Friday, February 29, 2008

Life in Las Vegas

Despite Haley coming down with Croup and Lexi battling another ear infection....we headed to Vegas yesterday. (Before you cast judgement on Curtis and I as parents please note: 1. Both kids are on meds and 2. Haley wanted to come to Vegas as much as we did.) I digress....

We are staying in our friends - Pat & Sandy O'Laughlins - home. I say this without any is the nicest home I have ever stayed in. It is GINORMOUS...(Mom, that is a combination of Gigantic and Enormous.) Sandy's kids are with their Dad this weekend, so we each have our own room and it is so nice to spread out.

Today we are taking to the kids on our annual trip to my favorite restaurant in Las Vegas - Mon Ami Gabi (at the Paris hotel.) I am already craving their Pomme Frittes. Tonight we are going out with our friends the Rendels while a babysitter watches all of our kids. And tomorrow night they are hosting a Kareoke Party in our honor with our close friends. We are so excited!

Right now, the kids are watching Ratatouille on a 60 inch plasma tv on a Blue Ray's insane. I would never go to the movies if I lived here...okay, maybe I would. But goodness it's nice.

What a drastic change from my environment last week....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My trip to Louisiana....

So much still going through my brain...not sure how to let it escape. I'll begin here.....

I didn't know much about the trip before I got there. I arrived at the airport in the mercy of my team...I'll go where you tell me...and go I did. The day began with "making groceries." What does that mean? To get into town where there are grocery stores, it is over an hour drive. You must pack a cooler filled with ice to keep cold things cold. It wasn't always this way. But since the hurricane, stores have not rebuilt. It is called "making groceries" because it is such a task.

The hurricane is referred to as "the storm."

They are still recovering from this storm. We were in BURAS which is where the eye of the storm first hit Louisiana. Neighborhoods were completely wiped out. Homes had more than 12 feet of standing water in them. Buras is in essence a bath tub. It has the Gulf of Mexico on one side and the Mississippi River on the other. What Katrina didn't ruin, Hurricane Rita came in from the Gulf and wiped everything else out.

Some have rebuilt. Many have not. Many will never return. There are still FEMA trailers all over town. People can't afford to rebuild. So they are staying in their formaldehyde infested trailers where they are getting sick and discouraged. The poor and the old remain in town. Most of the young families left. I wonder what I would have done...

Boats are still being repaired. I saw chairs, generators, and debris still hanging from trees. I suppose that is better than the cattle and horse that were in the trees for several months after the storm. Bridges are still out. Roads are still rough. There are stairs that once led up to a house sitting alone in the grass. No nothing....just stairs.

People were so frustrated at the government. The lack of help, the money that got tied up in red tape. One lady said, "Now, I will know where to give money in the next disaster." "Where is that?" I ask... "Churches...they are the only ones who helped." One lady had FEMA call her just last week telling her they lost the paperwork she sent in for the 3rd time. She told them to take her information and shred it...she could care less about the money even though she needed it.

These people love their their state. They say, "BELIEVE in BURAS." They don't want it to die. But they accept it will never again be as it was. Their love for this town runs so deep, that they came back to washed-away homes...lived in FEMA trailers, cars, or ship containers, and had no electricity for 6 months after the storm.

But they have joy. They lost so much, but they have learned to depend on God and to lean in even deeper to who he is. I wonder how I would feel?

The thoughts will keep coming....

The road...

This is my favorite picture from Louisiana...the longer you look at it, the more it speaks to you. I can't help but think of this verse from Matthew....

But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Dr. Lexi

While I was out, Dr. Lexi had some fun giving shots to Grandma Connie...a talent she picked up after her hospital stay!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Off to Louisiana...

Several months ago I told Curtis that I was really interested in going to Louisiana with our church to rebuild homes and continue in the Katrina Relief Effort. I knew with 2 kids and a husband that works full time, it was a far-off dream. As time went on, that longing deepened, and when I shared that with him, he made it happen.

So I leave tomorrow (Tuesday) am. My plane leaves at 6:45am, which is earlier than I ever wake that should be interesting. VENTI WHITE MOCHA PLEASEEEEE!

I honestly don't know much about the trip...several of the meetings happened when I wasn't around. I am just planning on showing up and seeing what God has in store for me. I just can't wait to be able to show the people of Louisiana that people still think about them, love them, and want to help them! I feel so blessed to be able to go!

Keep our team in your prayers. I hope to have many stories to share when I get back.

But until then (Sunday evening), I will be offline. I'll be thinking of you all....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Man that started it all...

