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Friday, April 8, 2011

All settled in... finally

Can you believe less than a year ago, this little girl was in heart failure, hardly communicating and uncertain of her future? Just less than 11 months later, this is my maturing big girl... proving to the world miracles do happen.


The last few weeks have been filled with boxes, buckets of paint and hammers. We got keys to our new place mid-March (a rental that a friend owns) and did a whole bunch of updating to the place! A few weeks of painting, fixing, installing, moving, unpacking.... and now I sit here.... pooped. LOL! We love our new place though. The kids still share a room because they just do better together, but now we have a 3rd bedroom we use as a playroom/ sewing room/ school room. In a couple years when it is "so not cool" to share a room with your brother, PJ will move to the 3rd bedroom... haha! The rent is the same as what we were paying before and the landlord is a million times better, so it is a deal you can't beat. There is a great play area for the kids in our private little patio/courtyard that is secure and spacious, and they are loving it!

Hopefully soon we will have some before/after pictures to post. If I can catch it on a day when it is cleaned up, of course!

Gabriella is excelling in math, my smart little cookie. We have her not only doing home school and homebound through the school district, but also attending the Kumon Learning Center for math and reading. Seriously, get your kids into a Kumon Center. The rate that she is progressing is ridiculous. She struggles in reading, but much of that has to do with the brain to speech issues she still struggles with. BUT Kumon is helping her inch along faster than she would without any additional support! I am still struggling with what to do for 1st grade. Do I keep homeschooling her, which comes with a heavy weight of both pros and cons, or do I send her to school, which comes with its own unique qualities? I would be lying if I said I wasn't losing sleep over it, because I literally am. I want the best possible scenario for her in both education AND medical, that making this kind of a decision is huge and difficult.

Plus, you cannot do school in this kind of style when you go to a public setting....


Paul and I served dinner at the Ronald McDonald House in Phoenix on March 20, in memory of Abbie and what would have been her 4th birthday weekend. It was a blessing to serve the families there, but also pretty amazing for Paul and I to do it ourselves. We had some amazing friends make dessert, and my extremely talented cook of a mother-in-law made sides. I make a few chicken green chile casseroles which turned out super great! We had so much food left over since the house was not full, we were able to take some to the Phoenix Rescue Mission, in hopes to fill a few more stomachs.


PJ has started T-ball and is the cutest little man out there! He has so much fun playing, and oddly enough is SO extremely well behaved and listens to the coach so well. You would never guess he is my wild monkey here at home! Somehow, I thought it would be a good idea to sign up for team mom, so I am in charge of all of the mom-ish duties... which is kinda fun in its own way. :)


We have also kept busy with activities like the Mended Little Hearts Picnic last weekend, as well as the HopeKids event to see the Arizona Rattlers play (my FAVORITE live sport).


We are looking forward to a trip in a few weeks to California. Gabriella has clinic over there, so we are going to go a few days in advance, hit Sea World with our gift tickets given to us by Ronald McDonald House, and hang out with friends for a weekend. This clinic will be our last under our transplant coverage, so we need to get in one more time before the approval expires and it will be harder to get in and talk about their plan for her in the future, frequency of tests, things to watch for with her CMV sensitivity and young age, etc. I am looking forward to filling up a notebook with info from these amazing doctors, and seeing many of our angels in lab coats while we visit Loma Linda.

I hope this blog finds all my readers well! I fear no one reads anymore now that our storm has settled... but if you still do I thank you. Keep the cycle of miracles going. Gabriella's story is far from over and there is still work to be done. We have been blessed in an unrepayable way, so our attempts to spread the word of God and organ donation, giving back and being there for others will never fade.



LeAnna said...

Glad to read your update and see how well your family is doing =D

The Simmons Family said...

Yay for a blog post! Can't wait to see the new house!

Unknown said...

Glad to hear all is going well for ALL of you.

Strawberry said...

Nope I still check to see if you have updated! I know it never ends ;) I have had a few friends ask if Miss G is OK because you haven't blogged. Many people are still cheering her on! Great update! I know the stress of homeschooling vs school, I went through it last year. Of course my situation is different but we chose school. So far Camden has only passed Strep throat onto Ailyn. I am also very shocked at how little colds Cam has gotten! He was always sick as a baby, maybe he got all the colds then ;)

2ndheartmom said...

I am still reading! I was excited to see Gabriella looking so good and healthy! Its an awesome feeling. I wanted to ask why you are losing transplant coverage? Are you switching to a place in AZ or are you totally losing coverage for her to be tracked? Budget woes in CA have me concerned (not OVERly concerned, but concerned) about my job and the insurance has been such a blessing. I don't know what we would, I was interested to hear your situation.
How great of you guys to do dinner at RMH. I just signed up on the email list for one closer to us (2 hours instead of 4 hours away - which is where the one we stayed in is located). I have a bag of goodies I'm taking over to the one we stayed in though - some new blankets, a zhu zhu pet or two and some hotel shampoos, conditioners, etc. We have a biopsy on Tuesday there, so I will drop them off then. We've wanted to do a dinner though. You may have inspired me to get it done this summer sometime!
I will be following along with your homeschooling vs. out of home school, etc. as we will have to face that decision on down the line as well. Thanks for sharing! You all look fantastic and so, so happy!

Corey~living and loving said...

I'm still here, and so happy to see that things are going well. ♥

Nikkie said...

I still check your blog almost every day for updates!! I love hearing how Gabriella is doing, as well as the rest of your wonderful family!!

tootermagoo said...

I am so glad you guys are all doing well and are settled into your new home. Gabriella is looking like such a big girl! What a blessing. I love the school attire! :)

Anonymous said...

Im still reading and checking back for updates. Glad Gabriella is doing good and the rest of your family.

Jenna said...

Hi Gabriella
My name is Jenna and I came across your site. U are one brave courageous fighters, and a real inspiration. It is great that your mom and dad cooked dinner for the Ronald MC Donald house.
I was born with a rare life threatening disease.