Wednesday, August 31, 2005

12 Month Pictures

I took Rachel to have 12 month pictures taken yesterday. And boy did they ever turn out GREAT!!!

You can view all the pictures by going going to Rachel's 1 Year Pictures!

One Year Ago Today....

One year ago today, I was admitted to the hospital, 10 days before my due date, for induction. An ultrasound done the day before had revealed what we had suspected, a big baby! Rather than let her get any bigger, she was to be evicted!! After 10 hours of non progressing labor, it was decided that it was in my best interest for both my safety and the babys, to proceed with a c-section.

We didn't know of Rachel's cleft until she was being delivered, when my OB alerted the rest of the team of the detected birth defect. It was a complete shock to us, we had no idea. None of my ultrasounds had picked it up.

The days following Rachel's birth while joyous for her safe arrival, were days filled with such emotion... sadness, grief, anxiety, fear of what the next year held for us, and for our new daughter, and many more emotions. They were tough days, but we got through them with the Lord's help, and with the support from our wonderful family and friends who rallied behind us with love and prayers.

Here we are, one year later. We survived. LOL. We knew we would. It's been a wonderful year filled with so many blessings that only Rachel could bring. The Lord has blessed us with a healthy and happy baby. We can't imagine our lives, or our family, without her.

She's had quite a first year...two surgeries under her belt with another one in the works for the next month, and more to come through the years. She's on the verge of walking. Walking around the furniture and holding on to your finger. Having taken a few steps on her own. Anyday now she'll take off and keep us even more busy chasing after her than she does now.

Often cleft babies have difficulty eating, resulting in slow weight gain, not in Rachel's case! At her last check up, she was in the 90th percentile in reguards to her weight. We'll see at her 12 month well check next week if she's maintaining her above average weight. We were/are so blessed that Rachel never had difficulty eating. It sure made for a lot less stress. These days she's an eating machine! Eating mostly table foods and anything, and I do mean anything that is tossed her way. You best not even think about eating in front of her and not offering her a bite. She's a mooch. She's known to fill her hand with as many Cheerios as possible and do the sign for 'more' in fear that she'll be cut off. LOL. Also when it comes to eating, Rachel hasn't had any food come out her nose, which is sometimes likely with a cleft palate baby. She must have learned how to avoid that.

It is amazing how much faster the time goes with child #2. It seems like such a short time ago that Rachel came into our lives. And now she's her own little person, with her own personality, and her own way of doing things. LOL.

With all that said, we're looking forward to the new things Rachel will be doing in the next year, and the things the Lord will do through her little life.

Happy 1st Birthday Rachel!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Party Day!

Today was Rachel's birthday party! It's so hard to believe her 1st birthday party has come and gone!

It was a great party! Most of the invited family in the area came and helped celebrate the special occassion. We served dinner, followed by the opening of the presents, and ending the celebration with cake and ice cream!

Rachel was blessed abundantly by the generousity of our families. She got some absolutely adorable outfits...she'll be stylin this winter...assuming it ever cools off! From her Gramma and Papa (my parents), she got a traveling Tinkerbell suitcase (for staying the night at Gramma and Papa's...when ya want the girls?!?!? ::hint, hint::), with a little baby doll, and a duckie book. However, the most anticipated gift from Gramma and Papa was the hand quilted quilt! It's absolutely beautiful. For each of the granddaughters (no grandsons...just 4 granddaughters!), my mom has handquilted them a quilt for their first birthdays. Hannah still sleeps with her blankie everynight! The quilts are a treasured, a well used, and loved keepsake!

Rachel also got some new books and some new toys that she, and Hannah, both will enjoy!!! It was a great day and the little girly was exhausted by the time the celebration was over!

To view more party pictures, you can visit Rachel's 1st Birthday Party!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Leaving Comments

I've had some unwanted SPAM comments left lately under my posts. So in hopes of eliminating such posts, from now on, when you leave a comment, you will need to enter a series of letters in the box before posting your comment. I hope this process won't defer you from sharing your comments! I appreciate and value the comments left on this blog! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Playing with Gracie

Gracie and her sister came over to play for a while today. They had a great time!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Appointment with Dr Martin

Our appointment with Dr Martin went well. He comes from John Hopkins. He has a much better first impression than our previous plastic surgeon. He was nice and had a better bedside manner. Both Steven and I like him.

Anyways, the plan is to proceed with the palate repair. However, before we can schedule a date for sugery, Rachel will need to be seen by the ENT doctor to determine if tubes in her ears are necessary. With normal cleft babies, there is a high occurance of reacurring ear infections. Rachel has been blessed to have only had one ear infection in the last 12 months! However, Dr Martin wants the ENT to check her out and make the decision.

So, the nurse will be trying to get us to be seen by the entire craniofacial team sooner than our scheduled appointment on September 26th, or seeing if Dr Rowe, the ENT, can see us sooner than that. Once we see him, it'll be a matter of matching up their schedules for surgery.

So, for those of you who are always so kind to pray for Rachel, if you'd please be praying that they can work us in somehow to see Dr Rowe sooner than the 26th of September, so as to not delay surgery any longer, we'd really appreciate it!!! Thanks! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

An Appointment....FINALLY!

The plastic surgeon's office called this morning to schedule an appointment for Rachel to be seen....TOMORROW!!!!!! Steven was home to take the call and the plastic surgeon is only taking 5 patients tomorrow and from the sounds of it, we were the first the Nurse Practioner called to schedule!!! Guess my squeakiness paid off! :)

So tomorrow morning, 9:45am, we'll meet our new plastic surgeon. It could be possible for Rachel to be having surgery in the next week or two, seeing how this plastic surgeon doesn't have months and months of patients backlogged for surgeries. We'll know more tomorrow.

