Wednesday, January 30, 2013


My sweet baby boy...

Ok, so I know you aren't a baby anymore.  But I have news for you buddy.  You will always be my baby!  No matter what.  Today you are six years old.  You are officially closer to 10 than 1, and that makes me a little bit sad, but also makes me want to burst with gratitude.  When I wasn't sure you'd live for six minutes, getting to keep you for six glorious years has been more than I could have ever hoped for, or dreamed of.

You are now old enough for me to tell you stories about when you were born, and your special heart.  You know that you were tiny, and that you came into the world too early.  And that mommy was worried about you, and scared.  I often tell you that you are my miracle baby, and I think you are beginning to understand what that means.  You know that Jesus gave you to us, and that you were a gift.  I can only pray that you will take that with you your whole life, and do big things.  I know you will.

You love to hear stories about yourself as a baby and young boy.  I think your sister brings memories back to me, because I often see her do things and think of things you did, or didn't do like she does.  You always laugh and say "what did I do?"  and "then what did I do?" after the story is over!  You enjoy seeing pictures of yourself and hearing about all the silly and cute things you did.  You especially like that we called you a monkey, and that you climbed out of your crib (and you love to watch the video of yourself over and over!)  And just for fun in honor of your birthday, I dug this out again!  There are so many things about this that make me laugh.  The monkey pj's (quite appropriate), the way you grunt and make noises the whole time but you never give up.  That determination is something about you that has never changed.  After you are out, your reaction is priceless.  You are so proud of yourself.  My favorite is the way you toss your paci back in the crib, because you know it's for night night time only.  Oh my sweet boy, what I would give for one more day like this with you. (Pause the music at the bottom for Andrew's full sound effects!)

As I sit here, unable to believe you are six, I can't help but look back to six years ago.  That scary but beautiful moment when you were born in the early morning hours on January 30, against my wishes, because I was certain that you wouldn't live coming into the world with a severe heart defect, and six weeks early.  I can still see the doctor holding you up from across the room.  There wasn't much time for me to see you, and we didn't even have a camera because we didn't know you were coming (this was way before iPhones!) but those short seconds are etched into my memory forever.  I don't need a picture to remember, and I think God knew that I would need that first memory to stay with me always.  Your full head of dark hair sticking straight up, your tiny little limbs flailing, and best of all, your cry.  A precious, tiny little noise, but oh the best sound in the world.  You were certainly the most beautiful being I had ever seen.  My darling little 3lb 13oz bundle of pure joy.
I know I share this picture every year, but it is the first time I held you, and the first picture we have of you.  I think it shows just how tiny you were because you can see the size of my hand in comparison.  I just think you look like the most precious and beautiful baby in this picture, and so cuddly.  I just remember holding you like that, not being able to believe that you were mine, you were here, and you were real.  You were so fragile, I was scared to break you.  But I treasured the few times I got to hold you before your surgery.
I was so blessed to be home with you your first year, and every single day was filled with joy and purpose.  Nothing was more important than being with you, and I loved every single minute.  Two open heart surgeries later, you turned 1!  And what a blessed day that was!
Your second year I worked part time and enjoyed our time together just as much.  Your 2nd birthday was so much fun to plan and celebrate!
3rd birthday- full of personality!
4th birthday- growing up!  I think you grew a lot between 3 and 4.  It was shortly after this birthday that you had your 3rd open heart surgery.  And you flew through it like a champ... in only 4 days you were back home!
But then I see these next pictures and I just can't believe how much you grow right before our eyes.
My camera was on the wrong settings, but I just love this picture of you on your 5th birthday.  My little dragon warrior.  This seems like just yesterday to me.
Taken at your 6th birthday party (you weren't quite 6 yet!)  

Andrew, this has been an amazing year for you.  You have thrived in your role as big brother.  You are protective and loving (most of the time!) to your sister, and you both love each other so much.  It is a joy to watch.  You graduated from preschool and we took you on a special vacation to celebrate- Disneyland and the grand opening of Cars Land!  We all had an amazing time making memories- my favorite of which was a late night ride with you and daddy on Radiator Springs Racers.  I'll never forget it.  You officially learned to swim this summer.  You started Kindergarten and have taken some time to adjust, but you are growing every day and learning that letters and sounds make words, and you are starting to read.  It is amazing for me to witness.  You are an amazing, smart, brave and beautiful little boy with a special, caring heart.  You show such empathy and sensitivity towards others, and you have an appreciation for the things you are given.  I have prayed that you would possess these traits as you grew up, and God has led you to be the special little six year old that you are.  That He intended for you to be.

And daddy and I couldn't be more proud of you.

