Wednesday, July 27, 2016

cath news

This man is our miracle worker.  Of course, the One who created Andrew is the ultimate, and we recognize that.  But we believe that He sent this man to us.  Dr. Divekar has been Andrew's heart doctor since he was 9 months old and we went in for a cath after learning his pulmonary arteries hadn't grown after surgery and his pressure was dangerously high.  He came out of the cath lab after 5 hours, literally sweat pouring off him.  He had done everything he could and his only option was to place a stent in Andrew's PA's.  Back then this was devastating news, as it bought him another surgery to replace the stents as he grew.  Well.  Over these years he has again and again, made things better for Andrew.  And right now it's about as good as we could hope for.

But first, our time in Iowa City...
Of course, we arrived and checked into our favorite hotel.
Then we hit Target.  This is our regular routine to make things better for Andrew.  We try to have FUN!  #targetisfun.  Because #toys.
We ate out at Texas Roadhouse.  It's fun too.  #throwpeanutsonthefloor.
Then we went swimming.
The kids swam the whole night.  They went on this water slide over and over and never stopped.
Live it up, Andrew!
The kids even convinced Ga Ga to go down!  Ha!
Papa too!
Then they took Andrew out for his usual late night pancake snack at IHOP in his jammies!  Mom said he ate everything on his plate!
Unfortunately as the saying goes, "all good things must come to an end."  As the dreaded morning came and we got Andrew admitted for his procedure.  The goodbyes are always hard.
Heartbreaking tears saying goodbye to all of us.  I love that sweet boy so much.
All I can say is, thank goodness we have her.  
She makes waiting not quite as excruciating!  Ha!
My favorite part was running into a fellow heart mom who we've become friends with over the years through our support group.  Her daughter was having a regular appointment.  So we got in a few laughs while we were waiting.
Andrew rocked coming out of recovery at first.  He stayed still and sedated.  We thought we might get to go home.  But then his site started bleeding and they kept having to add an extra hour every time that happened.  We were in recovery the longest we've ever been- I lost count but I think it was 5 hours... #4hrstoolong
His thumbs up when we finally headed to the regular floor.  So when Dr. D pulled us into that little room after the procedure, we were prepared for the worst.  And we heard the best.  He was very enthusiastic about what he saw in the cath lab.  The PA's had grown a substantial amount.  I just had to sit for a minute and let that sink in after I typed it.  Because I didn't think I'd ever be typing that sentence.  He said Andrew doesn't need to be seen for a regular check up for a YEAR.  We've never gone a year between appointments.  And more good news... he won't need another cath for 2-3 years!  
And when he does need that cath?  It will be to replace his valve.  You just read that right- he is planning to replace his valve in the cath lab!  That's no open heart surgery!  And that is a miracle all by itself.  For 9 years we've worked to support the research and education of CHD's so that someday things could be better for Andrew.  All those efforts paid off, because 9 years ago, this wasn't possible.  Valve replacement was done with open heart surgery.  
God's timing is always perfect.  #siblinglove
 After a really long day.  Ha!  #craigneededanap

So the only unfortunate part for us is that our amazing Dr. D is leaving our favorite hospital. :(  Of course, right after we moved here!  (What's that I just said about timing??)  But there's always a silver lining.  He's going to Kansas City- and those of you who read this blog know we LOVE KC!  So a cath is now our excuse for a mini vacation, and we are thrilled he's not going too far.  We absolutely will follow him to KC, because let's face it.  He knows Andrew's anatomy better than anyone, and his research has helped make this valve replacement an option.  He knows what he's doing.  He knows Andrew.  It's a no brainer.
Boredom at its finest.  But she's such a great sister.
Finally time for an Xray!  And when we came back, Andrew had a surprise!
There's nothing better than pancakes and Jayden!
We were so happy Craig's brother came with his family and Andrew couldn't have been happier.  They even let us leave around 7, and the kids came back to the hotel with us.  Poor Andrew was so tired, he actually fell asleep in the car!  
The kids went swimming once we got Andrew settled in bed.  He doesn't even know this happened. My heart was breaking not to have Andrew in this picture.  He would've been devastated to miss swimming with his cousins.
But I decided to keep the kids overnight so Andrew could enjoy having them with us the next day.  He woke up with a huge smile when he saw who was next to him in bed!  It sure helps when anesthesia wears off!
This girl loves making pancakes in the machine!
Another picture with Herky.  We have one Hawkeye fan in this picture.  #itsnotus
We had to go visit daddy at his office since he now works in the same city that we've taken Andrew to appointments forever!  We are thrilled to be moving here, even though it's Hawkeye country!
We always love visiting daddy at school. 
We headed back home and the kids all had the best afternoon together.  They promised they would let Andrew lay low and relax so he and Jayden played video games, read books and just chatted.  It made Andrew's day.  And this girl's too.  Can you tell how much she loves her big cousin?

