Funny Story

I know, I know. It's been a while. A long while. Sorry.

We've been pretty busy.
I dunno. Stuff like TOPHER GRADUATING!!! and us BUYING A HOUSE IN SOUTH CAROLINA!!! seem to take up a lot of time and effort....but. ya know. No biggie. ;)
It's been a pretty busy couple of months though. So. My apologies for the long gap in writing.
Sadly, today isn't really going to be the day I update on our everyday happenings...
however, I have a really funny story to share.
Topher and I have been christmas shopping online the past couple of days and so Grace occasionally looks at the laptop and SEES our purchases or what we've been looking at. Well, for Christmas this year, Grace's big Christmas present is a play Kitchen. SHHHHH!!! DON'T TELL!!

Anyway, she happened to see some of the kitchens we had been looking at.
Her immediate response, "Mommy! Daddy!! I want that kitchen!!!"
Us-"I dunno Gracey. Have you been a good girl? Because Santa only brings kitchens to good girls."
Grace- "Yeah! I been a good girl!"
Us-"Oh, well that's good. But, did you write him a letter telling him you wanted a kitchen?"
Grace-"....oh. no. I didn't....I write him RIGHT NOW!"
Grace proceeds to go to the table grab a pen and a receipt and start scribbling on it, 4.5 seconds into it she lets out a big grunt and drops the pen in exasperation. "Ugh!...I just call him"
Picks up my phone. "Santa? Hello? I want a kitsen for kissmas. Ok. bye!.....Mommy! I did it!"
Me and Topher- mouth open in shock and laughing hysterically quickly stop laughing and say seriously "well, that's good grace. Very to the point."
Grace- "Daddy, I forgot to tell santa. What YOU want for kissmas?"
Topher responds and she immediately makes another call.
This girl cracks. me. up. so bad. She is hysterically funny.
Love her to pieces.
Also. In case you haven't seen Despicable Me. You should. We love it. Grace does too. She had only seen it once in the theater MONTHS ago, and then topher bought it a couple nights ago. At the end of the movie, Vector (bad guy) gets stuck on the moon. We are watching the movie and Grace says "he gonna say 'oh poop' now". Three seconds pass. Vector says "oh poop." Grace says "see!".
What? the? Heck? My daughter is psychic.
Oh, and now she runs around the house saying "He's so fluffy i'm gonna die!!" (Also from the movie)

Well. That's the end of my stories for today. Thanks for reading!


September Preview

I'm going to post more in detail in a day or so of our September happenings...but in the meantime..I just thought I'd put up a quick preview of our latest activites/adventures. :)
We went to the Fair with Ellie and Rachel and their mommies.

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Gracey got to meet her new nephew.
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Gracey and I went to California with my sisters and her cousins. Spent a day at the Wild Animal Park, Sea World and the Beach.
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So that was the past month or so...stay tuned for the stories that go along with the pictures. :)
Thanks for checking in!


No Rejection. And some Memories.

After 10 hours away from home, we were able to leave the hospital with a little Gracey in tow. The biopsy went well. They didn't have to balloon or stent open her aortic arch. The pressures have gotten a bit higher, but her function is still great. So, it will still hopefully be another couple of years before they have to do any corrective work on that front.
Recovery was pretty tough. We all know how energetic and stubborn Grace is, and they wanted her to actually lie down, flat for SIX hours. Can we say CRAZY!?? But by some miracle...we were able to do it. Yes, we. It was a team effort to keep her down.
Topher actually had to leave for school around 7:15, and Grace went in at 7:30, so I was alone for most of the day. When she came out at 10:00, Topher came back for about 30 minutes inbetween his classes to see her, and then it was just me again until about 2:00. We took a nap, watched t.v., told stories...and then there was of course a few moments where we had to fight and argue because she did not want to hold still and she did not want to lie flat, and she especially did not want to be told 'No' a hundred times to all her requests. But somehow, we made it through.
After some throwing up, lots of good vitals, prayers and patience, we made it and were able to head home around 3:00. She has been pretty drowsy and out of it. Sadly though, no silly drunken Grace has emerged like last year to entertain us. Bummer! :)
I do however have some funny phrases from the day:

At 5:30 a.m. this morning, driving to the hospital...
"Mommy, where we going?"
Mommy says, "To the Doctor"
Gracey- "Have my biopee. I not scared."
cue my jaw dropping. Did my 2 yr. old seriously just say biopsy???! I never taught her that word!! Talk about a good listener.

