Friday, February 23, 2007

Disneyland with Friends

Today we went to Disneyland with our friends who live next door. We went with just the girls last June, while Mike was serving in Kuwait, but today our entire two families went to the Happiest Place on Earth. We had a great day, a VERY long day, but it was great!
Becoming a favorite ride of Rachel's, Dumbo.
With her sidekick buddy, Gracie, and Christy.
Still smiling after 12 hours at the park.
Finally gave up and fell asleep, with her light necklace and all.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

High School Musical

Rachel loves any movie that is a musical, her current favorites include High School Musical, Sound of Music, and Annie.

She loves to go to the High School Musical Pep Rally at California Adventure, and never rejects the chance to get up and dance with the cast members at the final song.

Today, we went to a little theater in Yucaipa and saw a stage production of High School Musical. Rachel sat through the entire performance perfectly with the exception of the final ten minutes. LOL. And at the end of the show, the cast invited kids to join them on the stage to dance, and our little performer girl accepted the invitation. She made her way up to the stage and found a spot close to our neighbor friend Emily and with the help of one of the cast cheerleaders, she danced!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Taking a Nap...

...Not on her bed, but under her bed. LOL.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Craniofacial Team Appointment

Today was Rachel's yearly Craniofacial Team Appointment where we see the entire team of doctors who have or will have some part in her treatment through the years.

The last two years we've have our Craniofacial Team Appointments, we've waited for hours on end. We came prepared with the portable DVD player, several movies, the laptop, and magazines. This year, the speciality offices were at a new location and we were in and out of there, seeing four doctors, a case manager, and a social worker in under 2 hours!...Record Time!! We first saw Adrianna, Rachel's speech therapist. It was good to see her as we stopped going to speech in early November due to our insurance deductible being raised from $250 to $1000, and us being responsible for the majority of the speech bill. Knowing Rachel probably wouldn't talk for Adrianna and show her how far along she has come in her talking, we've been videotaping her over the last month and made a DVD. Adrianna was very happy with how far Rachel has come. No glottal sounds (back of the throat sounds) that she once made with the words 'cracker' and 'cookie'. We asked her if she thought we should get Rachel back into therapy, and she said no. We've been concerned about her talking because we see Gracie, who is 2 months younger, and talks non stop, putting many words together, and making complete sentences. Adrianna explained that Rachel's personality is that she is a "doer", not a girly girl who needs to use a lot of words, if she wants something, she's going to get it. Everything she said made perfect sense. I also had a concern that come September when Rachel starts preschool, would she struggle due to her speech, and Adrianna reassured us that preschool would be good for Rachel and she'd pick things up very quickly because she'd constantly be with her peers, learning and doing new things. But for now, she's doing excellent and said she'd like to see her in 6 months and re-evaluate her then.

Next up, was the plastic surgeon, it wasn't Rachel's plastic surgeon, but another one part of the team. She looked over Rachel's mouth and nose. The next step as far as plastic surgery goes would be a nose revision, aka nose job, when she's 4 or 5, just before she goes to Kindergarten where kids can start to notice things and perhaps make fun of Rachel. Time spent with the plastic surgeon was short and sweet.

Another doctor part of the team, is a general pediatrican. He gave Rachel a once over, listening to her heart, lungs, checking out her belly, her eyes, ears, mouth. Rachel's tubes in her ears are out in one ear and in the other ear, the tube is laying in the ear canal in some wax. Unfortunately both ears have fluid in them and we'll need to see the ENT (who wasn't available for today's appointments). We'll repeat a hearing test and then see the ENT to see whether or not Rachel will need to have the tubes replaced. But other than that, everything checked out just fine.

The final doctor we saw was the pediatric dentist. We found great favor with him, as Rachel had just been to the dental clinic last month and we've been brushing AND flossing her teeth. Rachel cooperated in opening her mouth so well, that we showed us which tooth Rachel is missing and where a bone graft would go and when, etc. Continued dental check ups every 6 months were recommended. And a little further down the road, a bone graft will be done between the ages of 6 and 8, all depending on when her permanent teeth start to come through.

That was it as far as the doctors we saw. Rachel cooperated and did so well with each poking and proding from all of them. The next person to visit us was the case manager for the team, asking if we had any final questions, concerns, etc. I took this opportunity to talk to her about my desire to be a part of a support team.

Months ago, the Lord laid a desire on my heart, the desire to be of support to parents of children born with a cleft of some sort. When Rachel was born, we were very overwhelmed to say the least. It would have helped to have a parent who has been there to talk to. Talking to a parent who's walked that road is a lot different than talking to medical personnel who only talk from the medical standpoint. We told the case manager of the couple we met at Lowes, and how encouraging it was to talk to parents that knew what we were going through. We want to be like that couple at Lowes, encouraging to parents who are at the start of this journey.

