Friday, December 31, 2010

Travel to Chicago Day #1

Well we got up this AM, took Brooklyn to the doctor, & found out that she's perfectly 100% healthy! :o)  There's not a lick of fluid behind either of her ears. Yay!! But we got a script (& filled it) for some antibiotics just incase she starts to get sick between now & surgery. So we were finally all set to jet!!!

While we were at the doctor, Dustin packed up the car. When we got home we were all ready to go so we piled in the car & headed to Billings. We ended up leaving at 10:30am. We stopped there for lunch at 1pm (& my famous frozen yogurt) & then got back on the road towards WY at 3:30pm.

As of last night we were planning on going through WY, NE, & IA. But this AM Dustin's dad called & said that roads were closed in all 3 states. Oh how great. We already knew that ND was horrible, so our only other option was SD. So we went through Sheridan, Buffalo, & then stopped for the night in Gillette, WY. We got here around 7:30pm. The roads were pretty bad so we ended up getting to Gillette a lot later than we would have if the roads had been good. But that's how it goes when you travel in the middle of a huge storm!

The girls travelled quite well. Brooklyn gets a little restless, but as soon as we get her up & out of her seat she's just fine. Cali watched DVD's all day (the same 2 over & over...but hey, she was content!!)

So here we are in WY in a hotel on New Year's Eve! :o) We're planning on getting up at our regular time in the morning & heading out (which is around 7:30am). I see the ball drop every year, but I'm not so sure we'll be staying up tonight!!!

I hope everyone has a great New Year's. To my family: eat some Black Eyed Peas for me! We'll be buying some when we get to the grocery store in Chicago & eating them a few days late. But hopefully the good-luck fairy will understand why we couldn't eat them on New Year's Day! ;o)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

That's Life!!

Originally we were supposed to leave New Year's Day. But because of the weather we've been having we decided to leave New Year's Eve. Now we're wondering what the heck is happening!!! LOL 

First off, we have 3 different ways we can go: through North Dakota, through South Dakota, or through Nebraska. For some reason my gut is telling me not to go north...that we'll be safer driving if we go south. We heard of a bad car pile-up in ND. So now we're feeling better (gut-wise) if we go through Nebraska...even though it adds about 4 hours to the trip. (But hey, what's 4 hours when you're driving 20-24 anyways?!) I've been checking road reports but it doesn't predict the future. Right now in Iowa it's totally clear so we're now thinking NE is the way to go. So here's to praying for clear roads!

Second off...when we picked up the girls after I got off work today our babysitter told us that Brooklyn had been pretty crabby today & that she was grabbing at her ears all day! Fan-flipping-tastic!!! So, since our doctor is closed on Friday, I'm going to take her in to the doctor I work for tomorrow first thing in the AM. Here's to praying for a healthy baby!

And last but not least, Noro-Virus has been going around our town like crazy. Well guess what...tonight at about 8:30pm I started with the symptoms. I'm certainly not going to get into details, but I've been pretty queasy & yada yada yada (but thankfully no vomiting...yet). Thankfully though I've been feeling slightly better in the last hour or hopefully we'll be able to leave in the AM. If I do end up with this, we won't be able to leave until like Saturday PM or Sunday AM which surely won't get us there on Monday night like we need to be. So here's to praying for a healthy mom!

And that's that!!! I'll update more as we know more! Thanks so much to everyone who has given me links online to road reports. I really appreciate it. This is the time when I wish I wasn't an adult...and that I could just ride along with whoever was driving! Many prayers are needed right about now...

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Great Christmas...and Packing!

What a great Christmas!! I think Cali got a bit overwhelmed though! By the end of the day we were literally forcing her to open presents! LOL  Brooklyn just watned to open stuff so she could put the paper in her mouth! What a silly monkey. I took more videos than pictures, unfortunately. So I don't have a lot of pictures but here are a few:
 Brooklyn wearing Uncle Curt's hat
 Uncle Curt with Cali & Brooklyn
 Brooklyn eating Oma's keys
 Cali finishing up her popcicle before she opens up her Christmas Eve present
Brookie standing by the cat...she's so proud of herself too!

We had a great Christmas. But Christmas also meant that we leave in a week. UGH! Unfortunately though, we have been having a HUGE snowstorm. I guess we're supposed to get like 6-12 inches in just a day or 2. So we decided to leave a day early. We're not leaving early to beat the storm or to miss it or anything; we're leaving early to give us enough time to get there. We need to be there by the 3rd at dinner time, so by leaving on Friday that'll assure that we're there in enough time. So off to do more packing I go!!

