Archive for the 'Fun' Category

November 12th 2009

Travel Adventures and the Secret to Twitter and Facebook

It’s been a while since I updated.  There’s been a lot to do since I’ve been home, and I still feel like I’m catching up with things that were neglected; having been gone for almost a month.  It was worth it though.  In the meantime, I think I happened to discover the secret to the appeal of Twitter and Facebook: you only have to write a few lines and you’re done!  For some reason, writing a blog post seems to require writing something of real value and fore thought… and time. 😉

Anyways, traveling was great!  My friend Jason and I went to New York City, Washington DC, Portland, OR, and Chicago.  Each city really had a lot to offer, but I have to say that I really fell in love with New York.  Under different circumstances, I would move there tomorrow.  I don’t know that I would stay there forever, but to experience it for a while would be a thrill.   IMG_1844

DC and Chicago were also fantastic.  These cities have some of the most amazing sights, people, and food in the world.  I was also really impressed by their pride of ownership; the people seem to want to make their city great.

Of course we had many adventures along the way, but to go into detail here would take way too much time typing.  If you want to go out for coffee and some stimulating conversation, I’d be happy to tell you all about it sometime.

After asking about the trips, most people have been asking about Kai.  He’s almost 3 1/2 now!  He’s really developed a sense of humor.  It’s as if he understands comic nuances like timing and irony.  He’s actually really funny; not just for a three year old.  I think he’s discovered he can get more attention that way, and he might even be becoming somewhat of a class clown.  His pre-school friends get so excited when he shows up (usually late) to school. 

Guitar ShirtsHe’s having as much fun as any three year old might be having, but he’s also starting to become more aware of the fact that all his friends have mommies and he doesn’t.  He still asks for “Mommy” almost every day even though he knows she’s gone.  I don’t know where he comes up with some of the stuff he says, but he tries so hard to express his feelings.  For example, the other day he said, “Dadoo, my heart is gone.  It’s looking for my Mommy,” or “my heart hurts because it can’t find my Mommy.”  Sometimes he pretends that his stuffed animals are sad because their mommy died too.  It never ceases to break my heart over and over again.  The one positive aspect (so I’ve been told) is that at least he is able to talk about it…

As for me, I’m keeping busy.

P.S. Yesterday was 6 months…

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August 18th 2009

Good Stuff in the Pipeline

Even though life has been a bit difficult lately, I’m happy to say that there are some exciting things on the horizon that I’m really looking forward to. 

This weekend I’m going deep sea fishing with a few of my good buddies.  I’ve recently discovered that I really enjoy fishing, especially deep sea fishing.  It’s going to be a great guy’s getaway.  I can’t wait ’til Kai gets a bit older and I can take him too!

The next bit of news (and probably the news I’m most excited about) is that I will be sending my band’s third full length CD to press this week.  Even though the band hasn’t “officially” been together for years, we’ve been getting together here and there to be creative and have fun.  We ended up recording a full length CD in the process!  I think it is by far the best stuff we’ve ever done.  We spent all our creative energy on the songwriting and recording instead of preparing for live shows, so the final product has an increased level of maturity and professionalism over previous projects.  I don’t know what we’ll do with the CDs yet since the band isn’t performing live, but I’m excited about it anyways; even if they all sit in my garage for the next couple years. 😉  I’ll post some links to some samples of the music soon. 

Actually, the last song on Monica’s Memorial Slide Show is a song from the new CD.  In fact, the first day we started recording (almost 2 yars ago) was the day we got back her biopsy results.  We were all pretty upset, but she insisted that we continue recording.  The whole time she was sick she encouraged me to continue recording.  I always appreciated how supportive she was of my music.  She gave up a lot of time to allow me to write and record music while she took care of Kai and dealt with the chemo fatigue.  I consider the CD as a gift from her that she would not let me refuse.  I know she would be proud of it.

The last bit of news is that I bought an “All-You-Can-Jet” pass from Jet Blue for the month of September.  Jet Blue is currently having a promotion that for one price, you can fly as much as you want from Sept 8 – Oct 8.  Get ready, ’cause I’m planning on taking many of you up on offers to come visit you in your town!  I don’t have any definitive plans yet but I know I will be needing a lot of babysitters, so if anyone is available, let me know. 