When they gave her an oximeter on her thumb to measure her oxygen levels...they told her they gave her a pretty red light...
"Mommy, who gave me dat?"- pointing to the red light
"Your nurse Tammy did."
"Oh. Dank you Tammy."

After throwing up from drinking too much juice, begging for more, and my saying we need to wait a couple minutes...
"We need to give your tummy a chance to rest sweetie"
"But momma, I want my juice so bad. I won't frow up. Pomise. I not be sick."

After doing her third time throwing up...she flashes me a HUGE smile...
"Mommy! I all done! Feel bettuh now! All done!"

After she woke up from her nap...
"Mommy! Had my biopee! All done now! Cap for me! "(cue her clapping with an exuberant smile on her face.)

When Topher came back from being at school..."Daddy! You back! Good job daddy! Oh, you have your lunch?! You no forget? Good job Daddy!" (cue clapping again)

At home, giving her a meager diet of food, to transition her tummy...Topher hands her 1/3 of a banana...Grace eyes it with raised eye brows, then says very skeptically...
"Dad...is that my dinner??"
"ok". and runs off to play happily.

What a stinking cute.I love her to pieces.

Some other things that crossed my mind today were just memories of where we've been and how far we've come. I had quite a bit of time on my hands during her biopsy, and I decided to use it up by wandering the hospital aimlessly. My wanderings took me to the 4th floor where the Newborn Intensive Care Unit is located. I couldn't stop the tears from coming as I walked down the hall, truly realizing just how far we have come as a little family, as individuals, and especially how far my little Grace has come. It was only 2 years ago that I thought the whole thing would never end and that I thought a solution would never exist that would give us happiness and fulfillment with our baby. I remembered all the feelings of hopelessness, but then remembered how each of those moments of feeling helpless were tempered with the kind mercy of Heavenly Father. He truly watched over us and kept us under his wing through that first 5 months of her life, and past that as well. To this day, I still can't actually believe that we made it through what we did. People I barely know will stop and tell us how amazed they are at us, but I always feel so ridiculous and undeserving. I didn't do any of it on my own. Everything was done with Heavenly Father holding my hand, pushing or pulling me, and sometimes carrying me completely.Topher and I would have melted in a heaping ball of tears if we had done it on our own. We would have given up. More so, not only would we have not made it through, but we would never have grown in any way.
I am truly amazed at Heavenly Father. At the love he has for us. At his endless mercy. At his infinite knowledge of our nature and capacity to endure and potential to grow.I am so grateful that he loves me so much, and that he has never deserted me. I'm so grateful he has stayed with me through thick and thin. He was with us in every room, and floor of the hospital, through every surgery, biopsy, cath lab, echo, blood draw, ng placement, long night of feeds or fussiness. He has never left us. And I am truly humbled and amazed that anyone could love me that much.
I apologize this post has turned into a mouthful of testimony. But I am overwhelmed at the moment at how blessed my little family truly is.
All of this is what I came to a realization of today while wandering through the hospital waiting to see my baby's sweet face again.
Once again we were blessed with perfect results. The hospital called and Grace has no rejection. None whatsoever. She could not be healthier.
Now, medicine and science say that that will not last forever. She can't live on this one borrowed heart forever. But my faith in God's love for me says that Grace will be just fine. She will continue to grow and flourish, to smile and love and to pout and sass. No matter what we have to face in the coming years, she will be o.k. because our Heavenly Father loves us.
Im grateful for my family and little girl that is so beautiful and sweet, and such a miracle. And Im grateful for the reminder. I needed it. Makes me wish biopsies were more than once a year. ;) Or......
maybe not. :)

