Sunday, November 28, 2010

What a Deal

Two years ago, I blogged about this fantastic bargainl I'd found on Kota the Triceratops interactive dinosaur. He was Rachel's Christmas present that year, and he's been a good pet. But he's never been one to be played with a whole lot. And honestly, he's taking up a lot of room.

So a few weeks back I listed him on Craigslist for $100 as I'd see him going on Ebay for at least that much, in addition to other ads on Craigslist for that much. I had someone interested in him and as I was going to meet the person, she contacted me and told me something went wrong with her husbands payroll and they wouldn't be able to buy Kota this pay period. I offered to hold Kota for her, and she never answered any further emails. :::sigh:::

So I listed Kota on Craigslist again the middle of last week. Listed him for $95.00. This time I included my cell phone number on the ad. On Saturday, I received a phone call from a man who was interested in Kota for his daughter for Christmas! Not only was he interested, he was willing to drive all the way from Oceanside (75+ miles one way) to get him from me!!

This afternoon, we loaded Kota up in the back of the van, and went to meet Kota's new family. Kota will soon become the pet to an almost four year old little girl who has this fascination for all things dinosaurs. She has a new baby brother that will enjoy him in the years to come. I had Kota listed for $95.00, the guy only had a $100 bill, and I had no change. So I sold Kota for $100, I paid $94.81 for him two years ago!! Needless to say, I am pretty pleased with myself!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday 2010

I've gone out shopping on Black Friday for several years. Last year I was at Target prior to the doors opening at 5:00am.

This year the doors were opening at 4:00 and there was one item in particular that we needed/wanted. A 2TB external hard drive for over $70.00 off it's normal price. My plan was to get up at 3:00 and hit the local Target. And then I found out some friends were heading to Target at 2:00 to wait in line until the doors opened. So I thought I'd go and hang out and secure the possibility of obtaining the hard drive.

And then...

I learned that the doorbuster deals that Walmart had for Black Friday would go on sale at midnight.

So I stayed up. I hit Walmart at midnight, got the things on my list and came home for an hour, chatting with a friends daughter on Facebook, making plans to pick her up at 1:45 to accompany me to Target where I met other friends at 2. We sat and talked until the doors opened at 4:00. It was 38 degrees and COLD!!! We were bundled up in jackets, scarves, gloves, blankets.I scored our much needed hard drive and a few other things on my list and then headed to the Mall. About 5:30am I started feeling the effects of having been up for almost 24 hours. I was done shopping...at least at that point.

I came home, crawled into a warm bed at 6:00, only to get up and be back out with my Mom at 9:00am.

Call me crazy, but it was fun, and well worth the one receipt that said "You Saved $132.15"!! It's feels great to see a great deal and get it, as in the case of our new external hard drive. Now to get it hooked up and start backing our computers.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Today

Today we are one week Post Op. Yippeee! Thank You Lord for your goodness and healing hand!

Today, like thousands of women will do tomorrow, I cooked a turkey. But unlike those thousands of women, I am not hosting Thanksgiving this year, my Mama is. We had no idea how hard this recovery would be for Rachel, so my Mom went ahead and planned to cook Thanksgiving this year.

But everybody knows one of the best things about hosting holidays and cooking is all the leftovers the next day. So last week, I scored a 15 lb Jeanie-O turkey for $5.00 and I cooked it up today just for the mere fact of turkey sandwiches this weekend while we are decking the house for Christmas!

The turkey has since been deconstructed.

The carcass is now boiling away in a huge pot atop the store. The broth and the pieces of meat that'll fall off the bone will make for a yummy soup next week.

The dark meat has all been cut and measured out into two cups and put into freezer bags for enchiladas down the road, or any other dish that calls for chicken.

And the breast meat has all be nicely cut and laid in a container for sandwiches this holiday weekend.

Today, I'm thankful it's today and not a week ago, or even two weeks ago. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

God is Good

The end of the week has come and we've made it through with flying colors. I knew we would. But it's nice to be on this end of the week instead of at the beginning, no matter how well the week has gone.

There've been many people praying for Rachel this week, and for us, and the prayers have been felt and very much appreciated.

Thank You.

I knew one of the hardest things of this week would be sending off Rachel to surgery. And it was hard, but not as hard as it could have been. For starters, Rachel's surgery was scheduled for 11:45, which gave me some time to have a bit of a normal morning. But once checked in at the hospital, the previous surgery had gone quicker than expected and they were ready for Rachel. So there wasn't a lot of time to wait for things to happen. It happened quick and fast and I think it was better that way and God knew I needed that.

