Tuesday, September 30, 2014

birthday celebrations

After Labor Day is my birthday, so we're getting closer to being caught up!  I'll get there!
Andrew had been begging Ga Ga to ride in her convertible, so she and Papa brought it over on my birthday and we took the kids to dinner in it.
They were beyond thrilled and so excited!
Pure joy!
My mom and I used to drive around in her convertible (it was an older one back then), when I was a little girl.  I have such fun memories of doing this with my mom.  It's fun to give my kids the same memories.
Andrew begged Ga Ga to keep it for a while, so she switched cars with daddy and we drove the convertible for a week.  To school.  To all our after school activities.  Andrew was so pumped.  Ga Ga is cool like that.
I think we are making it a tradition to go to Zeno's on my birthday.  This is the 2nd year we've done it, and the 2nd year we've lived here.  We just love their pizza!  They always bring free cheese sticks for birthdays and they are my favorite thing!!
After dinner we drove back home and I opened my cards and a few gifts.
The kids are always excited to give me their gifts and cards.

Another tradition (for the 2nd year) is my mom always brings gourmet cupcakes!  I always look forward to it!
And this year as an extra special treat, my mom and the kids and I took a little road trip to Minneapolis to keep celebrating my birthday since daddy had to work.  We had so much fun!  My mom and the kids and I are getting pretty good at road trips together (after South Carolina this summer!)
He just did this, unprompted.  This kid cracks.me.up.
My buddy and I on our all time favorite ride- the Pepsi coaster!  I think we rode it at least 3 times.  So fun!
The kids always enjoy the Wonder Pets Flyboat!

My sweet girl
I got Andrew to pose with the Ninja Turtles this time.  But I'm afraid it's becoming a thing of the past.  My guy just isn't into these characters anymore and it makes me so sad!!  I remember the year we made a special trip back here just to see these guys!
He's just getting so grown up!
My girl is getting over her fear, she even held Diego's hand!
Sweet kids on the carousel 
We had a great time swimming in the pool too!  That's always a favorite activity on our vacations!
Mommy and Ga Ga's favorite activity... IKEA.  Kerigan's?  Notsomuch.  She and Andrew had fun in the child care area they have, but they only let them stay for an hour.  Seriously?  An hour in IKEA?  Not possible.  So mom and I got about 1/8 of the way through and went back to pick them up and finished shopping with them.   Then we headed back home after a fun weekend!  I am hoping we can make this trip a tradition too!
The next weekend my mom watched the kids so we could have a couple's date night to celebrate my good friend Angie's and my birthdays.  I had to laugh, before we left the sitter was cashed out on the couch!  Ha!  
We had so much fun at Latin King and seeing Gone Girl.  Kind of a weird movie, but a fun night with friends!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

back to school

My sweet babies started school last month!  I am pretty sure I say this every year, but I cannot believe how much time flies, and how much they grow and change each year.  I just want to freeze time.
They both had a great first day, and have had a great year so far!  We are blessed again with awesome teachers.
It is so surreal to me that Andrew is in 2nd grade.  I taught 2nd grade for 8 years when I got my first teaching job.  I was a 2nd grade teacher when I found out that my precious son would be born with a congenital heart defect.  And I would never have believed that one day, he would be entering 2nd grade.  
We are so blessed.
For the first time, he's starting his 2nd year in the same building.  I think he was so happy not to have to change schools this year!  And the best part is... I am there with him!
I got to walk him in on our first day
I think we both had a little extra "spring" in our step!
He found his locker!
But then he came back to mommy's room until school started!  He does this every day and I absolutely love it.  Every day after school he comes bursting in the door, so excited to tell me all about his day.  I always sit down with him and he tells me things he's learned.  Best part of my day.
Andrew (2nd grade) & Mommy (4th grade)- First day of school!
Most of his favorites haven't changed!  He couldn't pick just one favorite of most of them!  He wanted to name 2 shows, 2 movies, etc... ha!  So I just picked the first ones he said.  He looks so much more grown up to me than he does in his first grade pictures.