Biopsy Day 2010

Hello all. It is that time of year again. No, not for the beautiful fall weather, but for Gracey's annual heart biopsy. We woke up at five, got to Primary's at six, and grace just went back with the team at 7:30.
She did not go back happily either. In fact, she was crying, bawling, and begging me to not leave. It broke my heart, but i waited to start crying until she couldn't see me anymore.
I think that is some thing that is so unfair and hard. Acting strong for her so she is less frightened, when really I am shaking in my boots and want to cry for my mommy as well.
I sure hope it helps her a little to see a smile on my face instead of tears.
Anyway. The whole biopsy will probably take about 3hrs. There is the potential of her aorta condition having worsened, in which case they would need to place a balloon or stent, and then the procedure would take longer.
Afterwards, she'll go into recovery, hopefully wake up happy and then we'll also need to do an Echo and a visit with Dr. Norlin.
So. Prayers would be very much welcomed today.
Thanks so much for your concern for us, and for little Graces well being.
We love you all,
Alysia & Topher
And of course Gracey


Funny Things of Lately

A couple of days ago, I played piano at the Conference Center. I remember that when I left, I had my purse, a bag of piano music and my sunglasses.

The next day, Grace was in the process of putting her Daddy to sleep (really this means Topher was laying HER down for a nap...but Grace is usually way more successful in her attempts to lull daddy to sleep) when I walked into her room. She quickly lay back down, sure I was about to reprimand her for putting Daddy to sleep again while mischievously waiting to crawl out of bed and cause havoc...but alas, I was tired, so I just sat down next to an almost asleep Topher and snuggled. Grace, seeing this was very relieved and excited at the implication she could get up and play. So, she hopped out of bed, went to her little purse, slung it over her shoulder, grabbed her sunglasses, put them on, and informed us "Ok, I go buh bye now. I go pay pano. I come home see you later. Love you. Bye." And proceeded to walk out of her room. Topher and I had our mouths gaping open in pure astonishment of how grown up and adorable she sounded. It was so so cute. About 45 seconds later, she reappeared in her room. "I come home see you! You miss me?! Daddy, you good girl, I bring you treat." - at this point she reached into her purse and pulled out 1 piece of popcorn from our movie earlier that day. She handed it to Topher and again told him he was a good girl, so she brought him a treat. Then, "Mommy, you a good girl?" Me: "I think so". Gracey: "I bring you treat too mommy" - and pulls out another piece of popcorn.
How cute is that?!!!
Then today, we went to a Ward function...my 2nd ward function of 3 1/2 yrs. of being in the Ward...I know I'm not so great at them. Anyway, I was by myself with Grace and felt pretty awkward and like a loser, as I usually do at Ward functions and I was basically just really grateful I had Gracey to be my security blanket. We were sitting outside the church on the grass by ourselves, my feeling totally vulnerable, and Grace hops off my lap and says she will see me later, she wants to go play. What?! No! You stay with me!! So, I gave her my best pouty lip and said please don't go! I will miss you!! She looked at me very seriously and said "Mommy, its ok. I come back soon. I miss you too. It's ok." She then kissed my cheek, hugged me, and ran off.
This evening, we were feeding her dinner and Topher was struggling getting her to take the last few bites. She put her hand on her tummy and said, with a pouty lip, "My tummy hurts. Cant eat it. My tummy owie. I need a doctor. Check my heart. Check my tummy. I need my medicine. Take me to Doctor." This was all on her own!! No encouragement or anything!! Seriously?! Wow. It was hilarious.
Pretty much, Grace is just getting more and more personality by the day. She is so happy and loves life so so much. She loves her cousins and her best friend Emma and just loves to play and be with those she loves...which is about everyone she knows. :) She is just so happy and full of joy and I love being her mommy so much right now. :) She is a cutie and we love her and I just had to share these cute little moments from our past few days. :)
Thanks for checking in!
Love the Andersens


Summer Vacation

Topher's Spring Semester of school ended the first week of May. But, his Summer Semester started exactly one week later. So, we decided we really needed to take advantage of our one week of Summer and try to do some fun things. My dad was sweet enough to invite us to Capitol Reef with 2 of my other siblings, and generous enough to extend the invitation for free lodging as well. :) He worked out a great deal on a fabulous cabin in Grover, Utah. (Really hopping place...lemme tell you. I think the population MIGHT be 25) The cabin had a huge kitchen, bathrooms for the couples, a large living area, a fire pit, and a gorgeous view of a small lake and picturesque farming valley. It was breathtaking at sunrise.We headed down there late on Thursday night. My Dad, sister & I all caravanned down, arriving somewhere around 10 or 11. After a couple rounds of Password, played half asleep, we finally hit the sack.

