Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Making a Christmas List

It's that time of year, when television commercials constantly are grabbing the attention of our children with the latest and greatest, gotta have toys and games of the season. It's that time of year where kids are often encouraged to make a list and 'we'll send it to Santa Claus'. We don't do the Santa Claus thing in our house. But we do encourage making a list!

This afternoon, we went out for a late lunch, and then took our girls to Toys R Us to wander the aisles. We warned them ahead of time that we were there to see what things they'd possibly like for Christmas, to make a list of those things, and not buy anything!We are looking for something to get Rachel that she'll be absolutely thrilled to open and see that she got. So far, the only thing she really, really shows any big excitement for is a huge, talking dinosaur from Costco! LOL. But we're not getting that. We're not telling anyone about that, etc. We do not want another big thing that will be played with for a couple of weeks, if that, and then there it sits taking up space.

Rachel did point out quite a few things she wanted. She was so much fun to watch go up and down every aisle, looking at everything. And for the record, we did leave having bought something...Rachel got a tube of M&M's and Hannah a Snow White PEZ for being such good girls in the store and not throwing a fit when we didn't take anything off the shelves. They were good sports in a situation that could have gone sour. LOL.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thanksgiving 'Feast'

Today at Rachel's preschool was their 'Thanksgiving Feasts'. It wasn't a true feast in the way you'd think a feast, but all four of the upper aged preschool classes came together, wearing their indian and pilgrim hats and partook of a special snack...chicken pasta soup, popcorn, corn bread, apple cake, and pumpkin pie. LOL. The kids all had so much fun! I was surprised, but Rachel ate the pumpkin pie and said she loved it! We'll see if she eats it on Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


We made an all day trip today to The Happiest Place on Earth. Gramma and Papa came with us and we met Uncle Bart there. We had a great day with nice weather and not a lot of crowds. We walked on a lot of the bigger rides. We arrived at opening, 10:00, and stayed until the park closed at 8:00. We planned ahead and staked out a table along the Rivers of America and had prime viewing of Fantasmic, something Gramma and Papa and Uncle Bart had never seen!
A perfect hat for Rachel: "Mood Subject to Change Without Notice."
It surprised me when Rachel spotted Goofy and took off after him. Normally, she doesn't want to have anything to do with him because he's so tall. But not today, she literally chased after him and then posed for a picture!The Christmas season officially starts Friday, but most everything is already decorated and ready to go! This is the first year that Disneyland is using an artificial tree on Main Street. It's still pretty nonetheless.
"Take a picture of me in front of the Christmas Tree", Rachel says,
knowing full well I wouldn't complain about a picture opportunity!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Comfort After Surgery

I recently had a question left in my comment section about comforting the baby after a lip repair. This question comes from a mom who gave birth to a baby two months ago who is scheduled to have his lip repair on December 16th. Rather than respond to her question in the comment section, where the answer might not be found, I have decided to answer in a post.


Hi Ella! Congratulations on the birth of your baby. I know it's hard having a baby with a cleft, the emotions and thoughts you are having are some that all of us with cleft affected babies have had and have dealt with.

I know how anxious and scared you are for the upcoming surgery. Please know that I'll be praying for you and for the surgery.

"Be anxious for nothing,
but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."
Phillippians 4:6

As for comforting the baby after surgery...

If surgery there in Indonesia is anything like it is here in the States, they will keep the baby overnight. Find out ahead of time if you can spend the night with your baby in the hospital. He'll be on pain medications. Be sure to find out how often he can have them and then be on the nurses to make sure they administer them like clockwork. If you can stay on top of getting the pain medicine regularly, it keeps the pain at a minimum.

I know he's still tiny, but bring any toys or stuffed animals or blankie that he might be attached to, with you to the hospital. Having things he finds comfort in will keep him distracted from having his arms in arm restraints.

But more importantly, you are his biggest source of comfort. Hold him, rock him, walk him, sing to him. Just be there for him. The nurses and caretakers will be strangers to him and he'll find comfort in you just being with him.

Once you are home, stay on top of giving the pain medications every 4-6 hours or however they are prescribed. If you can keep the pain medication in him for a few days, it really does make a difference in keeping his pain at bay.

As for feeding, we were able to go right back to using Rachel's special bottle, the Haberman. Try feeding him about 20-30 minutes after you've given him his pain medication. Depending on what type of medicine he comes home with, sometimes a side effect is suppressing the appetite. So he might not want to eat. Just keep pushing the liquids as often and as much as you can if that's the case.

After about 3-4 days, he should be back close to normal. Pain will pretty much be subsided. You'll just have the annoyance of the arm restraints for 2-3 weeks.

I hope these ideas and suggestions have helped. If you go to the left hand side of this blog, there are posts specific to all Rachel's cleft issues. Check out the posts regarding her lip repair. There might be something else there you might find helpful.

Please feel free to ask any other questions you may think of in the coming weeks prior to surgery. If you sign Rachel's Guestbook and leave me your email address, I can email you directly in the future.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To Disneyland We Go...

Yesterday was the beginning of Hannah being off track for the next three weeks. What better thing to do on the first day of vacation than to go to Disneyland with friends! We literally spent all day there, and were joined by Daddy and some other friends in the evening when they were off work. We had a great day with great weather and pretty manageable crowds.
Rachel tried Star Tours again, this time giving it two thumbs up!
Rachel in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for the first time.
This ride DID NOT get any thumbs up.
A long day of playing, she fell asleep in her stroller before 8:00.

Friday, November 07, 2008

3 Years!

I can't believe it, but it's been three years today since Rachel's palate repair. Three Years!

Boy, those were some stressful times, and I'm sure glad we have that behind us. Especially when we have cleft affected friends whom we've met online having just recently had palate repairs and you kinda relive all you went through when you read their blogs, etc.

If you're interested in reading about that experience, simply click on the "Palate Repair" posts over on my sidebar.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

4 Year Well Check

This morning Rachel had her 4 year well check, a little late, but better than never.

She is 40.5 lbs (90th percentile) and 40 1/2 inches tall (just below the 50th percentile).

When I looked in her ears a month ago, the tube in her left ear was out and laying in the ear canal. When Dr Berry looked, it's not even laying in the canal anymore, it's gone. However, the tube in her right ear is still in place. Weird how one is out and the other still in. Dr Berry thought it best to have a hearing test, which I agree with. A few weeks ago I called Rachel's ENT and asked about a hearing test since her tubes were out, they said it was needed once a year, or if there were any problems. She had her last hearing test in August 2007, so it's time to have one. The nurse scheduled it at their facility but I think I'm going to cancel it at reschedule it at Loma Linda where all of Rachel's other hearing tests have been done, and can be compared to, etc. Her ENT who does her tubes is there, etc. Rachel is also familiar with that place, so in the long run I think that'll be better.

The nurse also tested Rachel's vision with one of those charts you cover one eye and then the other, etc. Rachel struggled with the last two lines, but truthfully, I was standing right next to her at her level and there was such a glare on the chart, it was hard to see. And by then Rachel just wasn't in the mood for cooperating.

All in all, a great visit. She's all caught up on her immunizations until her kindergarten check up next year!