When we moved to California in 2004, we lived in Rancho Santa Margarita. It is an adorable community that is built like a small village. We walked everywhere. It wasn't too long until we discovered a sushi restaurant down the road from us called Sake Sushi. I wasn't in to sushi at the time...but Curtis LOVED it. Slowly, but surely, I gave in. Bite by bite I began to discover the beauty of sushi. I felt like I had been missing out all those years without sushi in my life. It is so delicious, so healthy, and so pure.

We had our staff meetings at this restaurant every week. We ate there as a family 1-2 times a week. We spent Birthdays & Anniversaries there. Haley's first solid food was TOFU that the waitress insisted she try. We became very good friends with Don Lee who was the owner. We even had our own fancy chopsticks that he kept in a cabinet for us when we came. It was like family.

We moved from RSM a year later, and we were so distraught over leaving Don. Interestingly enough, he sold the restaurant a few months later, and started one in Fullerton. We went there too. (Not as often however as it was an hour drive from our home.) Then he opened one in Lake Mission Viejo...which was much closer.

Then we moved again. Now, on special occasions we make it down to see Don and enjoy some of the best sushi one could ever have. Tonight was one of those nights. At the last minute, we decided to drop the kids off at church for 'Parents Night Out'. We didn't want to see a movie, and we didn't know where to go...but suddenly it hit me...I looked at Curtis and said, "Let's go to Don's." We hopped in the car and took off for the 40 minute drive.

When we showed up (it's been almost a year since I've been there.) the sushi chefs asked where the babies guy hadn't seen me since I was pregnant! And Don seemed thrilled to see us. He ordered us drinks, and had the chefs fix up some special rolls for us. Secretly, what thrilled me the most is that it makes Curtis so happy to be in a place where he feels welcomed and accepted. He always wanted to have a restaurant like CHEERS to go where everybody knows your name...We have that at Don's.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


So Rach has this show called 30 minutes or less. Tonight, we put her to shame. We arrived home from a long, fun day at D-Land and it was 6:10 and the girls who had fallen asleep in the car were crying out for food. But alas, the leftovers I was going to warm up were a no-go, since we have no microwave. Oh yeah, our microwave is broke as a joke. And we are officially living in the Colonial Times.

But I digress... So, what is a family of 4 to do? I will tell you....

1 . Mini Chicken Tacos from Trader Joes... a gift from the heavens. And only take 7 minutes to cook.
2. Minute Rice.
3. Corn from a can.
4. Sliced Zucchini sauteed in olive oil.
5. Guacamole made from avocados, tomatoes, garlic.
6 . Baked (not fried) Trader Joes tortilla chips (low calories...low fat.)
7. Add Salsa, Cheese, Sour Cream.

Time we sat down to eat - 6:26. That is 16 minutes people (which included figuring out WHAT to eat!!!)

Outcome - FANTASTIC! :o) It was so delightful. Kids loved it...Parents agree.

So when are we getting our t.v. show?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Barack Obama

This is not an endorsement...just a statement. I believe this man will be our next President.

And if I am right, my Father in Law owes me a Lobster Dinner.

Monday, February 11, 2008

So overwhelmed...

I am laying in bed listening to 'Great is Thy Faithfulness' and I got an email from my Father in Law. He sent me this picture of a prayer card that people signed in India today...people that prayed for our kids. In an earlier conversation, he told me that David Lall of India mentioned that over 500 people were praying for Haley and Lexi. People that I have never met, and most of whom I will never know in this lifetime. Yet, they prayed for our family. I am overwhelmed. And as the tears are flowing, I can only sing along...

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Oh God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with thee.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Lord unto Thee.


Such a beautiful day!

(I know you'd rather see pics of my girls, but my camera is down. This is a picture of a flower from my backyard that I took last week...before the chaos.)

The sun is shining and my girls are home and healthy. They are laughing, fighting, screaming, and back to their old eating habits as well! "Snack, snack, snack" is becoming a regular chant again around here!

This morning, we worked on our art projects outside. Both the girls painted...Lexi's paint was equally distributed between the paper and her hair. Perfect!

Then we took a bike ride...didn't get too far because Haley was tired. But a cute story came out of it. (Heidi, I wrote this in the comment part of your blog...sorry for the repeat.) Anyway, a teenage boy (probably 16 or 17) was walking towards us on the highschool.

Outgoing Haley says, "hello."
Boy says, "Hey, howz it goin'?"

He passes.

Haley - Why is he walking without his mom and dad?
Mom - Oh, because he is older.
Haley - Oh. I'm not older. (pause) He must be 7.
Mom - Yep, he must be.