Thanks for all the prayers of support and encouragement.  Last week’s low has been replaced with a bit of optimism for the near future, and I know that it has everything to do with your prayers.

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August 9th 2009

The Wisdom of Kai

So Kai and I were playing with his new jet the other day.  It’s a really cool looking “hot wheels” size fighter jet that he saw at the store and got really excited about.  Of course I had to give in and get it for him.  When we got home, he took the jet and a couple of his favorite trains and started playing with them all in the living room.  He was making all kinds of sound effects and having a grand time.

I decided to ask him which was his favorite: the jet or the Thomas train.  He thought about it for a second and looked up and said, “How ’bout both, Dad?”

…yeah, how about both! 

He’s teaching me new things about life every day.

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June 25th 2009

Kai is 3!

The Ultimate Birthday Hat!

Super Birthday Hat!

Monica’s parents and sister came down, and so did my family from Fresno.  Kai actually had 3 birthday parties for his 3rd birthday.  The first was a bit of a surprise.  The ladies at work threw Kai a party and it was great.  They were so thoughtful and generous, and showered Kai with gifts.  The second was in his “classroom”.  His teacher made him the coolest 3-year old birthday hat ever!  Check it out.

The finale was at Chuck E. Cheese.  He loved it.  I’ve posted some pictures of his party and our Father’s Day outing.

We definitely missed Mommy, but we were still able to enjoy the weekend.  Thanks for all the encouragement and prayers.  It helps.  We had a good time.  :)

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June 15th 2009

Kai’s Birthday

This Friday, June 19th  will be Kai’s third birthday.  He is so excited.  After some friends took us to Chuck E. Cheese recently, he decided he wants his birthday at Chuck E. Cheese.  He also decided he wanted a train birthday.  That includes Thomas, “but not just Thomas.”  He is so independent already!  He gets that from Monica.  :)

Anyways, instead of trying to organize a list and manage invitations, we are inviting all who would like to come this Saturday, June 20th to an informal birthday gathering at Chuck E. Cheese in La Mirada.  We will be there at around 2:00pm.  No need for presents or anything, just a fun get together for anyone who wants to celebrate Kai’s birthday.  All food, tokens, etc. is up to you.  If you have kids, of course bring them.  If you just feel like a big kid yourself, that’s fine too.

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April 15th 2009

Navelbine #5 and No Transfusion

Last Tuesday, I was sitting on the couch before chemo when the doctor’s office called and told me I needed a transfusion, so when the phone rang yesterday morning, my heart skipped a beat.  I was relieved to hear that I wasn’t being scheduled for another transfusion, but for some reason the transfusions, the shots, and the extra iron pills aren’t raising my red blood count to normal levels.  I don’t know how much these things are supposed to raise the level, but I do know that the normal range is 11-14, and I was a 7 before the transfusion last week and only 8.4 this week.  They told me that they’d be drawing more blood before chemo to run some other tests on it to see what else might be keeping my levels from raising.  

This was one of the quickest treatments ever.  It took just under an hour, but still knocked me out!  I slept the majority of the afternoon and evening, which affected my sleeping last night.   I was up every 2 hours just laying there awake… (Sol been having a tough time sleeping last few night as well).

Other than that, things here are going pretty well.  We had a wonderful Easter with family.  Kai began getting baskets on Thursday and received one every day up to Easter.  He LOVED it!  Now there is way too much candy around our house.  I have been throwing it away – yes, tossing it.  Boy does it take self-will not to eat it or stash it away for a rainy day (honestly, I’ve been eating it so it needs to go!!!).  Here are a few pictures from decorating eggs and Easter Sunday.

Decorating Eggs-01 Decorating Eggs-02   

Decorating eggs with Watercolor – you could rinse the egg off and decorate it again and again!!!  :)

 

Easter Loot-02 Easter Loot-01

The Loot!!!

Family Easter Egg Hunters

The Egg Hunters

Lady Bug-01 Lady Bug-03 Lady Bug-02

A Lady Bug Friend.  Kai loved having the ladybug crawl all over his arm.

 

We love you all and hope this finds you well.  Happy Easter – Christ has Risen – Death has no Victory!  Alleluia!!!