And this girl... oh how I love her!  This smile just shows exactly how excited she was about her first day of preschool.  Her day was the week after Andrew's, and she was so mad when I was taking pictures of him and not her!  I debated about getting them in the picture together, but this year I didn't, since they started on different days.
I just love her little school patch on her dress... and her sweet toes and saltwater sandals.  I could just eat her up with a spoon!
She picked out her first backpack.  Of course purple.  And unicorns.
The theme for her this year is princesses, purple and pink!  Ha!
I can hardly believe it, but this was her 2 yr favorites, taken on the last day of 2 yr old day care.  So it was a little over a year, but she just looks SO little to me!  

So I blinked and another school year is underway!  Bring on fall!

Saturday, September 13, 2014


I can't believe I've let this much time pass between posts.  I think that's a first.  There is that never ending to-do list and this blog keeps getting pushed farther down the list.  I love blogging and keeping record of our family's memories, so I promise to try to keep up!  This has just been a crazy busy season... and all the fun we are having and things we are doing are taking priority to blog updates!  But I want to get them in the books... so here's my attempt at catching up!
This was such a cool day.  The Superhero heart run was started by some heart moms in Omaha and they also make the Superhero capes for heart kiddos.  Andrew got his cape several years ago and loves it.  They brought this walk to Des Moines and we had so much fun attending!  Having all the mascots there was pretty cool, too!
The panther (UNI!) was funny, he kept teasing Andrew!
Everyone who walked/ran got a cape (instead of a t-shirt like most walks, original idea, right?)  I loved it!  Kerigan picked pink and Andrew got green.  But then we put his other cape on to identify him as a heart HERO!
They were supposed to dress like superheroes and Kerigan has nothing like that so we settled for Belle!  Ha!
Grace and Kerigan
Kerigan refused to stand by any of the mascots, but I had no problem getting her in there with the ISU cheerleaders!  That's my girl!
Heart friends Andrew and Lainey!
My little superhero (I guess he's my big superhero now!)
The mascots started the race...
I loved this of Andrew taking his mark to begin!
This kid absolutely LOVES running.  When he heard he got to run he was so excited!

Had to stop for a picture with the UNI Panther (for daddy!)
Andrew ran for about half of it, so he was way ahead.  Grace and Kerigan strolled along and chatted.  So characteristic of our girls!

After the race I had a special surprise for the kids...
Yes, we got a kitten!  She was donated to us by a heart family who breeds these special kind of cats (Cyhawk Siberian), they are really good with kids and low shed (which was a must on my list!  I refused to be constantly cleaning up cat hair!)  So daddy caved and we drove to pick her up after the walk!  The kids were so excited and surprised!
She wore her "Belle" shirt because we named the kitten Belle!
The kids have both gotten over their fears of animals, which we had hoped they would.  Both of them have always been afraid of animals (anytime we went to anyone's house who have a cat or dog they would freak out).  So we felt a pet of their own would help, and it has!  They love playing with her and they just adore her.
Every year at the beginning of the year when all the classrooms are doing graphs of what pets and how many pets the kids have, Andrew always had to be the one without a pet.  He would always come home and ask for one.

Ya think they are happy about our new pet?
Speaking of superheroes, the amazing doctors from Iowa City came to talk to our heart support group at last month's meeting!  This is Andrew's main man, Dr. Divekar!  I basically wouldn't let anyone else touch Andrew in the cath lab.  This man is a miracle worker and has worked many on Andrew!  He's had more caths than I can count (I lost count at 11 a couple years ago) and Dr. D knows Andrew's heart better than anyone.  We thought it was pretty special to sit down and have him join us for dinner before the presentation!
There are two new surgeons, as they replaced the incredible Dr. Davis, who passed away last year of a brain tumor.  We miss Dr. Davis so much, and are so blessed he was the one who touched Andrew's heart twice.  We know we can trust him with these new surgeons as well, as he will need more surgeries in the future.
Our awesome team!  We are so proud of the University of Iowa Children's Hospital!
Group picture with some of the heart kids!
Cardiologist Dr. Law and Dr. Divekar!  They have both known Andrew since he was 7 months old.  I love these strong guy poses!  Our little man is one strong superhero!

*Speaking of, he has a cardio appointment coming up next month which will probably determine the course of action for his next cath.  Please be praying for those pressures to be low and for his heart to look happy! :)

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