Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birthday Party for a Friend

Last September, I wrote a post about new cleft friends. The Lord brought a Mommy of a cleft affected baby to Rachel's blog where she recognized the doctors in some of the pictures with Rachel, our children shared the same doctors! Long story short, we met in person, and I even visited Aiden and his Mommy when they were in the hospital after his lip/palate/gum/nose repairs in October.

Today was his 1st birthday party and it was special for us to be invited to his party. It was an even bigger honor that I had been asked to make his special cakes! There's something special when you meet another family online who's walked your journey, or is just starting out. But it's even more special when you get to meet and become friends with such a family in person! Thanks Joy for letting us be a part of the special day! Rachel had a blast and talked all the way home about all the fun she had!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Disneyland: Just Mommy and Rachel

It's been a long while since Rachel and I have been able to go to Disneyland during the week. Life has just been busy the last several months. Today, when she woke up and came and visited me in bed asked the usual question "What we doing on this day?", I asked her if she wanted to go to Disneyland, just her and Mommy, and her eyes lit up and of course the answer was "yes!". We dropped Hannah off at school and we were on our way. Disneyland didn't open until 10:00, and we got there so early that we had to sit and wait for the parking structure to actually open up at 9:00. Main Street is generally always open an hour before they open up the rides, so I knew once there we could look at the windows and visit with any characters that were out, or browse through the stores. We did make a stop into the bakery and got Rachel a cookie. She loved it! Disneyland is slowly, but surely making decoration changes to fit the new promotion for the year, and today this new picture background opportunity was available. It wasn't here on Sunday, when we were here. Seeing how we were there at park opening, the first thing we did was get in line to see Tinkerbell and her Fairy Friends. There is always such a long wait to see her, but since it was just me and Rachel, we waited today. She visited with SilverMist and of course her beloved Tink. Tinkerbell was excited to learn that Rachel watches her movie just about everyday!We spent the rest of our time going on things and doing things Rachel wanted to do. Although Mommy did get her say when she wanted to go on It's A Small World. They've recently changed things up on that ride and I wanted to get my own opinion on it. I personally liked it! We ate our packed lunch in ToonTown and then explored the cars and buildings there. Rachel LOVES theses cars and was happy there wasn't a lot of people wanting in them and she could take her time driving about. Sadly, our time was short, but it was fun. We needed to be on the tram back to the parking structure by 12:30 to give us enough time to get home, allowing for traffic, and accidents, so that we were able to get Hannah from school on time. Mommy and Rachel had a good morning together at Disneyland. And look forward to Hannah being off track in another week so we can all go together!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Yippee...A Trip to Disneyland

Due to all the rain we've been getting here in Southern California and just the overall busyness of the past couple of weeks, we've not been able to make a trip to Disneyland lately, which is something Rachel's been asking to do! We were able to go this afternoon after church with some friends and had a great time!

Both the parks were busy, but we made the best of our time and managed to do a lot. We stopped for a spell over in New Orleans to listen to Queenie and her fellows. When asked, Rachel was happy to participate by shaking the tambourine. While the rest of our group when on Pirates of the Carribbean, a ride Rachel won't go on, her and I meandered through the shops of New Orleans. Here she's sporting a Goofy Pirate hat. Doesn't she make a cute looking pirate? LOL. One of the places both our girls love to go to when at California Adventure is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. It's an area of rope bridges, rock climbing caves, and zip lines. Rachel is now tall enough for the zip line and this evening, she tried it and LOVED it!!! I wasn't sure at first, but she loved it and even went for a second time. There's a new favorite for her!We ended our trip with spending time in Bugs Land, where the girls walked on all three of the rides they all could go on. We slowly made our way out the gates and took one final picture and then made our way to our cars.It was a good afternoon, and as always, look forward to our next trip!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Preschool Field Trip: To the Dentist!

This experience wasn't really anything new for Rachel, seeing how she went to the dentist last month. LOL. But it's free and and an outing for the older classes at the preschool and they still had a blast!!!

All the kids were excited about riding in the cars of their classmates. Seeing how I drive a mini-van, I was a driver for the trip and Rachel was so excited to have three of her classmates riding in her car with us. I'm hoping she didn't notice how cool their car seat boosters were and I can keep her in the 5 point harness a while longer. Knowing that when we did the field trip when Hannah was in preschool, the dentist plopped each kid into a seat and took a quick look into their mouths. The last couple of days I'd been debating to give the dentist a 'heads up' about Rachel's cleft aveolar ridge, or just let it take him by surprise when he opened her mouth. LOL. Like my mom said, any professional will be able to tell by looking closely and seeing a lip repair. I didn't say anything and he wasn't shocked and horrified when he opened Rachel's mouth, seeing how he is actually an orthodontist, he may see some kids with clefts.When he did look into her mouth, and I was standing at her feet, he asked if I was her mom and asked if she was getting her care at Loma Linda. I told him the name of the dentist she's seeing and he knew her and spoke highly of her! And spoke highly of her husband, my dentist, too!! That was really great to hear him speak so highly of them both. The kids all left with goodie bags - toothbrush, sticker, floss, and much to my surprise...a bag of fruit snacks!! But leave it to my Rachel to remember she's no longer allowed to have fruit snacks and say out loud "My dentist said I'm not allowed to have fruit snacks!" LOL. That was too funny and while I know the dentist heard her, I think he pretended not to!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We have a fish tank that sits in our kitchen nook area and for the last almost two years, it's been empty, as in no fish. I've kept replacing the water when it got low so the tank didn't get a water line around the edge, etc. But about 2 weeks ago, I emptied the tank of the water and cleaned it out really good. I rinsed the rocks, scrubbed the glass, bleached the green castle that was once white. And then the next morning, I went to Walmart and PetSmart and got the equipment I needed to replace some old filters, tubes, etc. I then filled the tank with water and added the chemicals to cure the tap water.

