Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

We had a great Thanksgiving!

We started out on Wednesday, by helping assemble and deliver Thanksgiving baskets to the families of the Green House, a non-profit that a friend of mine runs. I brought the kids with me and they were good little helpers, finding the different items that I needed and putting them in our boxes. Then when it was time to deliver all the ingredients to make a Thanksgiving feast they were so excited to go door to door. It was a really great experience and I love that it's something I can include the kids in. We talked on the way there about what we were doing and why. Ava and Drew both liked the idea of "helping people." It was such a rewarding experience, I hope to make it a yearly tradition!

Then, on Thanksgiving morning, Dan, his mom, and I ran in the Run to Feed the Hungry. We did the 10k timed run which starts at 8:45 and Uncle Scott stayed at home with the kids. They watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade while we ran in the cold! We ran this race a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, even though it's the largest organized run in Sacramento and had over 30,000 runners and walkers this year! It's a great way to start the day. You get the feeling of being part of a community, you are raising money to support the Sacramento Food Bank and getting some good exercise in before indulging in all those delicious Thanksgiving calories. This year Dan found the best place to park and we walked right over to the starting line. I think Dan was motivated to beat his mom to the finish, so we ran much faster than I am used to. We ended up finishing our 6.2 miles in 58 minutes and 30 seconds, which gives us an average pace of 9:18.

After the run, we got cleaned up and headed up to Amador to celebrate Thanksgiving with my Aunt Marie, Uncle Terry, cousin Heather and her husband John, cousin Adam and Grandma Honey and her friend Gil. Grandma Kathy and Uncle Scott came with us too. There was lots of delicious food and lots of good times! After dinner we went for a walk in the woods and saw a bunch of deer. Then it was time for more food--we had three different kinds of pie! The kids each had two pieces of pumpkin pie! And I confess-I had a sliver of each! It's a good thing we ran in the morning!

Uncle Terry and Aunt Marie with the bird

Heather (with a tiny baby bump) making gravy

Uncle Scott, Dan and Ava

Grandma Kathy, me and Drew

One side of the Thanksgiving table

The other side of the Thanksgiving table

This morning Dan and I hit some of the Black Friday sales. We went to Kohl's, Walmart, Costco and Toys R Us and got some great deals. It was our first experience shopping on Black Friday and it wasn't bad at all. There were some long lines, but they moved quickly and were pretty organized. Except for Toys R Us. That place was packed and we decided to leave instead of shop.

When we got home from our shopping we learned that my grandma had a mild heart attack last night. She should be ok, but she is in the ICU at a hospital here in Sacramento. So this afternoon Heather and John and I visited her at the hospital. She is so sweet and we are so thankful that she is still here with us. She was very sleepy today, so we didn't stay too long, but I am planning to go back and visit her tomorrow. If you could please keep her in your prayers, I would appreciate it!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, probably second only to Christmas. I love the time of reflecting on our blessings, giving thanks to God, and sharing what we have. This year I participated in a kind of challenge, each day coming up with one thing that I am thankful for. So I have had a lot of time to think and reflect on what I am thankful for. I like spreading it out through the month, so I can experience gratitude on a daily basis.

You would think that with all we have been through as a family, all the stories we've come to know through being a part of the CHD community, that we would never take anything for granted. That we would never sweat the small stuff or get caught up in petty things and that we'd count each day that we are able to open our eyes as a tremendous blessing. But, we are human. And once things settle into a normal routine it's easy to fall back into our old habits.

I'm thinking it might be a good idea to continue the challenge of finding one thing to be thankful for each day for the entire year. Wouldn't it be incredible to look back at it months later and be able to actually count your blessings? I think it would be a great way to keep life in perspective.

So what am I thankful for?

I'm thankful for my family.
  • I'm thankful for my strong, supportive, loving, generous, hard-working husband. I'm thankful for him every day.
  • I'm thankful for a healthy little boy with 100% oxygen saturations and so much energy he is a little bit naughty.
  • I'm thankful for my sweet, feisty little girl who feels everything BIG and has the best laugh and the cutest little dimple...and she knows it!
I'm thankful for our health.
  • I'm thankful for Hearts of Hope and the amazing professionals in the field of pediatric cardiology. My life has been permanently changed because of you.
  • I am SO thankful that Drew got his H1N1 flu shot! A huge thank you to Dr. Teimor Nasirov for making it possible for Drew and the other heart kids in our support group to get the shot they need to be protected!
  • I'm thankful that our peds office got the H1N1 injections in and that Ava got her shot. I was going to take her to the county health department clinic and saw on the news that some people waited 8 hours in line!
I'm thankful for my friends.