It is wonderful to able to laugh again at my kids...instead of crying for them. Although, I did tear up yesterday when Haley was singing her favorite worship song - Matt Redman's "You Never Let Go."

These are the words she sang,
"Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
Every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord You never let go of me."

Then I said to her..."You know Haley, that song describes how God took care of you when you were sick. He never let go of you, did he?

And then she looked at me and said, "No mom...he never, ever, ever forgot me."

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Life couldn't be better...

Lexi is healthy...and taking a nice nap.
I am eating lunch and watching the LAKERS and they are WINNING!
But most importantly...Haley is coming home!

Check out Curtis' blog and you can see a video from her in the hospital. His address is: (Or click on his name at the left - Curtis T.)

Curtis just called and she is on her way home! could be better if were all healthy, together, and eating sushi! :o) Someday soon...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Haley's trip to the Hospital.

I have blogged about Haley below...but here are some pics that Grandma Connie took today at the hospital. Seeing a picture helps put everything into perspective. It is heartbreaking to see your kid hooked up to monitors and ivs... But she had happier moments today too...painting, playing candyland, memory, and goldfish.

A happier moment...


And is not disappointing us in the entertainment factor.


I am so tired...I decided I would come home tonight and go to sleep...but the sweet sounds of Lexi's voice are keeping me awake. She is apparently making up for the 3 days of lethargy by going through her entire vocabulary several times over in her crib...she is currently screaming "veggie tales and granddad." ...i will be back. i need to check on her.

okay's hard to be mad at a kid who is laughing hysterically and has taken her shirt off in her crib and is asking you to tickle her when you come into her room. she is back down now...maybe she will sleep. After all, it's only 10:09.

Back to my story. I wasn't going to blog, but I enjoy reading the comments you all have made throughout this crazy week. And I noticed my friend Kurt Goble started a blog.

This is my friend Kurt who is married to my friend Heidi. They are precious friends.... Kurt is making a funny face in this picture because he wasn't thrilled about the hat I made him wear at Haley's 3 year old Bday party. He is probably making the same face now since I have put his picture on here for the world to see. But let's be honest... I've had a rough week, and need a good laugh.

Kurt started a blog today and said he was inspired by the fact that he could check up on Haley without having to bother Curtis and I. I just want all of you to know who have read this, how MUCH it means to our family to know that you care. We are covered in prayer and we can feel it.

So I'm sure you are wondering how the kids are. Lexi is OBVIOUSLY on the up and up (and just went to is 10:21. Haley is still at the hospital. I'm thinking she will come home tomorrow. She is still on an iv because she still is not wanting to drink very much. Sadly, I think we scarred her for life. All of the things she once loved and were special treats, i.e., jello, gatorade, sprite, she declared today that she does not like ANY of them. Those are also the things we've been trying to force down her throat for the past week. Lesson learned.

She ate a popsicle, a few animal crackers, and a couple bites of bread. She fought hard for pretzels at the beginning of the day, but gave up that fight for gum...and the nurse let her have a piece.

She definitely had the rotavirus....her rash is still undiagnosed. I'm not sure how much longer she will be in the hospital...but we are hoping/praying she is home tomorrow. Her fiesty spirit is definitely coming back.

My friend Gina - who is a superhero - she watched lexi today as well as her own 2 kids, and brought us dinner/coffee...WE LOVE YOU GINA! Anyway, as we were driving home tonight, she said, "this time next week, you will be exhausted because everything will be back to normal." I am looking forward to that exhaustion.

Thank you for the visits...the calls...the cards...the gifts...the balloons...and most of all your thoughts and prayers. There is definitely an end in sight.

My husband...

is my rock. He just called to give me the update on Haley which is:
1 -x-rays show no need for surgery...liver is not 100%, but could be from all the vomiting.
2 - she is back on fluids (which was not an easy task apparently)
3 - rash is still undiagnosed...a specialist has been called.
4 - they are both trying to sleep now.

but this blog is about Curtis. I married my best friend. The other day I was on the phone with my mom and Curtis was bugging me so I said, "remind me why I married this guy."(teasing of course.) And she said, "because he makes you laugh every day." She's right...not a day goes by without me laughing. On a side note - I told him my mom said that, so now when I laugh he says, "I'm just doing my job."

But let me share what an amazing Dad he is. He loves his girls more than anything...and occasionally gets choked up (usually when he's really tired and getting ready for bed.) just telling me how much he loves them.

He has been the guy to take both girls to the ER. He has sat there with them when they were at their worst. He has been there when they put the IV's in because he know it tears me up inside. He has answered the doctors questions. He holds the girls' hands. He plays with their hair. He reads them books. He sings to them...Lexi's favorite is "This Little Light of Mine." He tells them that they are going to be okay.