Happy 6th birthday buddy!  We love you!
More pictures to come from your party last weekend...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

new years eve & winter break fun

After our snowstorm dumped about 12 inches of snow on us, we were able to enjoy winter activities over break, like sledding!  Andrew couldn't wait to get on a hill!  We even took Kerigan thinking she might enjoy it, and she did!  With our snow days we ended up with a full 2 weeks off, and it was pure bliss!
This makes me laugh- I am holding Kerigan going down, and Craig is on another sled at the bottom and Andrew was charging back up to do it again!
He was SO excited about the snow!
And he loves to "wipeout"... on purpose!  Silly kid!
We love sledding with cousins so Evelyn and Andrew rode together a few times!  And I didn't take pictures from the bottom because we parked at the top and I quickly learned that my boots have no traction and I kept slipping and falling every time I tried to walk back up!  So once down the hill was enough for me, and no pictures from the bottom!  Ha!
And how cute are they hauling their sleds back uphill just chatting away!
One big push from Auntie Rachel!
Daddy getting ready to take Kerigan down!  She didn't really like the cold- or the snow, but she did enjoy her ride down!  It was her nap time so I put her in the car after a few times with the heat on and drove her around and she fell right to sleep while the other kids continued sledding!
We always love celebrating New Years with the kids.  I was thinking how times have changed since I was young!  Although New Years has never really been that thrilling to me for some reason.  I think I am always depressed that Christmas is over and I always feel like I am supposed to be doing something extravagant but restaurants are always crowded and you can't go anywhere without crowds or crazy drivers.  Craig always reminds me that we met New Years Eve (way back in 2000!) so he makes me feel guilty every time I say I don't like New Years!  Ha!
But I have to say, now that we have kids and they are old enough to do things, I think I enjoy New Years more than I did when I was single!  Ha!  And dressing up my girl definitely boosts it up a bit!
However there are some ways in which she is not the most lady-like!  Ha!
We have made a tradition of going with Craig's brother's family to eat at Red Robin.  Shockingly, they aren't busy at 4:30 (ha!) and I guess most hard core partiers choose establishments other than ones with a big red bird statue inside.  But we love it!  And it couldn't be more kid friendly!
After that we head to Imagine Eve downtown where they have a huge set up with bouncy houses and slides, etc.  You can see Kerigan reaching for me.  It is so impossible to get a good picture of her these days!
Hugging cousin Jayden
This girl loves her Uncle Jay (also her Godfather).  They have a special connection- I think they are both a bit smitten with each other.
Getting ready for the first slide of the night!  The event was extra crowded this year and the lines were really long.  The kids were good at being patient, but we are thinking of trying something new next year just for a change.
I was surprised that Kerigan jumped right in and loved the slides and bouncies that were her size (they have a special area for her size).
This turned out dark but I love Andrew's face!  Ha!
Entertaining everyone with some dance moves while waiting in line!
Andrew and Jayden liked this one because they could both go together and "race!"
This is about the only picture I could get of her standing still, but she wasn't really still, it just happened to not be blurry!
Someday she'll not let me post things of her from this angle... and it was too cute not to!

This just made me laugh.  Kerigan and her squinty smile, and Craig's wink!  What am I going to do with these two!?  Ha!
Afterwards they always have fireworks and we watch from the skywalk and it is so nice (and warm!)
The kids faces just lit up once the fireworks started!
I love this of Andrew crawling all over daddy!  Ha!
When we got home we had a surprise... grandma was there!  She had come to stay since grandpa had to come through for work.  Andrew was so excited.  And grandma got some snuggle time with Kerigan since she crashed on the way home!
We had a great time playing Uno Attack!
Andrew got a huge kick out of the cards shooting out at you when you hit the button!  I guess he didn't quite understand the point of the game is to end up with no cards at the end!  Ha!
He and daddy were cracking me up with their faces!
Classic!  Ha!
Love how the kids are all swarming around Craig and the Wii U!
I love this of my little man and me!
And our family right before midnight!  Can you tell??  Craig was a little tired, and Andrew was wired! Ha!
Aunt Rachel broke out the champagne!
We adults toasted to a great 2013!
Cousin pic at midnight!  Yes, they all made it and they were still going strong!
Once everyone left after a fun evening Craig and I finished off the champagne (don't get me wrong, there wasn't much left!) and enjoyed just hanging out and reminiscing about 12 years ago when we met.  We've been through a lot in that amount of time.  Losing my dad, going through infertility, and our son being born with a life threatening heart condition... we've certainly learned a lot and learned we can make it through anything together!

And Andrew got a special surprise the next night...
Buddy came back for a visit!  Can you tell Andrew was slightly excited?
Now he can be surrounded by Buddy in dreamland...

Happy New Year and here's to an amazing 2013!

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