We woke up the next morning, had a tasty breakfast and headed into the park.
Of course, pictures by the sign are mandatory.

After our photo-op we went to the visitor center where we sat forever because my Dad needed a 'quick' potty break. Yeah, right. ;) It's obviously not quick, if every other person waiting for you says you took forever Daddy. :)
While waiting in the Visitor Center Topher and I traded off caring for, (which means chasing after) our kicking, screaming & biting daughter. She would NOT hold still or let us hold her. She wanted to get down and run amok! She wanted to pull all the books off the shelves, take as many treats as possible from the register counter and shove them under her arms, stand on the kids table and jump until tipping, run around and into people's legs, and throw her head back and scream at the top of her lungs each time we picked her up. Yes, it was a joy. Which is why she eventually ended up outside on my lap, trying to eat dirt.
After we finally left the Visitor Center we headed down the street to a cute little country homestead that they have turned into a mini museum/pie pantry. We got some home made berry pie (thanks daddy!) and ate our lunches. Yes, you heard that right, lunches. We spent most of the morning doing nothing but deciding what to do. :)
After this, we headed to a small overlook of the inner valley. We went and climbed rocks, played hide and seek and learned from my Dad that, "you can't run all over. and you can't get so close to the edge of that cliff. if you fall off, you'll be dead". One doesn't often hear such loving words from a parent. Rachel then proceeded to inform me and Topher that she can't fall off any rocks, because then she'd be dead. *chuckle*.

We spent the good part of the next couple hours just going to various overlooks or viewpoints, taking little 1/10 of a mile "hikes".
Eventually we met up with Joey, Dacia & Ellie Belly to do the Great Wash hike.

This one was actually a few miles and had a bit more scenery. It was such a neat walk/hike! It went right in between two canyon walls and was just a lot of fun. The walls were fairly steep and some were a very pretty red rock. There were some wild flowers, various fun little caves and some awesome echo canyons. I have never in my life heard echoes as cool as the ones we made in that canyon. So fun!! You could actually hear your entire sentence repeated back to you a couple seconds after you initially shouted it out.

We took our time in the canyon, letting the kids explore all the little caves, taking pictures of all the wildflowers and shouting at various canyon walls.
After the hike, Topher and I went and had a very pricey outing to the town's ONE and only grocery store (so overpriced!!!) and headed back to the lodge to make dinner.
We had a great night eating dinner, building a fire, roasting marshmallows, and later Topher even did some stargazing and told the older boys some campfire stories.
I don't think I had ever really enjoyed campfires until I met Topher. I used to really not like the smell or the smoke, or even the heat. It was all just a little much. But, for some reason when I'm with Topher a fire is so much fun. I love the way it smells and love being with him. I even wanted to sleep in his sweatshirt for the next couple days after the fire just because of the way it smelled!
Anyway, the next morning we left around 11 to make it back in time for Toph's little sister Anni's STATE track meet! She is extremely talented in Track, esp. the 800 meter and we were determined to be back to support her in her race. We made it with plenty of time to walk around and take in the atmosphere and energy and then watched Anni run and do a great job! She got a new personal record, way to go Anni!! And we were really happy we got to be there for her. :)
So. That was our weekend vacation of fun before school and I'm so glad we got to do it! We really want to go back to capitol Reef again sometime this Summer. Maybe in the Fall? Supposedly they have some pretty awesome orchard picking going on in the Fall and I think that would be a lot of fun. Any takers? :)
Thanks for reading our latest adventure! I'll try to be better at updating! But in the meantime, thanks for checking in!!
Love the Andersens


Happy Birthday to My Baby!!

