Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Rachel's Journey...Through Pictures

"For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well."

Psalms 139:13-14

Monday, July 30, 2007

Into Hannah's Bed

It seems like more and more often lately, that we find Rachel having made her way into Hannah's bed, despite being put into their own beds. They're cute though, aren't they?

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Weekend with Gramie

The girls went to Gramie's house this weekend and had a lot of fun. The girls both went with colds, but it sounds as though they managed to do A LOT this weekend. Rachel came home borderline cranky, not like the previous couple of times, whereas she is simply unbearable to be around and makes me think twice as to whether or not the two days of being child free are worth it. LOL.

For quite a while, she wanted nothing to do with Gramie when they got home, how I got such a cute picture of Rachel with Gramie, I'm not sure.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

A Trip to Urgent Care

Rachel came down with a minor cold yesterday. She had a runny nose and coughed in her sleep all night long. After keeping an eye on her all day, I decided to take her to get checked out this evening. I'm glad I did, the doctor said Rachel has an ear infection. I think we caught it before it was a full blown infection because she hasn't fussed at all today with her ears. We were in and out of there in no time, but Rachel has it down, before we left, she knew to ask the nurse for a sucker and a sticker. LOL.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Attention Cleft Affected Families

For the last several months, I have been tracking some pretty interesting information through my Sitemeter. If you have a blog and don't have one of these, I encourage you to put one on your blog. It's been really neat to see the location in which people are logging on to your blog from, how long they stay and what pages they view on your blog, and how they came to your blog. Which brings me to the reason for this post.

Through my site meter, I have noticed a few people spending a lot of time on Rachel's site checking out all of her cleft repair posts, etc. And how they got here was either through another cleft related blog, Emily's story on Cleft Stories, or simply by searching a browser.

If you have come across this blog and you are in some way connected to a child who has a cleft of some sort. I would really love to hear from you.

Rachel - At Birth

Rachel - Just a month shy of turning 3!
One of my main reasons for starting this blog, aside from keeping family and friends up to date, was for it to be a source of information to families who may just be starting out on a journey of their own, such as Rachel's.

Please sign my guest book, and perhaps even leave your email address. I would love to be able to email you and offer encouragement.

And if by chance you follow Rachel's Journey just because, and are not affected by a cleft in some way, I'd love to have you sign my guest book too!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Castle Park

Our church hosted an event today at Castle Park. The ticket got us a wrist band for unlimited rides, but more importantly it got us into the concert in the evening. There were about five bands that played and the entire event was hosted by our church. We had a fun day. After being there about half an hour, we found another family from our church and we ended up hanging out with them the entire day and evening! We really enjoyed hanging out with them and getting to know their family better. Rachel really loved hanging out with their daughter, Bethany, who Rachel had just spent the week with in VBS. They had so much fun going on the rides together.

Rachel was excited there was a Merry Go Round. She chose to ride the kitty, which had a bird in it's mouth, which was weird.

The concerts were good, and LOUD. Surprisingly Rachel fell asleep laying in Steven's arms on the picnic table. I knew she was tired after being out in the heat all day and such, but it was really loud!

Friday, July 20, 2007

VBS Comes to an End

I went to the final night of VBS this evening. I got so many compliments on how well behaved Rachel was and how she was a crack up, and that she was the life of the party. LOL.

Here are some pictures from the final night of VBS 2007:

Rachel was soaked at the end of water games.
Thank goodness I carry an extra set of clothes with me these days.

Enjoying snack time. They had pretzel sticks and cheese and fruit loops that they built and stuck together. They also had strawberries which she loves. Helper Diane kept giving her extras. LOL.

Decorating her frisbee.
I watched her tonight and I know she's going to do so well in preschool come September.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Potty Training Update

By George I think she may get to go to preschool afterall! LOL. I was really beginning to get nervous. But I think she's getting it.

For the last week and a half, I have been working really hard on getting Rachel potty trained. I stopped putting Pull-Ups on her and used the thick training pants. And she's stayed dry 9/10 times! The chart and the high fives and the M&Ms help.

The only problem I do have is her pooping her panties. Ugh. She has to get that down...and soon! The rinsing out of the panties bring back childhood memories of my mother making me rinse my own panties out in the toilet. :) She expected me to poop in the toilet at the age of four, and if I couldn't, I had to rinse out my own panties. Go figure. LOL.

Any thoughts? Ideas? As to fix this problem, would be GREATLY appreciated!!! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rachel and Mommy go to Disneyland

Today was our first official Rachel and Mommy trip to Disneyland for the new school year. With the new school hours that Hannah has, I had to figure out what the new 'need to be in route home' time was. LOL. You wouldn't think that with school getting out 20 minutes earlier would make a difference, but it does. We arrived shortly after 9:00 and were in route towards home, or shall I say school, by 12:50. We made it to school with plenty of time to spare, so next time we can maybe leave Disneyland just a few minutes later. Upon arriving, the line was already over 2 hours long for the Nemo Submarines, we passed that one up. We hit a couple of Rachel's favorite rides - the Merry Go Round and the Teacups. Did some walking around and window shopping and then went over to California Adventure. Stopping into the bakery for a mid morning snack to discover they had Nemo Cupcakes!!! Good thing Rachel ate all her breakfast and could have one! The Monsters Inc ride has become one of Rachel's favorite rides. She asks to go on it everytime we are here. Last week, she was so cute when she said to me "Mike and Sully? You take me?" It was so cute, but it just wasn't possible to go that day. But we did go on it today, she was so excited to see Boo's Door. The parks were busy. I can't wait until Fall when traditional school kids go back to school, and people on vacation go home, and the parks become a little less crowded...and cooler! LOL. It's been a while since we've gone just the two of us. We had a good time and a lot of fun. And of course, always looking forward to our next trip.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School through our church began tonight. I had asked a few weeks ago about whether or not Rachel was too young to go, and the director said she was. They'd had some 3 year olds last year that were just handfuls and it made it difficult. That was totally understandable, and afterall, Rachel is still only 2 years old.