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March 24th 2009

Kai’s home, Disneyland, Navelbine #3

Picking up Kai was so fun.  As soon as he saw us, he ran to give us hugs. It was Awesome!  He had so much to tell us about his time with my folks and the airplane ride.  He looked so much bigger; I think they always do when they’re gone for a little while and you see them again.

Yesterday we took my mom to Disneyland.  She hadn’t been in over 23 years, so there was a lot to see.  Kai had been wanting to go to Disneyland for a while, so he was so excited to go.  He was running circles in the living room saying, “Disneyland, Disneyland, Disneyland!” over and over.  We were able to do a lot, but it turned out to be too much for me, and by the end of the day, I was in a wheelchair just so I could stay.  I just got too worn out – too much walking, and it was a crowded day, so we stood in a lot of lines.  I did sit down for a little bit, while my mother took Kai on a ride.  Sol was able to meet us around 5:00 pm, and we had fun.  I am a bit sad that my mom didn’t get to ride “Soaring over California”.  I think it’s one of the most unique rides they have, and she really would have enjoyed it.  We were in line with a 45 minute wait, then they came on and said they were having technical difficulty, it would another 15 minutes on top of the wait time.  It was late and cold, and I started feeling really bad, so we decided it was time to go home.  Someday she’ll go on it.  

Today was my third treatment of Navelbine.  It went smoothly and didn’t knock me out as much, but it did knock me out for a while.  I think the excitement of going to D.C. is helping to wake me up.  My mom and I leave tomorrow morning to go see my sister and her husband in D.C. and stay until Tuesday.  The weather is supposed to be rainy or chances of rain the whole time we’re there.  We’ll see what happens.  Maybe it’s God’s way of saying, “Slow down, Monica”. 

Pray for Sol as he’s home with Kai alone, and we’re getting glimpses of the terrible twos.  He’s a good boy most of the time, but there are those precious moments we’d love to forget and someday will – I hope!  

Thank you for your prayers.  My red count is still low, but another transfusion wasn’t mentioned for this time – maybe next time but not yet.  :)

I’ll post from D.C. and hopefully Sol will too to let you know what’s going on with us.

Love and blessings,

Monica

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March 18th 2009

Navelbine #2, Friends, thank you and more…

So it’s been a while and many things have happened.  Many of you know how excited I was to have my friends coming to visit.  It did not disappoint.  I had a great weekend, feeling great, hanging out, catching up, praying, and eating a lot of food!  Oh, how wonderful it was to have them here – close by to hug me and serve me for the weekend.  It’s been hard on them to not be close by.  So I know for them to be able to clean my house, make me food and just take care of me meant a lot.  They were DOING something!  I know for many of you, you feel the same way!  What can we do so far away?  Pray, pray, pray!  :)  

Friends Visiting  

Well, something we decided last minute to do was to send Kai to Paradise for a week.  He flew on an airplane with my cousin, Rachyl, and loved every minute of the flight!  He LOVES airplanes!  We woke him up on Friday morning and told him we were going on an airplane and he was wide awake in seconds!  :)  He’s such a good boy.  He’s been having fun at Grammy and Grandpa’s house.  He got to hold and feed chickens and cleaned turtles at Auntie Janelle’s house!  He’s played with Skippy (my parent’s dog) wanting to carry him around the house, much to Skippy’s disapproval!  Boy do we miss this kiddo!  He’s coming home on Sunday with my mom.  Yes, on another airplane!!!  He’ll be so excited!  :)

5 Raspberries - 01   

On Monday night a few couples from church came over and anointed my head with oil and prayed for Sol and I.  It was a very special time and meant a lot to us!  We feel so blessed to have people in our lives who will take the time out and just cover us in prayer!  

Something else amazing is that we have been made into a serve project through our church.  Project #129 (I think).  Anyway, it’s just people from the church signing up to pray for us on certain days of the week, write a note of encouragement, or donate money to help us cover the costs that are heading our way with insurance and whatever else there is.  I have loved reading every single note and seeing the list of people praying for me every single day!  It’s unbelievable.  The amount of money that has been donated is simply astounding!  I am blown away and in awe of God’s people!  People have been giving through the website, the mail, church drop box or other means.  It’s simply amazing!  I wish I could thank all of you personally, but I don’t have that much time, and I don’t know who gave cash!  So here is my thank you!  You are all so dear and precious.  Words cannot express the deep, heartfelt thanks that Sol and I have for you all!  Thank you!