My sweet little spit-fire turned TWO the other day. March 18th to be more specific. :)
It was SO MUCH FUN!! She was such a doll on her Birthday and we had so much fun!! Topher took the day off school, just to stay home and play with his baby girl! She loved it, and of course so did I. We just relaxed, played at home and enjoyed each other. My Mom was also in town and it was awesome to have her come visit as well.
We gave her a few little surprises throughout the day that she loved and we sang to her a lot. As a matter of fact, I woke her up by singing Happy Birthday to her. She looked at me like I was crazy, and kinda scary and asked for her Daddy. haha!! She warmed up to me later on that day though and really liked that we were spoiling her, showering her with attention and singing and clapping to her throughout the whole day. :)

So, the party, music, family, presents and friends didn't actually happen until the day AFTER her Birthday because we wanted as many people there as possible from our two families and Friday worked better than Thursday. Sadly, her fantastic attitude and demeanor sort of wore off by Friday. :( So she wasn't as happy for her Birthday party...but hey..she was still cute and happy and excited, probably just a little overwhelmed.

We decided to do a Princess Theme because lately Grace has been obsessed with Disney Princesses, more specifically Belle. My mom and I undertook a Princess Cake. One of the funnest things I've ever done!! We had Princess decorations, Princess music, balloons, tablecloths, banners, flowers, the whole works!! I've never had so much fun decorating in my life!! My mom thinks I did the princess party for me more than Grace...it is entirely possible that I had as much FUN as Grace...but I did actually do it for her. :)
My Mom and I stayed up past midnight baking cakes, decorating towers and talking and then spent almost the whole next day artfully crafting our masterpiece palace-cake. Then we made CDs, got food items together, and spent the early evening decorating my amazingly accomodating in-laws home for the party.

The cake turned out amazing if I may say so myself. : ) Thank you mommy!! You're the BEST!!
For the Dinn
er my sister Dacia had this FABULOUS idea from out of no where that we serve Grace's ACTUAL favorite foods, rather than real crowd-pleasing food. She may have been kidding, but I decided that sounded AWESOME! We ended up doing side dishes all around the table of all her favorite foods: Oreos, Pickles, Cheese, Grapes, Cocoa Puffs, Yogurt Melts, Cheese Puffs, Cinnamon Sugar Bread, Carrots w/Ranch, and a few others. So we surrounded the table with her favorite things and then did Spaghetti as the main dish, which is also one of her favorites. No doubt, the dinner was a hit, and then we had a lot of fun just playing games, enjoying each other's company and opening a TON of gifts. My goodness, that girl came away with way too many presents!!

So those are all the details of our super fun Princess Party and now I just really wanted to do something my sister always does for her boys' Birthdays. Sort of like a survey of Grace's personality at age 2.
1. Height and Weight: 23.6 lbs. & 33 inches

Fave Color: she doesn't know. obviously i need to work on colors more. hah! she does tend to pick brighter colors for things though. yellows and pinks.

Fave Movie: Beauty & The Beast, Shrek, Toy Story & Princess & the Frog

Fave TV Show: Mickey Mouse Club House

5. Fave Food: Pickles, Cheese, Bananas, Spaghetti

Fave Restaurant: Probably Texas Roadhouse because for her Birthday they let her ride their saddle. She LOVED it. She cried when they made her get off.

Fave Treat: Oreos. Any and all candy. Any and all chocolate.

Fave Toy: Baby dolls, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Barbies, baby stroller

Fave Outfit: her Princess nightie. Yeah, I realize it's not an outfit she'd really be out in public in...but it's what she always wants to wear. Tied with the nightie however, would probably just be her 'birthday suit'. This girl LOVES to be naked. Or "nay-e!!" as she calls it.

Fave Activity: Playing outside. Loves to swing and slide. Loves to run around. Loves to play with anyone and everyone, most esp. her Daddy. Aside from that, she likes to watch Beauty and the Beast and have her Daddy TELL her the Beauty and the Beast story.