I'm thankful for babies.
  • I'm thankful that so many of our friends and family are having babies! We have been praying for some of these babies for years, and now they are on their way!
  • I'm thankful for baby Ashley, who learned how to say "Auntie Andrea." She is so cute!
I'm thankful for all the little things that make life comfortable and fun.
  • I'm thankful for crisp fall mornings and morning jogs with my husband. And the spa to sit in afterward!
  • I'm thankful for our Sunday morning tradition: pancakes and chicken apple sausage for breakfast. Yum!
  • I'm thankful for my crockpot. It cooks dinner for me while I clean the house and go to the gym.
  • I'm thankful for my minivan with DVD player. It makes the six hour drive to my parent's house so much easier!
  • I'm thankful for my cozy house and my own bed! And that our whole family is together under one roof.
  • I'm thankful that God has provided for all of our needs...and that we are able to share what we have with those that are less fortunate.
This year I am most thankful that 2009 is the first full year that Drew has not had an inpatient hospitalization since he was born in 2004. Thank you Jesus!

Monday, November 23, 2009

H1N1 Shot: Check Check!

Ava got her H1N1 flu shot last week too. UCD got some in on Monday so we headed over straight after gymnastics. We brought some bubbles with us and we turned out to be the hit of Avathe hallway! Although we thought we had a 10:30 appointment time, it was more like a clinic with a handful of us all having appointments at the same time. So there was a bit of a wait and we passed the time blowing bubbles! Ava was so sweet, she shared with all the other kids who were waiting, making sure that each child had a turn. And when it was her turn for her shot, she did great! No crying at all! And, my sweet girl decided to leave her bubbles there so that the nurse could use them for the other kids. I love her so much!

I don't have a recent picture of just Ava, so here's one of both kids "teamworking"

Friday, November 13, 2009

H1N1 Shot: Check!

I am so happy to share with you that Drew got his H1N1 vaccine on Wednesday!

Phew! What a relief!

Since it's still not available at his doctor's office I bet you're wondering how we got it...

Enter Dr. Teimor Nasirov, heart surgeon extraordinaire!

Teimor and his family

Teimor (he makes us call him by his first name, he's that kind of guy!) heard about the difficulties heart parents are having finding this vaccine that is so highly recommended for our high risk kids and decided to do something about it. He let us know that he would get the vaccine we needed for our heart kids and he held a clinic for Hearts of Hope families on Wednesday. Isn't that amazing?!

So, on Wednesday we joined about 10 other heart families at the doctor's office and waited for our turn for the shot. Surprisingly, Drew wasn't excited about getting a shot as I was. But he was distracted by playing with some of his buddies in the waiting room. When it was our turn to go in Drew and Casey wanted to go in together. So Gina (Casey's mom) and I went in with our two boys while our girls waited in the waiting room. Teimor's wife was administering the vaccine since she is a pediatrician and has more experience giving shots. She was awesome! Neither one of our boys cried at all or even winced! She used this awesome trick of having them blow bubbles while she gave the shot. I don't know if she is just amazing at giving injections, or if having a friend there distracted them or if it was the bubbles, but it was the easiest shot experience we've ever had!

And now I can rest a little bit easier knowing that Drew has some protection against the H1N1 virus.

Drew and Casey playing in the waiting room

And showing us their band-aids after being so brave!

Drew with his reward-a chocolate donut!

Ava got a reward too, even though she didn't get her shot yet. But she's next!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Quotables

Last night while we were trick or treating, the kids said some things that made me and Dan just crack up. I wanted to record them here so we can remember them.

At one house, as they were getting their candy Drew says
"What's wrong with your house?!"
Apparently, they were doing some remodeling.

Along the way the kids were asking us what kind of candy was our favorite. Then at the next house we went to they offered Drew some peanut M&Ms. At which point he said:
"Hey, my Dad likes these!"

Along a particularly dark stretch (no street lights in our neighborhood), Drew said that it was pretty dark and he was a little bit afraid of the dark. We told him not to be afraid because his parents were with him, and Ava pipes in:
"I'm not afraid of the dark, ever!"
Which is interesting, since she's been asking us to leave the hall light on at bedtime recently.

Another house that had some spooky spiderweb decorations across the entrance looked too scary for Drew to go to the door. Ava said she wasn't scared. So as she's marching up to the front door, Drew asks her from the driveway:
"Ava, will you get me some candy from that house?"
I convinced him to go to the door himself, but stood close by for protection.

As we walked up to one house there was a trick or treater at the door and his mom was waiting on the sidewalk. Drew looked up at her and said
"Thank you!"
To which she looked at me and said "Did he just say thank you to me?" Yeah, it must be all the "Don't forget to say thank you!" reminders.

Then, this morning Ava wanted to dump out all her candy. I asked her if she wanted to sort it and she said yes. There was a piece of trash in there and she asked me to throw it away. I said I thought she could do it. And she says to me:
"Well, I have a lot of candy to sort up."

Something both kids did that was very sweet though, was ask us what candy was our favorite. Then when they got one of those, they would immediately give it to us. It warmed my heart that on a holiday known for greed, gluttony, and hoarding, that they so willingly shared with us. I love those sweeties!

Sorting up their candy