It's nice to finally have an appointment to be seen. I have a feeling things could possibly move pretty quickly now that he's actually seeing patients. It'll be nice to have this next part of our journey done and behind us.

For those of you who follow Rachel's Journey, we'd appreciate your prayers for tomorrow's appointment. Thank you in advance!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Splish Splash We're Having a Bash!

Splish Spash

We're having a Bash!!

Rachel is turning ONE!

If you're feeling lucky,

grab your rubber ducky,

and come have some fun!

I can hardly believe it, but this coming Saturday is Rachel's 1st birthday party!! Her actual birthday is on the 31st, in the middle of next week, but we're celebrating a few days early.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love to plan and theme parties, and do them up rather nicely. That won't change for Rachel's 1st birthday party. While in the past, we've included friends in the invites, this party is just family. There will only be 2 kids here, compared to an upwards of 12 kids at prior parties.

Obviously, from the invitations, you can see I'm doing a Rubber Ducky theme. I made the invitations to match the paper goods I found online. The family will be coming late in the afternoon and dinner will be served. And the party will be finished off with cake and ice cream!

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Girls Night Out...

to The Happiest Place on Earth!!!

Steven has been busy working on some church projects in the evenings, so the girls and I went to Disneyland late this afternoon and stayed into the night.

We had a great time! We sat and waited for the new parade Block Party Bash at California Adventure and then headed over to Disneyland for dinner, rides, and some birthday shopping for Rachel on behalf of Gramma and Papa!

Rachel sure enjoyed the evening. She didn't fuss but when it was time to eat. I think she enjoyed all the lights and people. Perhaps her mother's love for going to Disneyland has been passed on to daughter #2!! LOL

This picture was taken by Hannah. We're sitting along the parade route, waiting for Block Party Bash to start! While it's a cute picture of how excited Rachel was, I do wish my eyes were open a little wider! LOL.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Still Waitin'

I called Loma Linda University today and spoke to our Craniofacial Team Coordinator. Rachel is in need of a new Haberman Feeder as the nipple on her current bottle is just about shot. In the past, I've gotten free unused Habermans through generous people on the Cleft Message Board I found online, or through a friend who has connections with the Medela Representative, the company who makes the Haberman. We've been very blessed because these bottles retail for over $25.00 for a single bottle!!!! Anways, I am going tomorrow to pick up some bottles.

But while I had her on the phone, I asked her the status of Dr Martin's California license. She said that as of last Wednesday, he still didn't have it. She's not sure if that's changed. She did say she's been in quite a few meetings with him and he's chomping at the bit to get going and seeing patients. Soooo he's waitin', we're STILL waitin. LOL. That's the latest!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

A New View of the World

Hannah moved into a Booster seat today, therefore, Rachel got the 'good' car seat as opposed to the hand me down car seat she's been in for the last several months. With only two weeks left until her birthday, and since I had all the car seats out and being rearranged anyways, I went ahead and turned Rachel forward facing. She's already the size of an 18 month old, what difference does 2 weeks make??

Rachel isn't used to seeing us. She's used to seeing only Hannah and whatever is behind the car or outside her windows. On the way home from seeing the Tall Ships in Los Angeles, she didn't like the fact that I was sitting, doing nothing, in the passanger seat. LOL. She cried the good majority of the trip home. Rachel's way of thinking is that if I am not doing anything, I should be holding her. LOL.

Here is a picture of sweet Rachel, having fallen asleep in her 'new' car seat. For the record, this was before she cried the majority of the way home. LOL.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

"I'm Cute, and I Know It!"

Still No Word....

Okay, it's August 9th, and we still haven't heard anything from the plastic surgeon's office. UGH!!!!! I last talked to the Nurse Practitioner over 2 weeks ago!! I know Rachel is on the list, and I really do trust that the Nurse Practitioner will call us once they have his schedule....But come on, how long does it take to get your license to practice in the state of California!?!?!?!?!

The Girl LOVES her Cheerios!

Rachel is CRAZY for Cheerios!!! The last couple of days, she gets excited as soon as she sees the box come out of the cupboard because she knows she's getting some! LOL.

You'd be amazed at how many Cheerios she can put into her fist!!
"More Cheerios Please"

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Everyone Loves Oreos...

...including Rachel! LOL. Since Rachel is eating mostly table foods these days, if you eat in front of her, you better be ready and willing to share with her. This evening we were visiting with our neighbor friends and they were eating Oreos. Rachel wanted to share in the yummy treat!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Showing off Some Cuteness...

For the last couple of months, I've been trying to figure out a sippy cup that will work for Rachel, one that doesn't require the need to create suction for getting the juice or water out. Babies who are born with a cleft palate don't have a roof of their mouth, therefore cannot suck or create suction. Which is also the reason Rachel has required a special bottle, called The Haberman Feeder for her feedings since Day 1.

I think I've found a cup that works for the time being, it's the Gerber Soft Start. I've taken the little valve out and it works great!! Here she is enjoying some strawberry banana juice!

Rachel has become quite the little piggy! She's eating mostly table foods these days with the occassional jar of "Rachel approved" baby food. LOL. This picture was taken right after she signed the sign for "more" in reguards to wanting more Cheerios. She was proud of herself for doing so and felt the need to clap for herself.