The tank has sat beautifully clean for the last week and half waiting for the water to warm, the water to adjust, etc.

Last night, after dinner we went to PetSmart and got fish for our tank. Rachel was soooo excited. She picked out two fish and Hannah picked out two and for some reason they both thought we all needed our own fish. Needless to say we came home with nine fish. They are now happily in their new home and the girls have loved watching the fish while sitting at the table for meals.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Meeting with The Principal

Rachel will start Kindergarten in August and we're completing the steps to get her into the school in which Hannah goes to. It's a magnet school, therefore you do not have to live in the school zone in order to go there. You do however, have to submit an application and seek to be accepted.

Two weeks ago the Magnet School Applications were handed out. That same day, I filled mine out and put it in the mail. Because Rachel has a sibling at the school already, it's suppose to be an automatic that she would get in. But in this day and age, I don't want to take any chances.

Three years ago, when Hannah started Kindergarten, I started attending PTA meetings, helped out in the class, etc. I wanted the principal to recognize my face for when it came time to seek Rachel being accepted for Kindergarten. After two years, we got a new principal. LOL. I had to start all over with making my face known to the principal.

I decided months ago, that when the time came to submit my magnet school application that I would go in and speak with the principal. I was at the school this afternoon for a PTA meeting and stopped into make an appointment, and was told he was finishing up with a teacher if I'd like to just wait a few minutes. So I did.

Our principal is the nicest man. He has a very strong accent so he's very hard to understand at times, but I'm learning. He is taking care of problems and following though on things that our previous principal let go to the way side. He has the best interest of his students and his teachers at heart and I hope he's around for a long time.

Our conversation lasted less than 5 minutes. As he knew, I already have one child attending the school, and I told him I had submitted my application for Rachel. And he assured me several times that it would not be a problem. Rachel would have a place at the school! He even asked her her name and wrote it down in his special 'magnet school' folder. Oh, and he did 'know' who I was, not necessarily by my name, but he acknowledged my involvement around the school! :)

I didn't think there'd be a problem. But it's good to have that marked off my list of 'to-dos'. Now we just need to pray that the school district in which we reside in, and are supposed to attend, release both the girls and don't decline their inter-district transfers due to the budget cuts and wanting to keep money within their district.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our Sweethearts

This picture was taken four years ago. Rachel had just had her lip repaired, and actually was still in arm restraints, but I took them off for the picture. Rachel was 5 months old. Such cute and adorable sweethearts...
And now look at them...

A Preschoolers Definition of Love

"Love is...

a friend hugging you."

~~ Rachel, age 4

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Preschool Valentine's Party

Let the festivities begin! LOL. Today was Rachel's Valentine's Party. She's been ready for this day for weeks. Every couple of days asking when it's Valentine's. Last week, they made Valentine boxes out of shoeboxes, and today was the day they delivered their 'mail'. And then followed it up with special treats.

Here, the class says their snack time songs. It was pretty cute how the majority of the class had on Valentine's shirts or were wearing red. They soon will learn there are enough cupcakes for everyone to have two! In addition to the cupcakes they had heart shaped quesadillas! Which were loved by all!
Rachel and her best preschool friend and partner in crime, Kaylee.
Rachel's Valentine shoebox is almost as big as her! Thanks to Kaylee, they had an extra shoebox laying around and gave it to Rachel to use.

We came home to frost and decorate cookies for Hannah's class tomorrow. Rachel gets to go with me to Hannah's class tomorrow and will get to participate in yet another party!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Parent / Teacher Conference

We've just returned home from having a parent/teacher conference with Rachel's teacher. Preschool conferences are so much fun. The first half hour is all observance from the directors office out a one way window. It was fun to watch Rachel interact with her classmates, she's a crack up to watch, when she has no idea she's being watched. LOL.

The second half hour is spent talking with the teacher. She fills out a sheet in all the different areas the preschoolers are observed in. And we talk about each of the areas and talk about our concerns, etc.

Overall, Rachel is doing great. Her teacher said she is very self confident and sure of herself. She plays well in a group and shows concerns for others feelings. She's easy going and always happily adjusts to changes with no troubles. She is however, sometimes easily distracted during circle time when she and her best buddy get to giggling and talking.

Mrs. Vasquez did express a bit of a concern for a few areas of her speech. Nothing we didn't already know, and nothing we've not been working on since we spoke with the speech therapist at Rachel's craniofacial team appointment two weeks ago. Overall, she does carry on conversations and her classmates have no troubles understanding her. She said now that she knows what we're working on here at home, she'll do her best to remember to correct her at school as well.

We asked her if she's noticed any teasing towards Rachel and her nose, or the scar on her lip. The teacher answered that she herself doesn't even notice and thus far, there have been no problems from the other kids in her class.

The one major question I had pressing on my mind was whether or not Mrs. Vasquez felt Rachel was ready to start Kindergarten in the Fall. And without a doubt, she believes Rachel is ready! I didn't think there would be any reason she wouldn't be, but until you hear it from someone who works with your child a couple times a week, you kinda hold your breath.

Last Monday, was the first day to submit the Application for acceptance to the Elementary School we wish Rachel to go to (Hannah's school). Applications aren't due until March 20th, so it won't be until after then whether or not Rachel has been accepted. I don't think there will be any problems, since she already has a sibling there, but I do plan on meeting with the principal prior to the deadline. Kindergarten registration begins in April.

Now that I'm sitting here and writing this post, it's hit me that today was our last preschool parent/teacher conference! Whoa!!