I've been working on organzing my pictures of Rachel - pictures of what she looked like at birth, before and after pictures of all of her surgeries to date, her in arm restraints, etc. And with the help of a friend, I plan on making a scrapbook, and will have this book to share with parents who I might come in contact with. If someone had showed me a picture of how great their child looked after surgery, it might have helped with some of the scariness of the unknown.

We talked for a while with the case manager, and then she had the social worker come in and talk to us. She actually had a mom this morning that was pretty overwhelmed with it all and mentioned how it might have helped to have another mom to talk to. Long story short, the social worker took my name and phone number and will begin working on putting together a support team of parents. I'm so excited!

This was our third appointment with the Craniofacial Team. That first appointment was pretty overwhelming and our questions were numerous. Last years appointment was pretty easy as Rachel had three surgeries behind her, we had questions mostly in reguards to her speech, and this year, we had a couple questions, but nothing major. They say it'll just get easier and easier as the years go by. Once again, I'm so glad to be where we are today, than where we were two years ago at our first appointment, overwhelmed and afraid of all the unknowns.

Preschool Registration!

I was just thinking this weekend that sometime in the next few weeks, the preschool should be calling to see if I still want the spot that Rachel is on the list for, low and behold, the preschool secretary called this morning! Preschool registration is March 5, which is only a couple of weeks away! It's hard to believe that come September, Rachel will be in preschool.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mickey Will Keep Me Dry

We woke up to rain this morning. I love rainy days, but only when I can stay indoors and watch from inside, where it's dry. It's too hard to keep little ones dry and out of the puddles, etc. But seeing how it was Sunday, we needed to venture out into the rain for church. And since big sister got to use her princess umbrella, Rachel insisted she be able to use her umbrella. LOL.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Disneyland with Family

Earlier in the week, we made plans with my Uncle Bart to meet him at Disneyland this afternoon and stay into the night. The girls were even more excited to go when they learned that Uncle Robbie, Auntie, McKenzie and Haylee would be coming too!Steven fell ill this week and needed the day to recoop and rest, so he stayed home.

We ended up meeting earlier than planned and didn't end up staying for fireworks or any of the nighttime shows, but we were there the majority of the day and late into the evening. We had four really tired little girlies by the time we boarded the trams to the parking structure just after 9:00pm. We had a great day and always enjoy the time we can spend with family at Disneyland.

Doing their part to represent the family
at the High School Musical Pep Rally.
The rope bridge inside the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
is a favorite of Rachel's.
On the Golden Zepher.
Peeking around the side of her car to see the people behind her.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lunch at the Park...Again

It's been two weeks since the girls had "their" date night with Gramma and Papa, last week Steven was in Chicago overnight, and last night Steven wasn't feeling well, and my mom is still not back to feeling 100% either. Today, we packed lunch boxes and stopped for sandwiches and met Gramma at the park, and Papa came on his lunch hour. We had the whole place to ourselves!

Rachel loves to climb, can you tell????

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Lunch on the new Patio

The weather has been great the past couple of days, so this morning I pulled out our Little Tikes picnic table and put it on the patio. The girls enjoyes having their lunch out there. Rachel liked it so much, she wanted to eat dinner out there. Once we have our patio cover and then we can get a nice patio set, then we can eat dinner out there...the spring and summer months are coming and we'll have plenty of opportunities to eat dinner outside.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Peter Pan at the Movies

We went to Hollywood today to see Peter Pan at the El Capitain. It was fun to see the movie on the big screen. Last June, when we came here to see Cars, Rachel and I ended up out in the hallway for a good portion of the movie due to her loosing interest. But this time, she did so much better. It might have helped that she had her own seat and her own bucket of popcorn. After the movie, we went next door to the Disney Soda Fountain shop for ice cream. We also had fun watching all the strange people walking about Hollywood Blvd through the ice cream shop window. By the way, the people in this picture are not the strange people I'm talking about. :)

She's a Big Girl Now!

We picked up Rachel's big girl bed last night and came home to put it up. Up went the big girl bed, and down came the crib. ::sigh:: My baby is no longer a baby.

Rachel could hardly wait for her bed to be put together. Once it was done, and it was time to put on her new Tinkerbell sheets, I had a hard time keeping her off the bed so I could actually put the sheets on!!
Pretending to be asleep in her new big girl bed
Ready for bed!
Asleep in her new bed
Rachel did great in her bed. Had a little trouble settling down. But she never once got out of her bed. This morning she got out of her bed and announced to the house "I'm Up, I'm Up". LOL.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Sheets for the Big Girl Bed

Rachel was so excited to see Tinkerbell sheets for her big girl bed. The coloring is a little off on this picture, but it's a cute picture of how happy she is about her sheets.

Last Night in the Crib

Rachel's big girl bed will be available for pick up today. So last night was Rachel's last night in her crib. Unfortunately, she woke up twice in the night throwing up. I wasn't thinking I'd have so many crib sheets to wash today seeing how the crib is coming down. LOL. Rachel seems to be fine today. Eating fine. Acting fine. Just must have had a little bug or dinner didn't agree with her.