During Rachel's surgery on Wednesday, while we were gathered in the waiting room, one of the hospital volunteers came and uncovered the Grand Piano sitting nearby and he began to play beautiful music. One of the songs he played was "Heart of Worship". It was beautiful. And as hard as it was to hear a worship song being played during that time, it was also needed. "Heart of Worship" is a song that's etched into a few family memories - my brother and sister in law sang it at their wedding reception, and it is a song that was played during my Gramma's memorial service. And now, Rachel's surgery will be added to that list. On Thursday morning, I posted on my Facebook status and within a post on Rachel's blog, asking for prayer for Rachel to better deal with the nasal stents. Many of you began praying for that very request and as the day progressed, Rachel became more tolerant of the stents and wasn't demanding that they be taken out. It's been over 24 hours since she's even mentioned the stents, much less asked for them to be taken out. The Lord heard those prayers.

God is good. So very, very good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Technology ROCKS!

This day is coming to an end. In addition to a ton of other things running through my mind about today, the one thing that we've used and are grateful for today was modern technology. Here are some reasons that Technology totally ROCKS:

Reason #1- We were given a pager at the information desk this morning upon checking in after Rachel being taken to surgery. Throughout the entire time that Rachel was in surgery, we received periodic texts as to how things were going, etc.

Reason #2 - Steven and I were able to keep friends and our church family up to speed with how things were going by updating our Facebook statuses through our iPhones.

Reason #3 - WiFi. Loma Linda University Children's Hospital has come a long way in four years since our last hospital stay with Rachel. Every where throughout the facility there is WiFi. Which has allowed me to blog throughout the day to Rachel's Journey with details and pictures as to how Rachel is doing.

Reason #4 - The power of texting. When we were first informed that Rachel had been taken to recovery and that I was able to go and be with her, I was able to text Steven from the Recovery Room and not only let him know how our girl was, but I texted pictures and even a video for him and my family to see who'd all been patiently waiting in the lobby for HOURS! I was also able to text several other friends from Rachel's recovery room bedside. :)

Reason #5 - Video Chat/Facetime. Hannah is too young to visit Rachel up here on the patient ward. So are her young cousins who'd been waiting in the lobby since getting out of school. Through the camera on our laptop, and the camera on my Mom's iPod Touch, we were able to video chat from Rachel's bed down to Hannah and the kids in the lobby. This was absolutely amazing that this could be done.

Reason #6 - My iPod and my music. When I finally feel like I can't stay awake any longer and must put this laptop away, I have my iPod that will hopefully not only drowned out the beeping and the alarms of the machines of Rachel and the baby in the next bed, but also the crying and the unit noise just outside this door!

Today, I'd say we've used technology to it's fullest in just about every aspect there is. Today, we were true technology geeks!

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

The hardest thing I've ever had to do as a mother is to turn my babies over to a scrub nurse and watch them be taken away to surgery. It kills me every time.

I'm good leading up to the day. I'm good through the waiting during surgery. And I'm good once it's done and we're in recovery mode. But kissing my baby goodbye and watching her be whisked off to surgery is hard.

As I was sitting here this morning, thinking about the long day that lies ahead, watching Rachel drinking apple juice before the 7:30 cut off of all liquids, the Lord brought Jesus's Mother, Mary, to mind.

What I have to do as a mother today, handing my daughter off to a scrub nurse, is NOTHING compared to that day when Mary saw her son beaten, being nailed to a cross, dying.

So this morning, when the time comes to hand off Rachel, I'm going to remember Mary...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Feeling Blessed

Tonight I am feeling blessed.

Blessed by the family, friends, and church family we have.

All day long I've received encouraging texts, messages on my Facebook Wall, phone calls, and emails. Offering their thoughts and prayers for us as tomorrow approaches.

This evening we had friends and family come to visit and bring a little something for Rachel.

We had our Pastor, who not only is our Pastor, but is our friend, come and pray for Rachel.

And Gramma and Papa and Hannah came to visit one last time before surgery. Papa bringing the most cuddliest bear that Rachel went to bed with and has now made the 'take to the hospital bag'.

So tonight, I am feeling extremely blessed by the outpouring love and compassion of so many. Thank You.

Ready

The house is stocked with groceries.

The laundry is done, folded, and put away.

The house is vacuumed and dusted.

Electronics are charging.

I'm ready physically for the next few days.

