Thursday, February 7, 2013

Another Adult in the House!

I'm continuing my walk down Memory Lane today!

Today is Michael's 20th birthday and Andrew's 18th birthday!  Since I used yesterday's post to talk about Mike, today will be about Andrew!   (They already share a birthday...I didn't want them to have to share a blog post, too!:)

Andrew came bursting into our lives at a whopping 9lbs. 8oz.  He has been the biggest of our babies so far!  And, he had a big head!  All you moms will appreciate that!  When Andrew was being born, his head came out and the nurse said, "Wow, he has a big head!"  My thought was, "Great...couldn't you have waited to say that until the rest of him was out!"

As a baby, the best way to describe Andrew was...."ornery".  Poor Andrew had colic.  He was the only one of our babies to struggle with this.(Thank God!)  Everyone loved to hold and feed Andrew until it was time to burp him.  Then he was a hot potato because no one wanted to deal with the projectile spit up that followed!

Andrew liked to be carried around on our hips facing out and walking!  He was a terrible napper(only 15 min to a half hour once or twice a day) but thankfully slept well at night.  Poor Mike, who turned 2 the day Andrew was born, used to point to the bassinet and say, "Put baby away!"

 Mike and Andrew did love each other!

Andrew outgrew his tummy troubles.  He was a go getter.  Andrew would drag himself across the floor when he was 4 months old....skipped crawling entirely...pulled up to standing at 6 months....and took his first step the day he turned 7 months old. By 81/2 months he was running!

Andrew was a challenging toddler.  He did not like loud noises, or crowds of any kind!  (Kind of Divine Irony, don't you think, that he was born into our family!  I always said he would have made a great only child!)

Andrew was very smart and had an incredible memory!  At 3, he would ask us to spell words for him, like elephant and giraffe(his favorite animals).  He would ask, we would spell it, he would repeat it, and it was locked in!  Forever!  (He doesn't get that from me for sure!)

We figured out that he had taught himself to read when he was 4 when we were driving somewhere and he started to read the side of a milk truck next to us on the road.  "Hood...Great Taste..."  We tested him on the carton of orange juice when we got home, and sure enough, he could read!

When he was little his favorite books were The King, the Mouse, and the Cheese, because he loved elephants, and 4,000 things Everyone Should Know.

Andrew's passion as a pre-schooler was dinosaurs.  He knew all about every kind.  He would quiz us on dinosaur facts and get angry when we got the wrong answer because he thought we were teasing him.  I mean, really, I have no idea if T-Rex and another dino that I can't even pronounce lived in the same era!
(Andrew's 1st day of pre-school....which he hated!  One day he told me, "Mommy, I don't need to go to school.  I already know how to stand in line!)

The best Andrew story happened when he was 5 and we were in Disney World with my parents.  Andrew was talking to Jay and my brother-in-law, Matt, over lunch about a prehistoric mammal named the Dinotherium, which is, according to Andrew, an early relative of the elephant and the first mammal with hair.  Jay and Matt were listening to him but not 100% believing what he was saying.  Since this was before cell phones with google, we just continued on with our day.

At one of the rides that afternoon, The Universe of Energy, that takes you back in time to the dinosaurs and then brings you back to the present while highlighting certain developments, the Dinotherium was actually mentioned, with all the facts that Andrew had told us at lunch!  Jay and Matt looked at each other with their mouths open...and Andrew looked at them with an enormous grin, nodding his head!

Andrew had a very close relationship with his sisters when they were babies.  Sarah called him, "My Enew". So sweet.
 Andrew with Sarah as a newborn..and 4 years later!

Of course...once they hit around 4 and sing all the time, he isn't quite as fond of them!  It's not easy being sensory defensive to sound!

Ironically, Andrew's teenage years were much easier!  I joke that he had a phase that lasted until he was 13! A lot of that was our fault because, if we had more understanding about sensory issues when he was younger, we could have helped create an atmosphere that would have given him the breaks he needed!
 Andrew is a history buff!
(He has a fun side!  He is incredibly witty, too!)

As a senior only a few months away from college, Andrew is a well balanced young man.  He is involved in church and school and sports and extracurricular activities, and a job at a local grocery store.  He has a special connection to the Pro-life movement and is president of the Pro-life Club at school. (He has always loved babies and has certainly had some experience with them!  He is Kate's godfather, too:)

Andrew met his (very pretty) girlfriend a year and a half ago at a retreat put on by our Diocese, Pro-life Boot Camp.  She goes to Andrew's high school's rival school.  I am so impressed with the way they respect each other and their faith values!  (I am SO glad that my kids have, at least so far, made such better decisions than I did at their ages!)

I am amazed at the changes over the last 2 years that I've seen in Andrew.  He has truly come out of his shell to participate in, and sometimes even lead, groups and activities that are way out of his comfort zone!  He has really applied himself at school, and we have had many really good conversations!

One really positive thing about the teenage years is watching and sharing in their growing up experience!  It's so rewarding to have them share what they are thinking and feeling when they, at least occasionally, let you into their world!

Happy Birthday, Andrew!  We are so proud of the young man that you are becoming!

(Linking up with Our Mother's Daughters)