He is a wonderful, sleep-deprived, hurting man...and I am the luckiest girl in the world to be married to a man like that. And the girls are blessed beyond measure to have a dad that loves them so.

Haley is a Trooper!

Here is the recent update. I will update in sentence I am super tired.

Haley is checked into CHOC. She has her own room and seems to be doing well.
She was put on morphine which calmed/relaxed her considerably.
They are running many tests including x-rays on the belly to try and figure this out.
She is drinking on her own and is asking for snacks. (GOOD!)
A weird rash has developed on her lower abdomen. No answers yet. More tests.
Still complaining of belly/throat pain.
Great nurses & Great doctors.
Much easier to deal with a 4 year old than a 1 year old in the hospital. Conversation does wonders.

She asked who was praying for her and I gave her all of your names.
Thank you for the thoughts and well wishes. They are keeping us going.

P.S. The test results came in for Lexi who tested positive for RotoVirus. They assume Haley had that too, but doesn't explain today's episodes.

Friday, February 8, 2008

It gets worse...

While Lexi has shown signs of improvement, Haley has gotten considerably worse. After severe bouts of vomit this afternoon, Curtis took her to the doctor and they are sending her by ambulance to choc. On top of strep, on top of the flu, they said she has ileus. I had no idea what that meant, so here is the definition.

Main Entry: il·e·us
Pronunciation: il--s
: obstruction of the bowel; specifically : a condition that is commonly marked by a painful distended abdomen, vomiting of dark or fecal matter, toxemia, and dehydration and that results when the intestinal contents back up because peristalsis fails although the lumen is not occluded -- compare VOLVULUS

My poor child is in so much pain and it is killing me. I know there are so many worse things that can happen to children, but right now, this seems pretty awful. Please pray for her. She will definitely be in the hospital for 24 hours...maybe longer.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Our Family Saga...

Lexi has been sick since Monday. I called her doctor's office on Monday and Tuesday and felt like I was bugging the staff. After the third day of this sickness, she has become lethargic. I called the doctor again this afternoon. I finally got through after nearly an hour of the busy signal. I talk to the receptionist, who directs me to the nurse, who then directs me to the doctor. My conversation with the doctor consisted of her telling me all the things I needed to feed/give to Lexi and me trying to say..."yes, I have tried all those things...she won't take them." Finally she said, "well, you need to get pedialyte popsicles and give them to her...and if she's not better by tomorrow, bring her in."

breathe Kristi breathe.

Here is the rest of the conversation:

K - "Okay...when should I be concerned about her lethargy? She has only been awake for 1 1/2 hour today, and spent that time curled up barely functioning..."
Dr. - "Why are you waiting until this late in the day to call?"
K - (now crying since i am obviously the world's worst mom)..."Because your office staff blows me off and makes me feel like an idiot for calling."
Dr. (obviously feeling bad) "Oh, I'm so sorry...they shouldn't treat you like that."
K - (still crying) ...and her sister is sick and my hands are full and i'm trying to do the best i can.... forward to a half hour later...we are at the doctors office - after hours (she was either really concerned or felt bad about the way I was treated earlier) She was worried about Haley's temp (104) and decided Lexi needed to go to the ER to get some fluids. So Haley and I came home to try and cool her fever down...Curtis went to the ER with Lexi....

Lexi getting checked into the hospital...

Curtis said Lexi stared down the doctor with this very same look.

Her IV is in.

Now...this is where the story gets interesting... Lexi was there for a few hours, and Curtis thought she was coming home until they got the test results back. Apparently, her electrolytes were so low...she was severely dehydrated. The doctor was amazed because she had been so responsive to him. That ER doc and our Pediatrician decided that Lexi would need to be transported BY AMBULANCE to CHOC (kids hospital). WOW!!! Where did this take a turn? Apparently it was much more severe than I had anticipated.

So, Curtis' parents came over, and Connie stayed with Haley while Bruce and I went to the ER to be with Lex. We were only there for a few minutes when our "ride" appeared. I rode in the ambulance with Lex and Curtis and his Dad drove behind us. She was such a trooper. Apparently, Bruce & Curtis could see her through the ambulance windows. They said she looked like a queen...riding around town in her car seat strapped to the gurney.

When we got to the hospital...what I thought would be a few hours, turned into and overnight stay and the remainder of the next day/evening. It was rough. She slept very little...she was fighting having the iv in. She normally sleeps on her belly and sucks her right hand, and she couldn't do either because of the iv. So she cried most of the night. Hospitals are not an easy place to sleep. There are people coming in all hours of the day...poking & proding. Lexi had all kinds of tests run including one for a urinary tract infection - involving a catheter. Nothing anyone should have to do - especially a 20 month old.