Wow, wow, wow!  That’s all I have to say about this next piece of news.  My mom and I received free tickets to go see my sister in Washington D.C..  How amazing is that!!!!  Sol’s mom was able to get ahold of some frequent flier miles and get us tickets (Thanks, Harold)!  Unbelievable!  Thank you so much!  Blessings are coming from all sides!  God is good!  

Tuesday, I had my 2nd Navelbine chemo.  It was strange in that I was pretty knocked out by the anti-nausea drug.  My friend, Keri, said that my eyes glazed over and I was out of it.  I ended up sleeping the whole afternoon and evening away!  That really hasn’t happened to me before!  Keri thought she’d have to drag me up the stairs to my apartment!  Good thing she didn’t have to!  

So I think I’ve caught you up on the happenings here!  Sorry it took so long.  

Peace and Blessings to you this week…

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February 16th 2009

February 17th, 10:00 am CBS

In the beginning of January, Dexter Middle School Teachers attended a taping of “The Price is Right” and one of our own won big.  It is airing tomorrow, the 17th.  We should be on it a lot since she went so far and was so dramatic!  It’s going to be fun to watch!  :)

In other news, I was able to attend church on Sunday for the first time in a month.  My energy was good, and it was nice to get dressed!  :)  It wore me out, but it’s a start!  Today was a pretty rough day.  I have been trying to eat more and today I overdid it!  I ended up throwing up after a few hours of pain and then I felt better.  A few nights ago, Valentine’s Night, I ate too much chocolate covered fruit (So delicious) and paid for it for a few hours.  I need to be a little wiser about listening to my body.  The fevers continue (more so at night) and my voice is gone.  We were expecting our bed today and got a call saying because of the holiday, it won’t be delivered until tomorrow night.  I am so upset about that.  I have been dreaming about this bed – no seriously I have!

Well, I am going to go for now!  See you on “The Price is Right”!  :)

Monica

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January 22nd 2009

Hope in a Bottle!

Nexavar - Hope in a bottle  

On Wednesday, I didn’t have to wait too long for the medicine to arrive.  About 10:30, it was here, and I was taking it.  It’s amazing how different you can feel from one day to the next when this little (and I mean little) bottle arrives potentially holding the miracle you’ve been waiting so long for!!!  Suddenly there’s a spring in your step, the cloud overhead isn’t raining, and a smile crosses your face where there once was an angry frown!  

Yesterday I overdid it.  By the time 3:00 came around I was in so much pain, I couldn’t even lay down without sobbing.  Sunshine came over and watched Kai and Madison until Sol came home, then Catt came over and took care of Kai in the evening while Sol was at Bible Study.  He had already missed last week because of me, so I insisted he go!  These two ladies made me stay in bed and rest.  It was just what I needed, but so often can’t bring myself to do.  There’s too much to do – you know? 

Today I decided that I wasn’t going to go anywhere.  I got up with the boys – Kai wanted Mommy – made breakfast and lunch for him, and hung out for a few minutes before they took off for the day.  I love the morning with Kai.  He’s so cute.  Over the past three weeks we’ve been watching an Amaryllis grow.  We planted it, watered it, and checked on it every day!  It is Kai’s favorite thing to do in the morning – “Check on my fwowers.”  Anyway, this morning I took this picture:

Amaryllis - our first gardening experience

The flower is almost as tall as he is!  We are trying to grow a strawberry plant as well, but that’s not doing anything yet!  This was so much fun and got him excited about gardening.  It’s a great project because you get instant results…every day it was a little bit taller!  :)  (Yes, he’s holding an umbrella…it is supposed to rain today and he was all about using his new Mickey Mouse umbrella! – it rains a lot in our house every other day of the week!)

An update on the house – we backed out of escrow.  After getting the inspection, there was going to be way more work than we had anticipated and budgeted for.  So back to the house hunting and making offers.  The right house will come along, and everything will go smoothly in time – in God’s time!  

Until next time, hopeful in Whittier,

Monica

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