Apparently there have been enough moms with younger preschoolers asking about whether or not their child could attend, because yesterday at church, the director told us Rachel could come if we stayed with her the first night to see how she did, if she cooperated, wasn't a distraction, etc. Steven needed to be there to help out with the technical things of the night so he stayed and kept an eye on Rachel. She did great!!! And came home so excited and had so much fun. I think the night was confirmation that she'll do well in preschool.
Blurry, I know.
But Steven said Rachel was really going at this and had a blast.
She's really looking forward to getting to go again tomorrow night. And I have to be honest in saying it was nice to have the house to myself and get some things done around the house without distractions or it being undone behind me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pool Party!

The girls were invited to a birthday party today. It was a pool party. I actually was going to leave Rachel home with Steven (who couldn't go due to helping set up for VBS). I knew Rachel would want to go in the pool and I sure wasn't going to sport my bathing suit to go in with her. I figured I'd just leave her home and save the battle. But then I got to thinking about all the other stuff the family's yard has to offer and brought her.

The family has one of those large wooden play structures that both my girls covet everytime we go to Costco. It was the first thing the girls went to when we arrived. Rachel had a BLAST! She rock climbed, she swang, and went down the slide. Carolyn had a lifejacket for Rachel to wear, so she went into the pool too, and even got someone to push her around on the raft! And she rode a horse! She had so much fun, and wore herself out, that she fell asleep on the way home.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Preschool Checkup

Rachel had a checkup with our Pediatrician this morning. I needed him to check her over and fill out the paperwork for her to begin preschool (assuming she gets this potty training thing down) in the Fall. Everything checked out fine. It's been a long time since she's seen Dr. Berry. Aside from her clefts at birth, she's been a relatively healthy child whereas we've not needed to see our Pediatrician a lot. We had a trip to Urgent Care once for an infected finger, but other than I think it's been 10 months since she's see her regular doctor. When the nurse came in to give Rachel a TB skin test, she hardly recognized Rachel and couldn't believe how grown up she's gotten. Rachel did so well with getting the TB skin test, she didn't cry or flinch at all, she was a very good girl and was rewarded with a sticker and a sucker!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

A Chart for Rachel

The other day, after going to a local school supply store to pick up a star chart for Hannah, the idea hit me to do a chart for Rachel and her potty training. So for the past few days, everytime she goes potty on the potty chair, she gets a sticker for her little chart that has been posted on the bathroom door, as well as a couple M&M's. She's been doing really well the past couple of days, excited to put stickers on her chart, and see what new stickers I come up with everyday. LOL. In order for her to go to preschool, Rachel HAS to be potty trained. She was doing really good about a month or so ago, and then got freaked out by the toilet. We've really been working hard at it the past couple of days, I have about 7 weeks before she starts preschool. I would really appreaciate prayers for this to be successful as well as any advice from all you "been there, done that" moms. :)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

An Afternoon Swim

Uncle Robbie called early afternoon and invited us over for a swim in the pool and some Carne Asada. Of course the girls were very excited about seeing their cousins. Rachel loved the pool, this is the first she's really been in the pool this summer. The pool was so refreshing, as it was 100 degrees outside the pool. We enjoyed the pool, not only was it refreshing, but also relaxing.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The 4th of July

This 4th of July was a different one for us, we were homebodies all day. After being camping all weekend and coming home to this extreme heat, we just wanted to stay indoors, where it was cool. We did BBQ some hamburgers and went to watch fireworks, but other than that, we relaxed all day long, which was nice.

Rachel stayed awake for some of the fireworks, but at some point, fell asleep sitting on Steven's lap. She stayed asleep for the ride home and stayed asleep when she was put to bed.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mammoth Camping - Day 4

Today was the day to head for home. For a while we contemplated staying another day and seeing more that the Mammoth area has to offer, but we decided to just head home, stopping at a few spots of interest along the way. After finally getting the car packed and the tent down, and having lunch at McDonalds, we hopped on the 395 towards home. The first place we stopped along the way was the Geothermal Hot Creek. Up until last year, you used to be able to go swimming in the Hot Creeks, but due to the recent geothermal activity, the hot creeks are an upwards of 160 degrees and now closed to swimming. This stop wasn't particularly of any interest to Rachel, but it was an excuse for her to get out of her car seat.After another stop at the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery, located in the same area, was the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery. We enjoyed our stop at the Fillmore Fish Hatchery last year while on vacation, and thought it'd be fun to see another fish hatchery. Rachel liked seeing all the fish, there were some pretty big fish there as well. After a change into comfortable and clean clothes, we headed home. We had a long drive ahead of us through the hot desert. Thankfully she fell asleep for a bit, but the rest of the time she was pretty distracted with a movie or two. Making a slight detour off the highway to our favorite Mexican food restaurant in Hesperia,, we arrived home around 8:00 and began the chore of unloading the van. Once unloaded, we gave the girls baths and into bed they went. They were exhausted!

We had a great time. Enjoyed seeing all of God's beautiful creation. Looking forward to our next trip, although we don't have one planned. But we've been talking about a possible trip to Yosemite next year. And we've been making a list of all that we need in order to camp on our own and not mootch off others. LOL.

To see all the pictures from our Mammoth Camping trip, please go to Mammoth Camping Part 1 and Mammoth Camping Part 2. You can also see other pictures from our camping trip by visiting my sister-in-laws Camping Pictures.