-this is a pic of lexi after the catheter incident...they gave her a froggie since she was such a good girl.

But we made it through... Lexi and Daddy came home last night. Test results are still out...we're not exactly sure what she had/has. Our job is to keep her from dehydrating which is difficult...she doesn't want to drink anything. Curtis is feeding her with a syringe. In the meantime - Haley is going down the same road...we are doing our best to keep her drinking/eating...but not only does she have the flu, but she has strep as well. So swallowing really hurts too.

So the end of the story (for now) is this...the girls are home. We are trying to keep them out of the hospital. But we are really struggling with them...they are fighting us hard and we need patience and we need your prayers. Please keep us in your thoughts.

Have you seen this movie?

It's great until you watch it 3 times in one day....

Mr. Rogers made me cry.....

Blame it on sleep exhaustion or emotional exhaustion...the kids are still sick. No one is better...they are just laying around like limp noodles. So, we are taking in our fair share of kids tv. We caught the end of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood today, when Mr. Rogers was getting ready to leave his little remember this song...

It's such a good feeling to know you're alive.
It's such a happy feeling: You're growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say,
"I think I'll make a snappy new day."
It's such a good feeling, a very good feeling,
The feeling you know that we're friends.

When he was singing, I teared first I thought it was the irony of him saying "to know you're alive", knowing he passed away...
Maybe it was the surreal moment of watching something on tv with my kids that I watched as a kid...
Maybe it was that my kids are so sick and are not having a "snappy new day."

I'm not quite sure what it was...but I never thought Mr. R would make me cry.

Here is to hoping the kids feel better soon...or Elmo might cause me an emotional breakdown.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sick Day Tally.

Haley has joined the sick club....gorey details at your own discretion.

As of 1am, I have changed 6 sheets and 3 bed liners.
I have washed 5 different bowls...that is Haley's preferrable deposit source.
I have run the dishwasher 3 times...I'm a germaphobe...washing in the sink won't cut it
I have washed my hands 42 times.
I have run 7 loads in the washer/dryer.
I have fought back throwing up 3 times...the site of my kids throwing up grosses me out.
I have watched 5 different DISNEY shows and 2 different movies.
I have gone through 3 bottles of Gatorade.
I have smelled/changed the nastiest diapers with unexplainable things in them...seriously. I can't begin to describe.

But I wouldn't trade any of that for the precious snuggles and love I've gotten from my kids today.

Monday, February 4, 2008


My daughter is an sick. She woke up today and was completely normal. We sat down to have breakfast and she was being so picky (which is RARE!) I sat down beside her and started eating to encourage her participation. I finally got her to eat one bite of cereal when a look of HORROR came across her was all over. I will spare the details, but basically I spent the day following her around with a bowl to catch any "extractions." Not pretty.

Sadly, we had to go to the ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat Specialist) for an appointment that we scheduled a month ago, so I didn't want to cancel it. Of course, on the way there...another "extraction" occurred. I definitely did not feel like Mother of the Year. But I was glad we went to the we have to make a decision on the tubes surgery.

Little Lexi is doing a bit better...but still having a rough day. It is amazing that how sweet and how tender she is - even after she has been through so much. I am blessed.


This has been quite a day. First of all, my friend Sarah came over because we watched tivoed TRL like teenagers because our friend JJ filmed a music video with Missy Elliot that premiered today! He wasn't sure if they would keep his part in the video...but we watched it with high hopes and we were NOT dissapointed! If you didn't see it, try and find it on youtube or something...we were laughing out loud. He was so funny! His part was short (he was playing dance-dance revolution with Missy)...but well worth the wait. Way to go JAJE....

Then, I got home and Curtis told me that our friend Dave is on the Jay Leno show tonight playing Keys with Josh be sure to watch that too!

Dave - since you got a gig with Jay can you pay me back my $10 now? :o)

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Perfect Snack...

As you can see, I am still procrastinating... enough to tell you about my favorite snack. Take a grapefruit, cut it in half, and sprinkle SPLENDA over it. It is a perfect snack...tangy but sweet, fulfilling and also juicy, so it's like a food and drink in one. I LOVE IT... you must try one. The only downside is the canker sores I am getting from eating them so frequently.

okay...back to the yard sale prep. no more more stalling.

YARD SALE tomorrow...

and I am totally procrastinating.... cleaning out your house is very therapeutic...but also very tiring. Especially when done in a cold garage. If you're in the neighborhood...drop in. I'm sure I have something u need! :o)