Saturday, June 28, 2008

SeaWorld - Wednesday, June 25th

We've been talking about going to SeaWorld for months and now our trip has come and gone and the girls can't wait to go back again. I had found a coupon months ago in anticipation of this trip, that not only saved us $10 each, but it also gets us one more trip into the park before 2008 ends. SCORE!The girls were so excited! Rachel and I check out Shamu on the webcam several times a week and she was excited to get to see him in person. I thought she'd be a little overwhelmed by his size, but it didn't seem to phase her. We went to the first Shamu show and then later in the day we went to the underwater viewing area and then the Shamu skyway, where we got to see Shamu up close.The rest of our day had us relying on the map as to where to go, what we wanted to see, etc. By the end of the day, we saw everything at least once and some shows we saw twice because at night time they do a different show.SeaWorld has a Sesame Street Bay of Play with rope bridges and bounce houses and tunnels as well as a few things to get you wet. Having come prepared with their crocs and a change of clothes, the girls went to town and got absolutely soaked! Once they'd had their fun, we made our way into the nearest restroom and used paper towels to dry off and change their clothes and back into their socks and shoes. They had sooo much fun and I'm really glad I came prepared so they could do that.We saw and did so much, it's hard to remember in what order we did things. At the Rocky Point Reserve, where you can feed and touch the dolphins, we bought a tray of fish and Steven fed the dolphins all the while trying to hold Rachel so she could pet the dolphin. I believe she ended up touching ones nose. But just being that close to the dolphins was enough excitement for her. After walking all day the day before at the zoo, and then walking the majority of the day at SeaWorld, Rachel was plum worn out. She fell asleep shortly before the night time Shamu show and remained asleep as we made our way to the car, slipping her into her jammies and made the long drive home.We had such a great day! The girls really loved SeaWorld and asked continually the day after when it is that we can go back, Hannah actually started asking before we even left the park!

Take a look at more of our SeaWorld pictures.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Staying in a Hotel - Tuesday, June 24th

We made reservations and stayed at the Days Inn and get a really good deal on a suite that had a living room with a sofa bed, a bedroom with a king size bed, two televisions, and it included breakfast!

It was a little noisy at times as it was in the fly over path of the planes taking off at the San Diego Airport, but they stopped flights around 10:00 pm and didn't start up again til 6:30 am. So it was quiet when it needed to be.

I packed the swimsuits, just in case. And once we returned from having dinner at our favorite Mexican food place in San Diego, Steven and the girls made their way into the pool and enjoyed the nighttime swim. It wasn't too long, and the girls were fast asleep and plain worn out from all the walking we did at the zoo, and the playing they did in the pool.Morning came and we were hungry! We were excited to get on to our next adventure of going to SeaWorld and we were afraid Rachel would dilly dally her way through breakfast like she does most meals. But she was relatively quick and soon we were on our way.

San Diego Zoo - Tuesday June 24th

Our camping trip was over, but our adventures in San Diego were just beginning. When we went to the Zoo this time last year, it had been Rachel's first time to the zoo. Since then, we've gone to the San Diego Wild Animal Park, aka 'the zoo park' a couple of times and therefore, Rachel knew exactly what to expect in going to the zoo. That we would see lots of animals! And Rachel LOVES animals!

Knowing we were heading to the zoo, I picked up these cute parrot hats at the Dollar Tree and tucked them away for our trip. The were cute, but as the day worn on, I got tired of seeing these obnoxious colored hats in every picture and started having them take their hats off for some pictures. LOL. Several times throughout the week Rachel and I will check the webcams of the apes, the polar bears, the pandas, and the elephants. It was so much fun to get to see the animals in person, especially the pandas. We've been watching Zhen Zhen, the baby panda born last August since she was born, and it was so exciting to get to see her out on exhibit with her Mommy. She was sleeping up in the tree both times we visited the exhibit, but at least she was out.Rachel and Hannah shared a drink at lunch, here Rachel is being a goofball using both the straws. The hippos were actually up and about this time. Last year they were hovering off to one end of their exhibit. Not this guy, he kept going round and round in circles. He was definitely fun to watch.Did you know flamingoes aren't born pink?? They get their coloring from the crustaceans they eat. The zoo had quite a few baby flamingoes born this last Spring. Aren't they cute???The San Diego Zoo has a skyway that takes you from one end of the zoo to the other. They used to have one at Disneyland, but it's been gone for years. Rachel kept pointing to the buckets high in the sky, saying she wanted to ride them. She was so happy when we took the skyway from the polar bears to the other side of the park. After what seemed like walking miles and miles at the zoo, we arrive to our car. Where Rachel, after sitting still for just a few minutes, fell asleep. The girl had walked ALL DAY and kept up like a real trooper.