I also wanted to share this paragraph again. I'll be posting it often, becuase I want everyone to see it!! :)

(I do need to make a very quick side note...I need everyone to know that we're still living our lives as though Brooklyn didn't have a nevus. This means that we use our OWN money for anything and everything. We are BY NO MEANS using ANY of the donation/Brooklyn's Best money for our own personal use. I have said & I will always say, and mean, that that money is being used for insurance deductibles, anything that insurance doesn't pay, and for our trips to/from Chicago. So when I talk about getting Christmas pictures taken this is just like every other year - meaning that we save up for them & use our OWN money. I just wanted to make that clear, so that I don't have to repeat myself time after time!)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Welcome To Holland

This poem was just intruduced to me a few days ago. It immediately brought tears to my eyes. It's perfect. That's all I can say about that it's perfect.

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books & make your wonderful plans. The Colisseum. The Michaelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. Its all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags & off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in & says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland & there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine, & disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out & buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a a while & you catch your breath, you look around....and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....& Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming & going from Italy...& they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fat that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.
-By Emily Perl Kingsley

This immediately brought tears to my eyes....for the obvious reasons, but also because I was meant to read this. All those close to me know how passionate I am about The Netherlands. I lived there for a year. It's the most fabulous place in the world. If I couldn't live in the US, The Netherlands is where I'd go. This poem hit home, in a great way. I have printed it off & it's now in my purse, going everywhere with me so I can pull it out & read it whenever I need to. I also love the part about meeting a whole new group of people that I'd have never met. This couldn't be more true! I've met a fantastic group of people through this whole thing that I'd have never had the pleasure of knowing if this wouldn't have happened. I am one blessed girl...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

9 months old?!...2nd round of Christmas pictures...and COOKBOOKS!

Today is the 7th...which means Brooklyn is another month old. Today she's 9 months already! Crazy how fast time goes by. Brooklyn has been standing up for a while now, & just last night she's started walking with a little kid stroller that we have. She got 2 bottom teeth a month or 2 ago but now she has the tips of 2 more (one more on the bottom & one on the top). She's starting to eat like a champ, which is reassuring to me. Hopefully she'll gain more weight soon. She doesn't need to be seen until she's a year by our doctor, but I'm taking her in at the end of the month just to have a check up & make sure she's a-ok for surgery. (She'll have a pre-op appt in Chicago, but I just would feel so much more comfortable if she had one here as well.)

Our little Cali is also doing fantastic. She's sure a firecracker. She's a stubborn little 2 1/2 year old (must take after her daddy???). Her vocabulary is just amazing. She's caught on to a bad word as & dad need to watch their mouths! :)  Our doctor wants her out of day care for the last half of this month, so she'll miss playing with her friends a lot. But it's necessary for Brooke's immune system.

Today was our 2nd round of Christmas pictures. Quite disappointing, to say the least. It wasn't the photographer at all. She was great. It's really frusturating though working with a 2 1/2 year old who won't cooperate. Cali would NOT smile. What was so frusturating for me though was that I'd been talking to Cali about getting pictures done her pretty red dress...ever since our bad Sears experience. She was so excited to get them done. But once we got there, and after about 3 minutes of sitting, she wanted to go home. And then...just like at Sears...Brooklyn wouldn't smile again! At least she didn't do the weird jaw-clenching face she did at Sears. But we didn't get ONE picture of her beautiful smile.

It was quite disappointing. We wanted a family picture for our Christmas cards...which we didn't get. We ended up with an OK picture of Brooklyn, an OK one of Cali, and a cute one of the 2 of them for the cards. So it'll just have to do. The photographer really did well as my mom, Dustin, & me...but we just couldn't get it. So I just need to realize that not all picture sessions will be good anymore! :(

On a better note...COOKBOOKS ARE IN!!!!!! They were delivered yesterday in 21 boxes (19 boxes of books, 2 boxes of tabs). Last night we had a tabbing party. 8 people were here tabbing away...eating enchiladas & drinking adult apple cider! We got 9 boxes tabbed....quite impressive! So tomorrow we'll be re-stocking all the businesses here in town. I've gotten all the orders filled that I couldn't get completed after we ran out of the first batch of books...and all those will be mailed tomorrow. Exciting stuff!!

Surgery #1 is officially less than a month away. It's so real now. I'll be keeping this site updated as often as I can so that people can follow our progress. Well that's it for now! :o)