants a "brudder."  Next week (Wed.) is our big 20 week ultrasound!  This is the ultrasound where we found out about Andrew's heart.  I am somewhat comforted that this baby's heart has already checked out okay, but I have certainly learned not to go into anything too confident.  We are praying for great news and hoping to find out if Andrew will be getting a "brudder" or sister!

So one week down... 13 days to go!  And thank goodness it's Friday!  (I always say that when I'm working full time, but I have a newfound respect for stay at home moms of toddlers!  I don't think I could do this full time!  Ha!)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Roller Coaster

I've always felt this journey as a heart family has been somewhat of a roller coaster.  There have been many ups and downs (mostly "ups!") but there are always those unexpected twists and turns that are bound to throw you for a loop.

It has been a stressful week.  We had planned to keep Andrew home from day care to keep him healthy.  So on Monday last week my mom picked him up from his Valentine party at preschool and he was going to begin his week at home on lockdown!  My mom called me at work to tell me she didn't think he felt good, and let me tell you it was all downhill from there.  We went to the doctor three times and a fourth potential ER visit (which thankfully we were able to avoid, but we were halfway there before we decided to turn around!).  Andrew was as sick as he's ever been his whole life.  High fever, vomiting, swollen and red tonsils, lethargic... we were all just beside ourselves.  We made every effort to keep him healthy, the only place we've been is the hospital for his cath.  We are assuming he picked something up from there.  All his blood work and tests came back negative.  Still, knowing this could affect his surgery this week, I called Iowa City on Monday night to explain and ask if I should wait to begin the antibiotics.   I didn't want to give him antibiotics unnecessarily, especially if I thought it would affect the surgery date.

When he spiked another high fever on Wednesday night, I knew surgery was probably not going to happen.  I dreaded that phone call.  Iowa City called on Thursday to check on him, and when I gave them the run down, she said that they wouldn't want to operate this week, especially since he had been running fevers.  It felt like the air was being slowly let out of my balloon...We understand that it is in his best interest, and obviously we wouldn't want to put him in danger by operating at the wrong time.  But still, it just stinks.

Everything was getting packed, my mind was getting prepared, plans were being made.  I am not good with change.  I had a sub all lined up to teach my class, and I was planning to return to do my conferences in two weeks while Andrew recovered with daddy once we were home.  This would also allow me to get paid over spring break the following week (because, did I mention...I'm not getting paid for any of my time off.)  I'm not gonna lie, this has been very upsetting.  I know it isn't Andrew's or anyone's fault, it is just so hard to accept change.  Especially for something so huge.  This surgery has literally been looming over our heads for the past 2 years.  We've been anticipating it, we've known it was coming, but it kept getting put off (which was a good thing).  But now we finally had a date set, and time was drawing near.

And now it has been put off again.

The date is still to be determined.  When Andrew finishes his antibiotics next week, they want to wait another week or two to make sure whatever this was, it doesn't return.  I called again yesterday and tried to push them for a date.  The earliest available is March 10.  Smack dab in the middle of my conference week.  Great timing.  But we will work around it if we have to.  I had her pencil us in, and we'll just pray he continues on the up and up.  Everything else will work its way out (at least I keep telling myself that!)

The tricky part?  They don't recommend he attend day care or preschool between now and the surgery date.  With all the junk going around, I can't say I disagree.  But that presents a whole new set of problems and issues to work out.  More unpaid time...more lesson plans to write for a sub, finding time to make up 25 conferences, and more time to think about this surgery, which we just want to be over.

Last week when I was home with Andrew, he put on his backpack and Woody gear and said "Bye Bye Mama!  I go to Miss Erin's class!"  He went in his room for a while.  When he came back he waved at me and said "Hi Mama!  I had fun!"  It was so funny, yet so heartbreaking at the same time.  Andrew loves school and his little friends more than anything.  It is hard for me to remember back to those days where I felt so guilty dropping him off at day care and would cry all the way to work wishing I could be home with him again.  Now, that guilt has completely disappeared because he absolutely loves it.  It is where he wants to be.  And I am so happy and grateful that he loves school so much.  And now we're keeping him away from it.  I know it is necessary, but it still breaks my heart.

So our two weeks at home together before the surgery begins starting Monday.  I have to admit I'm a little surprised at how I'm feeling about it.  Most mornings as we are rushing around trying to get ready for school and work, I often wish I could just stay home, cuddle in bed with my son and sleep in.  I wish we could stay in our jammies all day and play and act silly.  Now I am getting that opportunity.  But it feels different somehow.  I guess it is because it is for a different purpose.  Now we will be confined to the house.  Not so much as a step outside to Target or anywhere else.  No visitors, no playing with friends.  All in an effort to keep him healthy this time.  Andrew and I have not spent our days at home together since he was a baby.  You know, when he used to sit in his bouncy and smile at me while I scrapbooked and told him about all the pictures, or cooed happily in his swing while I did dishes.  I'm pretty sure this time isn't going to be quite like those days...

Yeah, not so much.

I'm pretty sure this four year old and I will be going a little...stir crazy?
(By the way, these were both taken the same day.  Yes, we change between the Buzz and Woody jammies daily.  And yes, it's nearly impossible to get them away from him long enough to wash them).  Oh, and do you like the clorox wipes on the end table?  Ha!  I just noticed that.  But it does give you an idea of what my week has been like!  Ha!
Thankfully, Andrew is back to his normal, crazy self.  Whatever it was seems to have gone away for now.  Now we'll just be praying that he continues to stay healthy once the antibiotics are finished.
This little Buzz is already bored to tears and the week is just beginning.  We've already discovered the "surgery pile" with some new and exciting movies and toys.  We've had the play doh out and created every animal under the sun (even though mommy hates playing with play doh in the house!)  We've colored, played with trains, played games and put together every puzzle we own.
We've (well, Andrew anyway!) has jumped off the couch and stairs countless times yelling "To infinity...and BEYOND!!!!!"
Action shot of him jumping off the couch!  You know, so you know I'm really serious.  Ha!
We've tried out new outfits...
Made piles of our stuffed animals and lined them all up like in E.T.
We've invented new ways to play with our train table!  Ha!
And we've taken up sword fighting?  (Don't ask!)  Look at his skin and bones sticking out.  That's what a week's worth of vomiting will do to an already skinny kid!  Oh, and can you guess why he's not wearing any clothes here?  Yeah, he was ticked because the Woody and Buzz jammies were in the washing machine!  So he refused to wear anything but his Scooby knee high socks.  Nice.

And so the countdown begins again...  19 more days.  Do you think we'll survive?  Ha!

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