Mammoth Camping 2008

The girls were very excited for our camping trip. The Tuesday prior to leaving, they kept asking when we were going to pack the car. And when we finally did, they asked when we were leaving.

We went back and forth about when we should hit the road. It's a five hour drive to Mammoth through the desert, the boring desert. We thought if we left early (4ish), there would be the possibility that the girls would remain asleep for part of our drive. We eventually decided we'd get up at 5:30 and leave shortly thereafter. We were on the road by 5:50, putting the girls straight into the car with their jammies on, hoping for the slight chance they'd go back to sleep. No such luck. And after being on the road for only 2o minutes, we had to make our first potty stop, for Rachel.

Making only one other stop for breakfast, the girls did a great job on the drive. Once we had finally arrived at our campground, the girls changed into clothes and we went about setting up camp. Over the course of the next hour, everyone else made their arrival to the campground, and by mid afternoon, Uncle Bart had constructed a tree swing and the girls were having a blast. The rest of our first day, we spent at camp. Rachel did great sleeping in the tent and appeared to stay warm, with the exception of her hands. Every morning she was wide eyed and ready to start the day and conquer any adventures the day might bring.The girls didn't leave the campsite at all on the second day. They were enjoying playing with their cousins and just roaming about between our two campsites. My Aunt and Uncle brought their dog with them and the girls loved chasing her back and forth as well. On Friday, we set out on a field trip to the State Historic Park of Bodie. Bodie was about an hours drive North, but with the entertainment of my cousin Carrissa sitting beside the girls, they both did great on the drive. We were surprised at how well the girls did once we arrived to Bodie. It's basically house after house, building after building looking into the windows. But the girls had fun exploring, and they especially enjoyed being able to wear their new camelbacks of water.Throughout our days, Gramma had lots of surprises and activities for the girls to do. One day it was painting rocks to look like ladybugs, another day it was coloring their own mugs. The girls didn't leave the campsite except for the field trip to Bodie and then out to dinner that night, otherwise they kept themselves busy at the campsite. Here, Rachel sits on Carrissa's lap by the fireside. I love this picture.Last year on our camping trip, Rachel was almost always covered in dirt, she was also in diapers! This year we had a five gallon jug of water sitting atop the bear box and washcloths nearby that made for keeping her hands and face clean. We had a really good time. It's always nice to get away from home and work and all that. It was nice to spend time with family we've not really spent time with in years. And of course, Rachel loved the days and days of playing with her cousins.

Check out the rest of our camping pictures here, Mammoth Camping 2008.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Home Today, Gone Tomorrow

We made it home from our camping trip last night. Today finds us all catching up on blogs, websites, television shows, etc. Not to mention attacking the massive mountain of laundry and then packing again.

Yes, packing again.

Tomorrow we are heading to San Diego for two days to go to the Zoo and to Sea World. Rachel is soooo excited to be going to see Shamu, someone we check in on the webcam a couple times a week. I think when she sees him in person, she's going to be overwhelmed by his size because he appears so small on the webcam. LOL.

The girls will be heading to Gramie's for the weekend on Thursday afternoon, I'll have time then to post more about our camping trip and then our adventures in San Diego. Be sure to check back then!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Be Back Soon!

Ahhh, the great outdoors is where we'll soon be.

Rachel is so excited! Last year when we went, she got sooo dirty everyday. This year I am better prepared with washclothes and a jug of water just for washing up. LOL. Last year she was still in diapers! Hard to believe that!!

Lots to do today. Be back in a few days with cute pictures of girls covered in dirt and having a blast!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Update on Rachel

By Saturday afternoon, and after only a single dose of Prednisone, there was a noticeable difference in Rachel's cough. She managed to fall asleep and took about a two hour nap too. Saturday night was she didn't cough at all in the night, and we all got a good nights rest. The same for last night.

This morning, I took her to be checked out by our Pediatrician at the recommendation of the Urgent Care doctor. Everything checked out just fine and told me she had a reoccurrence, or if I needed anything while we were camping to give him a call and he'd call something in to the pharmacy there in Mammoth. Just having that reassurance means a lot.