So after 9 years I'm so proud to still be writing about the miracles happening with Andrew.  I'm humbled that his story can give hope to so many others.  When he was born we prayed for God's glory to be shown through our son.  And today he is a thriving fourth grader with a bright future and a miraculous story to tell.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
Psalm 77:14

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

happy summer

I saw this on facebook and laughed out loud.  I texted it to Angie and told her I think we are safe!  Ha.  I use that emoji more than anything else.  I probably overuse it.  But what can I say?  We like to have fun and laugh around here! 
In case you couldn't tell!  Ha!

You can't help but laugh at this kid.  He was being a zombie and came walking toward me like this.  Kind of creepy considering Craig and I are obsessed with the Walking Dead.  He's never seen it and somehow he knows about zombies.  Ha!
Then Ga Ga was spending the night the other night and was in the basement bedroom laying with Kerigan and I came down and saw him like this.  He said he was guarding the door and he was marching back and forth in front of it.  He seriously
We are preparing for our big move and met Ga Ga and Papa at a furniture store the other day.  The kids had fun laying on all the beds and running around like they were in a huge house.  #nexttimeleavethemhome
Kerigan was with me in the bathroom while I was getting ready the other day and she was trying to look out these windows by our tub and she goes "Mama, your windows don't work!"  I thought it was so sweet.  And it made me chuckle.
We went to a movie with our friends and ate at this new delicious italian restaurant called Jetheroni Pepperoni.
It was so yummy!
These two. #besties
One afternoon my friend texted me and asked if we wanted to do something for the police department in town.
So the idea was born.  Tons of friends met at church and made cards and wrote letters to the officers and we had pizza.
It was such a good community service activity and good for the kids to learn gratitude for the people that help keep us safe!
Angie, in true teacher form, sat the kids in a circle and talked to them about what we were doing and we all said a prayer.
Then we walked 2 blocks to the station!  These two held hands the whole time.
The chief came out to talk to us and they were so thankful.
We also collected a box of on-the-go snacks they can grab quick before heading out on patrol.  It was a special way to show appreciation to our community!
The other night Chad and Angie dropped Parker off so they could take their girls to a movie.  The kids and I had so much fun with him!
He is such a sweet baby!  He said "An-doo" the other day and Andrew is so proud.  He's saying it was Parker's first word.  So sweet.
Andrew had his best friend Gavin over the other day after STEM camp.  We are trying to have lots of play dates and times with our friends before we move!
Then our sweet friends planned a going away party for us at Zeno's!
This picture makes me laugh- can you tell we were bribing them with cake??  Ha!  These are some of the special kids our kids have been blessed to become friends with during our time here.
Andrew's friend Gavin was running late so he was saving a seat for him!  Ha!
Some silly boys!
And girls... what is is about picking each other up?  These girls love to do this.  I'm worried they are going to break their backs!
Angie found this perfect shirt for Craig to wear on his first day of school at his new job!  Hahaha.  His face cracks me up.
These are our people.  I can't say enough about our group of friends we have made here.  Any of them would drop anything to help each other out and I have called many of them to do just that.  We have been each other's support systems for everything... new babies, relationship struggles, life changes, you name it.  We will miss them dearly.  
Just a few of my girls... I can only pray that in our new town I will find bonds like I have with these women.
Angie had us over for s'mores after the party and the boys were Pokemon-ing.
Their family came over one night and we had pizza and then Chad took the girls to a sleepover.  Angie stayed and hung out with me since Craig was gone overnight and working late. 
Sweet girls at their sleepover
Andrew and I Face-Timed daddy from bed!  We got to have the house all to ourselves so we were cuddling and watching a movie in our bed.  I loved time alone with my boy!
The next morning Craig had to go to our new home inspection and he texted me this picture.  Ha!  He knows the things that are important to me!
So my friends are always teasing me because I have a thing about getting to movies early.  I worry that they will sell out or the theater will fill up and we won't find seats together.  So our town was playing Aladdin at this old fashioned theater downtown and I wanted to go early and save seats for everyone.  We texted this picture and told them all they better hurry because seats were filling up fast!  Ha ha. #notsomuch
We just can't spend enough time with our friends!

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