Thursday, September 29, 2011

cath is finished

Sorry for the delay in updating... it's hard to update once they tell us he's done we sort of rush around, get our things together so we can get up to recovery so we are there when he wakes up! It is all very rushed.

Dr. Divekar presented a lot of information to us regarding the severity of his very narrow pulmonary arteries. He did end up having to place a stent, but apparently he isn't expecting it to help lower the pressure like we thought. It is just one piece of the very complex puzzle that is Andrew's heart. The hope would be that this stent would assist by increasing blood flow, which in turn should make the arteries grow over time. But our past experience with this is....those stubborn things don't want to grow. Apparently the problem spots are the smaller branches that stem off the larger left pulmonary artery. They are as thin as a hair strand (we saw it on film today). Basically there is not much he can do to get those to grow. So he couldn't tell us that this would work. Basically, there is no "fix all." We just have to play the waiting game again and see if they grow over time. And looks like we'll be back here in another 6 months for more balloons/stents. Like we learned a long time ago.... this journey will never be "over."

I'm too exhausted and overwhelmed with information to type out more details right now. We are processing everything. I'm hoping my head is more clear later tonight or in the morning to give more explanation. The main thing is, Andrew did great and the procedure went great today.
Thanks for all the prayers- and please keep them coming. He's going to need them!

Cath has begun

We got to Iowa City last night and had a great time at the hotel. We went out for dinner at Texas Roadhouse and then went swimming. After swimming, Ga Ga and Papa took Andrew out to IHOP for another meal! Ha! We wanted to stuff him so he wouldn't be hungry this morning. Poor thing. Since he was second case today, we had to wait for another cath to be done before they took him back. He only asked to eat about 3 times, and he handled it okay when we told him no. He also handled it well when they rolled the food cart in the waiting room and another kid started eating a cookie right in front of him. Yeah, I wasn't too happy about that!

He was very uneasy about coming to the hospital. He remembered being here for his surgery. He cried in anticipation of everything, before they drew labs, and before he went in the cath lab. The sweetest thing of the day was when he begged Ga Ga to go in with him while they put him under (Ga Ga didn't think she could handle it, so he settled for mommy!) so he just gave Ga Ga a big hug and said "I'll be back..." in the saddest little voice. Then he just burst into tears when we took him into the lab. He didn't fight the mask too much, mainly because they let him hold it himself, which he liked. They asked him how it smelled, and the trick worked like a charm! Ha! He put it right up to his face and we all just talked to him and his big eyes looked up at me. I know he didn't want to be there. He had asked to go home several times. I told him the doctors were going to make him sleep for a while and he said "No, let's just go home and sleep, okay mama?" Oh how I wish...

We've gotten a few updates, they have begun to balloon the left pulmonary artery. We are praying that it stays open so a stent won't be needed. Will keep you updated as we get more news.
Thanks for all the prayers! We can feel them.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

doctor andrew

My best friend Alissa came over last night and brought Andrew this doctor dress up outfit.  He LOVED it!  (Alissa was practicing by feeding Kerigan for me because she'll be having her sweet baby boy very soon!)  Anyway... Andrew put the gear on and brought us all to his "office" for our doctor appointment.  He got out his doctor's kit and listened to our hearts, looked in our ear, made us say "Ahhhhh," and then gave us a shot.

Oh, how I wish it was just that simple.
We'll be heading to Iowa City this afternoon.  I told Andrew this morning about his upcoming stay at the hospital.  He didn't seem very thrilled about it, which I can't blame him.  Although he forgot all about the hospital when I told him about the hotel with the swimming pool and slide we'll be staying at tonight.  I also promised him a new movie or two! I assured him he wasn't getting another "owie" (where his scar is), but that doctors were going to fix his heart in another way.  It is so hard to explain to a four year old the concept of heart defects.  All we can tell him is that his heart is very special. 

He just has no idea how very special it is.

Andrew is second case tomorrow.  This means we don't have to rush around in the morning (there's another cath before his), but it also means that Andrew can't eat anything for a loooong time.  I'm not sure how we're going to hold him off that long.  Another hard thing to have to explain to a child.
These were my cuddle bugs this morning.
We stayed in bed together for a long time.
The next couple days I'll just be dreaming about doing this again soon. 
Very soon.

Thanks for all your prayers.  I'll be updating next from Iowa City in the morning once they get started!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

family fun & fall

Andrew just adores his cousins.  He loves them all, but we are so grateful that two of them live in town and we get to see them quite a bit.  After a few days, Andrew will ask for Evie and Jayden and say "I miss them!"
We watched the Cyclone game with them a couple weeks ago.  This is what the kids did during the game!  Ha! (And let me tell you, it took some coaxing for them to settle on watching it on the computer, not the big TV!  But there was no way us adults were going to miss that game!  Ha!)
This little girl didn't care the cyclones won in triple overtime (oops, sorry to rub that in your faces again Hawkeye fans!)  She just loved chillin with her auntie Rachel.