Thank you for the prayers for her. She's doing good. While her ears were fine and checked out, I would ask for continued prayers that she continues to do well and that her ears won't be affected by the climb in elevation on our trip. Thanks!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Our Poor Girlie

For the last six weeks, every 2-3 weeks, Rachel will develop this cough and she'll cough continually (this really annoying hack) all day, usually all night long, and then as quickly as it came on, it goes away the next afternoon. It's weird. That's how this cough started yesterday morning. Having been down this road a couple of times the last several weeks, I had a feeling as to how the remainder of the day and the night would be, but I was wrong. Our night was much more worse than I had anticipated.

It was around midnight when the night went downhill. She coughed and coughed and coughed. There were times the cough just didn't let up. I've tried every cough syrup and cold and cough medicine over the course of the last couple of weeks and nothing seems to work. The humidifier was on and providing a cool mist in her room, but didn't really show signs of it helping. We even went as far as sitting out on the patio around 3:00am in the coolness of the night. Rachel's barking got all the dogs in the neighborhood barking. LOL. At one point we contemplated going to the ER for a possible breathing treatment. But after much, much prayer on both of our parts and then together, her breathing eased and we were able to make it through the night.

This morning I took our girlie to Urgent Care. She has the croup. Which was one of our suspicions, but we weren't sure if it ws that or something asthmatic. The doctor heard no wheezing, her lungs were clear and we were sent home with Prednisone and an RX for a cough suppressant. We came home from the pharmacy, after stopping at Starbucks for an apple juice sure to make it all better, and had a bath. She's doing better. The poor girl is exhausted, as are her Mommy and Daddy, but we're hanging in there. She is napping now.

We need to follow up with our Pediatrician before leaving for our big trip. Please be praying that the steroids help and tonight is a much better night in our household.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Last Day of School!

I can't believe today was the last day of school for Rachel, it seems like just a short time ago that we were going to parent orientation and meeting the teachers and today, we're saying goodbye.

I stayed the morning and helped the teachers putting projects in the cubbies and with the ice cream sundae party. There was a lot of hustle and bustle about the morning, and now it's all over and Rachel's first year of preschool is officially behind her. She's on summer vacation until after Labor Day.

The last day of being a Bouncing Bunny.
Rachel's teachers put together these wonderful three ring binders for each Bunny, which had something they made from each month of their school year!
Celebrating the last day of school with ice cream sundaes
and having snack outside!! Both very special treats!
The last time these three will ever go to school together again. McKenzie starts Kindergarten in the Fall and Haylee will go to preschool three days a week, while Rachel continues to go only two days a week. It was a fun year though and we'll miss seeing them so often!
Riding the tricycles and pulling the wagons
to the storage shed for the long summer vacation.
With Mrs. Wilson, her Bouncing Bunnies teacher.
With Mrs Martin, her teachers assistant.
"Goodbye preschool, Hello Mammoth!!!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A New Cleft Friend

The internet can be a very large place, but when you meet new people whom you can relate to, it makes it feel so such smaller! Especially when they are walking a road you once walked.

Meet Drew. Isn't he the cutest?? He's 11 months old and he was born with the exact same cleft as Rachel. He has two surgeries under his belt, his lip has been repaired, and he'll have his palate fixed in July. Doesn't he have the biggest blue eyes?? Every cleft affected baby we've "met" has the most breath taking eyes, in a lot of cases, they are blue. I think the Lord must give these special babes such breathtaking eyes to perhaps take the attention off their mouth and scars, etc.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Water Fun at Preschool

The clock is ticking and Rachel's preschool year is quickly coming to an end. Her last day of school is Thursday. What better to celebrate the end of the school year than with having fun, more fun than usual in the case of a preschooler. LOL.

Today was water slide day. The kids had all been asked to wear their bathing suits to school under clothes, bringing a towel and easy shoes to slip on and off. After the June Gloom cloud cover lifted, the classes all took turns going out and playing on the water slide.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Rachel's Journey reaches 10,000 Visitors!

A little over a year ago, I placed a sitemeter on this blog. It keeps track of how many people visit in a day, from where, and how long they stay, along with other fun and interesting things.

I am so excited, Rachel's Journey had it's 10,000th visitor late last night!! To all you who visit daily, several times a day, weekly, etc, thank you for helping make that happen!!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Year End Class Picnic

Rachel had her year end class picnic today. Almost all of the class came and it made for a lot of fun! There were bubbles, and squirt guns, and all sorts of yard toys to play on and with. It was definitely a great time!