Rachel's surgery is scheduled for 11:45 tomorrow morning. Surgeries past, we've always been a lot earlier in the lineup. But Rachel is older now and the OR's always schedule youngest to oldest, so there must be some young ones having surgery tomorrow. When I called to tell my Mom the surgery time, her outlook was that this was the appointed time the Lord has for Rachel's surgery. And the more I think about it, I think it might be easier, emotionally, having the surgery a little later in the morning.

Having a late morning surgery time, needing to arrive to the hospital by 9:45, will be a challenge in not feeding Rachel breakfast. But I think giving me a little bit of a normalcy to my morning by getting up, making our bed, slowly getting ready, etc, will make the whole thing not feel as jarring as having to get up and out the door before the crack of dawn. At least that's what I'm hoping for...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Where You'll Find Me Blogging This Week

This week finds us dealing with an event that we've been anticipating since the early days of Rachel's medical care.

Rachel will be having surgery on Wednesday morning whereas a bone graft will be done to the cleft in her upper gum as well as a nose revision.

So I'll be doing most of my blogging on Rachel's blog this week.

If you're usually not a follower of any of my other blogs, I invite you to come and follow us on this next leg of Rachel's Journey.

Friday, November 12, 2010

What I've Been Up To

I think I've been the busiest I've ever been in my life the past several weeks.

With the ending of the Box Tops for Education contest at school, I had contest reward parties to give for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place contest winners in the Kindergarten through 3rd grade level, as well as the 4th through 6th grade level. I've given five of the six parties so far, four of those parties were on the same day as another. I had one teacher request her party for this last Wednesday, which was our last day of school, but she only gave me a days notice and I already had two other parties within a two hour time frame for that day. So that party will have to be given once we return to school at the end of the month. October 29th was my birthday. My Mom and I spent the morning together and then I had a party to give at school. That evening, my parents watched the girls while we went to dinner with friends.The next day, October 30th, was my Mom's birthday (I was my Mom's best birthday present in 1973! LOL). This year, my mom turned 60 and we celebrated by going out to dinner where Mom chose, Famous Dave's BBQ, and then back to the house for presents and cake and just spending time together. I wasn't really sure what to get my Mom for her birthday this year, I wanted it to be special, and different than the 'normal' birthday present. So I put together one of those picture books through Apple. I titled it "A Decade of Memories" and filled it with pictures of the granddaughters, family vacations together, special events, and some everyday good pictures. It was a huge hit! And my Mom really loved it! Following the week of our birthdays, the girls had two full days of school and then went on minimum days so that the teachers could hold Parent Conferences. So we've had parent conferences for both girls, a performance for Hannah that we saw not once, but twice (daytime dress rehearsal and evening performance), perfect attendance assemblies for both girls, and then helping the teacher in charge of that get things in order for that, etc. A little over a month ago, Steven and I went to the school district offices and previewed a movie that the 5th graders would be shown this year about puberty, etc. They showed that movie in school on Wednesday. So for the last month and even the night before, we'd been preparing Hannah for the movie and talking about the changes a girl goes through, etc. We didn't offer any information beyond what we thought she was ready for and would answer questions should she ask, but it wasn't until AFTER seeing the movie that she came home with a certain one question that led us to have the "birds and the bees" conversation. Our little girl isn't so little (or naive) any more. LOL. Here's a recent picture of her where she's sporting only mascara and lip gloss (it was performance night). Definitely turning into one beautiful young lady! School came to an end on Wednesday at 12:40 and we are now on our Fall break until the week after Thanksgiving. Usually the last day of school is one really looked forward to - as a break is always much needed from getting up and out the door every morning to school, homework in the afternoons, etc. But this time the last day of school was a bittersweet one. I'm happy to be having the break, but at the same time, not really ready to face what's coming Wednesday - Rachel's surgery. But on the bright side, this time next week, it'll all be done, and Lord willing we'll have already been home a night, and Rachel will already be on the mend! And then the next week is Thanksgiving and the dawning of the Christmas tree, etc. The holidays are upon us and it's my favorite time of the year, so I look forward to what the season holds for us.

Last Saturday, we had no place to be, no plans. We stayed home all day lounging about, conducting a Pirates of the Caribbean movie marathon (where #3 still needs to be watched) and doing laundry. It was nice to be home to get caught up on things. There's nothing on our calendar for tomorrow and I'm hoping tomorrow will be much like that of last Saturday, resting, being lazy, preparing for what the week ahead holds...