The other weekend we took the kids to the Lion King 3D. (These pictures are blurry because they were taken with my phone- and it was dark).
They even had special addition Lion King glasses!
Andrew was thrilled about the movie and popcorn, but I think he was even more thrilled that Evie and Jayden went with us!
What a ham!
The movie was excellent.  It was really fun to see it restored and in 3D!  I am so excited they are releasing it from the Disney vault next month (does anyone else hate the Disney vault!?  All the movies I know Andrew would love now are locked up for who knows how many more years??)  I have found several on Amazon, but they aren't often cheap!
Last weekend we had a visit from my brothers, Tim and Tom.  They came over for brunch because Tom lives in California and has never met Andrew or Kerigan!  So we all got together on Sunday and it was so nice to see them.
Kerigan loves her uncle Tim.  She sat on his lap for a long time!  Every time I am with my brothers I am reminded of my dad because they are just like him!  They both look so much like him, and I love that I have those reminders of my dad.
Kerigan was cashed out!  Ha!
Yummy brunch food my mom and I made!  Egg casserole, cheesy hash brown casserole and monkey bread.  I could eat this stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner!  Sooooo good!
I just love how friendly Andrew is.  He has never met his Uncle Tom, but somehow he understood the connection because he just jumped right in and gave him a big hug when it was time for them to go.  He was so loving!  That is a trait Andrew has always had- like his grandpa Bill too!  He never meets a stranger!
This is random, but I wanted to put in a couple more pictures of Andrew at tumbling.  He is loving it!  He's really doing a good job.  It has been fun getting him involved in activities this fall.
He loves the social interaction, and just having something fun to go and do!
I think this trampoline might be making its way on his Christmas list!  He loves this thing!  His face just lights up when they get it out!
I finally got my shelves up and decorated for fall!  I am loving the new look in our family room (don't you love how Kerigan is in the middle of the floor?  Ha!)  So we used to have a ten year old TV with the huge box on the back, taking up half the space in here with a big armoire.  I was hating that thing, and we needed more space and more storage.  The armoire is now in the playroom storing toys.  We are loving our finally upgraded HD TV above the fireplace!  Seriously.  On our old TV, our shows were getting cut off on the edges since it wasn't a widescreen!  There's a sign when it's time to get a new one!  Ha!  These shelves were purchased on our trip to Minneapolis last month.  I just love how they turned out.  Gotta love IKEA!  Great price, but they are built so sturdy and look way more expensive than they were!  Can't beat that!  Ha!

And just for fun- a before picture:
The room really needed some height, and a makeover, dont'cha think??  We switched the couches, so the big one faces the TV now, with our coffee table, which we have had, but moved to the basement for the last few years because it was taking up too much space, and Andrew kept bumping his head on it!  Now it fits perfectly in the room, and I got a new rug.  It's been seven years since we've done anything to the house, and I almost feel like we moved!  Ha!  Change is good.

Andrew was so precious as I was getting out the fall decorations.  I was fixing up the mantle with lights and he said "Let's show Daddy!" and he ran upstairs and said to Craig, "Daddy!  Come see!  Come see how pretty!"  He could barely even express what he wanted to say, he was so excited.  It just about brought tears to my eyes.  I told Craig he better act thrilled to death (Ha!) because Andrew was so excited to show him.  Later that night as I was finishing putting things up, Andrew came up and said "Thanks for putting pumpkins mama!"  At least someone (besides me!) appreciates the decorations around here!  Ha!  It makes it all worth it!

I went on Andrew's class field trip to the apple orchard last week.  I just love being home in the fall and getting to do these fun things that I never get to do when I am working all day.
Kerigan wasn't thrilled about the photo shoot, but we attempted!  Ha!  We are going back as a family later next month, so will have to try the photo shoot again!
 It could have been because her brother was squeezing her to death!  Ha!
She actually did pretty good the whole time.  I was a little nervous about bringing her, but I really wanted to go with Andrew, since I never get to do those things!  She slept most of the time, and only woke up to eat.  She was fussy once, but stopped when we went on the hayrack ride!  She loves the movement.
 The kids looked at animals, jumped in the corn pool...