Fave Subject in School: this isn't really too applicable right now. :) My guess is that it'll be recess. :)

What do you want to be when you grow up: My guess for her right now...would be a mommy. Cuz she likes to do everything. And Mommies are the only ones that do it all. :)

What makes you happy: "Daddy happy" "My Joey". "Duh-ies! Wah! Wah!" "Swing. Sie. Ou-Sie". "Shower with Mommy Daddy." Translation: Daddy makes me happy. Joey. Duckies that go "quack quack". Being outside on the swing and the slide. Showering with Mommy & Daddy.

What makes you Sad: "Bi Nake! Git me! Eat me!" "My Joey!" "My pa-eh cut"
Translation: Big Snake! Gonna get me!! Gonna eat me!! This is new btw. As of last week when we went to the Living Aquarium, this is her biggest fear. The Joey one is pretty obvious. The last one, would be paper cut. She got a paper cut about TWO WEEKS ago, and still wants us to kiss it better more than once a day.

Best Friend(s): "Ellie Belly Boo" "Joey" "Maya". I would add her aunt meggie, and aunt Anni, and her cousins.

One Wish or Dream you have for yourself: "Eat Eat". "Eat eat Daddy".

17. Personality Traits: Affectionate. Crazy. Silly. Independent. Needy. Funny. Mischievous. Diva. Aggressive. Dramatic. Smart. Quick. Creative. Forgiving. Helpful. Friendly. Defiant. Energetic. Stubborn.

18. Your Testimony: "Jesus kie mommy daddy sad. Jesus ha-ie Mommy Daddy ha-ie." "Jesus pretty picture." Translation for that one is "Jesus cries when I make Mommy & Daddy sad. Jesus is happy when I make Mommy & Daddy happy." I taught her that. :) The last one is "Jesus is pretty in pictures.". She points at every picture of Jesus in our house and knows exactly who it is. Where the pretty came from, not sure. But she thinks he's very pretty. :)

19. Thoughts on you from the last year: Where to begin!! You are such a funny little girl!! You constantly make me laugh out loud, and probably just as often make me want to pull my hair out. :) You are a very energetic vibrant little girl and are constantly bouncing between extreme happiness and extreme sadness. You love to be outside, even if just in our ridiculous excuse for grass behind our apartment, running around finding birds. You love to play. You always want to make new friends. We took you to Nursery for the first time about a month and a half ago and even though it was a totally new envioronment with people you'd never met or seen, you probably hugged about two different little girls and were always very concerned if anyone cried. You love to laugh, you constantly make jokes and then clap at your cleverness. The other day we couldn't find your binki, people asked you where you put it and what happened to it, you said "Anni hide it". Then you smiled mischievously and laughed with your head thrown back. You are so defiant sometimes. This irritates the snot outta me, but at the same time, if we can learn to harness your defiance at the correct things and teach you to be stubborn about the right things, it might just make you a force to be reckoned with for good. You are very smart and catch on quickly. It makes me so happy inside when you see pictures of Jesus and know exactly who it is. You know how to pray, how to fold your arms and bow your head. Even though, the other day, Grandma says she peeked at you during prayer and you opened one eye, looked around to make sure no one was looking and stole a piece of dinner before the prayer was over!! You are so fun to be around. You definitely tire people out. But once people spend a good two STRAIGHT days with you, they get the gist of your personality and fall head over heels in love with you. You love to play tag...only you really call it "git me!!" or "I git you!!" You love to give hugs and kisses and always insist on getting kisses better when you get owies. Grace...I love you to pieces.

I want you to know I love you so so much little grace. And there really is nothing else I should be doing besides learning to care for and love you. You make my life so much more fun and full. You make me a better person and make me realize it's ok to rely on a 2 yr. old to be my best friend. I want you to know that that is something I look forward to: someday, maybe not too far from now, we will be the best of friends and you will hopefully love me as much as I love my Mom. I love you little Gracey!! Keep growing, learning and having fun! You've been given a second chance at life and I'm so grateful you are living it to the fullest!

Happy Birthday!