Went in the schoolhouse...
and went on a hayrack ride...
This is Andrew's best friend Charlie (doesn't he just look naughty!??  Ha!)  I'm sure these two are quite the pair.  They have been friends since they were in the 2 year old room together, and they are inseparable.  I love that he has a special friend he gets to see every day.
This picture cracks me up.  They tried to get a group photo.  I love how Andrew is in the front (right) and he's about the only one looking at me!  Ha!  There were several other cameras to look at.
I had so much fun with my little buddy.  We are all set for the cath this week.  We leave for Iowa City on Wednesday.  Andrew is finished with his antibiotics and seems to be doing better.  We are praying he stays that way for a few more days!!  We haven't told him yet, but we are staying in his favorite hotel (with the waterslide!) on Wednesday night!  We usually stay there the nights before he has caths and surgeries (a trade off for having to go to the yucky hospital!)  We think he deserves to have a little fun!  And we intend to!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

queen for a day

Birthdays are a big deal in my family.  Ever since I can remember, my mom and dad always went out of their way to make my birthday special.  I always felt like a queen!  Even today, 35 years later (yikes!) my mom still goes out of her way to make my day special.  And Jim did too.  My sweet husband had to work all day and night (but he made up for it with a really beautiful card... and an early birthday present... my new iPhone!)  But mom and Jim still didn't want my birthday to go by without celebrating. So they joined the kids and I this afternoon for a fun filled evening!
It may not look fun filled here (Ha!) but it was!  Andrew was sitting so cute on Papa sleeping, I had to take a picture!
 Once he noticed I had the camera, he went all "cheese!" on me! :)
 These two are the most precious gifts.  All I could ever hope for, or desire.
 I got to spend the whole day with my beautiful babies, and that in itself was reason for celebration.
 (This is an inside look of how the photo shoot really went!  Don't you love Kerigan's spit up on my shoulder?  And Andrew being way naughty!  He had to be bribed with fruit snacks... He was squeezing Kerigan so tight she kept crying!  Ha!)  Haven't you noticed people usually only post the "good" pictures?  I have to show you sometimes what it is really like!  Ha!
 Andrew was being so funny.  I was trying to sit him on his knees with Kerigan in between and I told him to put his arm around mommy (so I could put Kerigan between us), and he did this- grabbed me around the neck and practically pushed me over (hence, the reason for my hair being all messed up!  Ha!)  Love his sweet smile.  This is what it's really all about.  Andrew sang happy birthday to me when he woke up this morning.  And continued all throughout the day.  It was like he knew my birthday was a special day, and he wanted to make it special for me.  Man I love this kid!  

Before we went out to dinner, we all took him to his tumbling class.  I reminded him of the naughty boys in his class, and told him what I expected of him before we went inside.  He was absolutely perfect the whole time.  Watching the other boys run around like hooligans.  I kept giving him the thumbs up, and he'd nod his head and smile at me.  After class, we all praised him for how good he was and he said "I made you happy mama!"  It was the most precious thing.  EVER.
 I didn't take my camera to dinner, my mom took us out to Applebees (Andrew loves it there) and we had a delicious birthday dinner, complete with an awesome brownie sundae!  (Everyone in my family knows I'd rather have a big ol' fatty brownie than cake... ANY day!)
 When we got home from dinner, Andrew helped me open my birthday cards and gifts.  Kerigan was so adorable, sitting up in her chair like such a big girl!  Ha!  I can't wait to see her on my birthday next year!  It almost makes me sad to think how big she'll be!
 Bless Jim's heart, he is so sweet.  My mom said he spent all week shopping for special things for me for my birthday.  He picked out this ISU shirt, which I love!
 He also picked out a special pumpkin candy jar and a bag of candy corn to add to my fall decorations (which I also love!)  It was so thoughtful of him to actually put thought into gifts he knew I'd love.
I love these pictures of Andrew's face.  He was so excited to help mommy open her presents!  I have always thought it was so sweet of Andrew to love everyone's birthdays, even if they are not his own.  He loves joining in the fun and doesn't even care that he doesn't get presents.  He just gets super excited to watch us open our presents.  Sweet boy.

I had a great day, thanks to my family and all my sweet friends who texted, left facebook messages and emails!  My phone was beeping all day long with new messages coming in!  It was so fun!  Thanks so much everyone!

And my hubby's taking me out this weekend to celebrate, just the two of us!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


We took Andrew bowling for the first time a couple weekends ago.
Andrew and his friend Landon were cheering because daddy knocked over the pins!
Very serious about rolling his bowling ball down the slide!
He went back and forth between using the slide and just rolling the ball.  He would try to roll it in the gutters on purpose!  Ha!
He loved it when the ball rolled up!

Love the mini bowling shoes!  And I was trying to get a picture of him with the ball before he rolled it down the slide, and he purposely let it go before I took the picture.  This was his reaction afterwards!  A great smile, with no ball!  Stinker!
He finally let me snap one! (I think I might have bribed him with something!  Ha!)
He loved the chairs that swung around back and forth!

Love this- daddy "coaching" him
Yay Daddy! 

Lots of shoes

Landon choking lovin on his brother and Andrew!  Ha!

We had a great time bowling with the Grylls family!

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