Sunday, May 28, 2017

Just One Way to Skin a Hallie

So Hallie had Big Surgery #2 this week.

On Monday, Las Posas PTA gave parents a volunteer appreciation breakfast. There were carbs (bread products and fruit mostly) as far as the eye could see. The third graders read stories of their appreciation and the Kindergartners treated us with songs.

Monday night Hallie’s phone up and stopped working so off to the store she went to get a new one. Happy she was as she had been wanting a new phone for a long time. Maybe bad phone karma won’t follow her this time.

On Tuesday, Mike stole some time to see a movie (Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2). While Mike was playing, Hallie was working and the kids were at school. Later on in the evening Mike worked, Landon had gymnastics, and the girls hung out doing a few errands.

On Wednesday, it was Eliza’s turn for gymnastics in the afternoon. In the morning, Hallie spent time cleaning the house with the new steam mop she got when our friends the Kawais moved.

On Thursday, Allie and Granny O. came to visit Mike at work. We happened to catch a mother mallard duck with her brood and a few young rabbits out on campus, which is quiet now that summer semester has set in.

Today was Hallie’s last day working at Las Posas Elementary School. Many of the classes made her cards wishing her well on her surgery or on moving to Utah. Their thoughtful comments and pictures proved to be a pick-me-up over the weekend of recovery. The hugs, smiles, and stories that the kids would share with Hallie daily really made an impact on her. The last nine months at Las Posas have been great.

Later, Mike met up with Hallie and Eliza at the Maygren’s and visited some with the cousins. Mike and Eliza headed home, and Hallie headed to Victory to pick up Landon. We hope he is back to full-time practice starting this next week.

Friday was Hallie’s big surgery day. After dropping the kids off at school and volunteering in Eliza’s class, Mike picked up Hallie and took her to the surgery center. We ended up waiting a while to get into surgery, and then it was time. Time is not something Hallie is fond of. The longer we waited the more the nerves built up – almost to the point of her wanting to run while sitting the pre-op room. A four-hour surgery is not to be taken lightly.

Grandma M. got the kiddos from school and took Eliza to gymnastics while Mike waited and waited some more.

Finally, Hallie’s doctor came out to let Mike know that Hallie was all done and would be ready to go home. It took another couple of hours, but we eventually did get out the door and home. After getting a groggy and hunched over Hallie settled in her bed, Mike retrieved the kids from the grandparents. Once home, they got to visit with Mom and see that all was well. Eliza was never too fond of the idea of Hallie having surgery and didn’t understand why she needed to have surgery, so to see Mom was okay made her start to realize everything was alright.

Saturday morning was spent at home packing up the kids’ bedrooms and some more of the toy room. Packing seems endless these days.

Hallie continued recovering in bed, as she will for the next couple of weeks as she heals up. Mike and the kids played various nursing roles. Mike has been a trooper changing drains 2-3 times a day and helping Hallie in and out of the bed so she can go to the bathroom.

Eliza got a little crabby, so we had her take a nap. That was for the best, because she was in a much better mood for when Dad took the kids to a birthday party for Eliza’s classmate Jameson at Sky High. As usual, the two played at full tilt.

While the other three were out, Hallie had visits from Elise and three of her kids who brought a lovely bouquet of flowers. Later, Dwight and Marilyn came by with some more flowers. It is great to have visitors!

We helped Hallie convalesce on Sunday. Ruth, who substituted for Hallie in her Primary class, brought by get well cards after church from Hallie’s students who are all 6 years old. Later, Carrie and Claire came by to visit and brought Hallie a beautiful painting of a seashell.

No pain meds so far today for Hallie and she was able to walk downstairs to see Carrie to the door. Every day will be better than the day before. Eliza and Hallie even spent time cleaning off the iodine that could be found going down Hallie’s legs. We are glad Eliza likes to be such a helper in other ways even if it is not in her room.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Best of Birthday Bashes

Hallie had a birthday this week, and this year she chose to celebrate big!

Monday was the beginning of a very busy week to come, and Hallie at least was not looking forward to it. But nonetheless we must press forward. Today was work, school, a PTA meeting, gymnastics, and more work.

Hallie had most of work off Tuesday due to a pre op doctor appointment. The appointment went well and we are all looking forward to Friday the 26th. Work, school, and more gymnastics were had by all.

Mike spent the day Wednesday at CLU for Campus Community Day. He learned about the geology of the local area on a hike up to the CLU rocks on Mount Clef Ridge and about the university’s local radio station on a tour of the KCLU broadcast facility. He even led a session in the afternoon about creating safe places on campus.

On Thursday, Landon had a follow up appointment with the podiatrist regarding his broken toe. We were told crutches were not needed anymore and he can resume a bit more activity. The office found Landon a small shoe type thing to wear which is good because the other one was so big on him.

In the evening, Eliza and other children from Las Posas School sang for the Pleasant Valley School Board. She continued repeating the song "Each of Us is a Flower" for the rest of the week.

In the evening, we attended Open House. Hallie worked with the PTA from the late afternoon in addition to seeing all what our kids have done over the year. 

Here are a few samples of their work.

So much has changed since September! 

Hallie got all dolled up on Thursday to celebrate her birthday at school. Mike stopped by too, dressed less formally than usual. People didn’t recognize either one of us. Hallie definitely got lots of compliments. One of the teachers at school made a crown for Hallie, and her best buddy Ruben presented it to her at recess. At lunch most of the 2nd and 3rd graders sang Hallie “Happy Birthday,” and too many students to count gave her hugs. At the end of the school day, a dear friend Rhoda drove by the school and gave Hallie a beautiful bunch of flowers and a yummy smoothie from Robeks.

On Friday, Grandma and Grandpa O. and Alie came over to visit (a fun surprise to the kids). A little later Grandpa took the kids and Mike out on a surprise run to Krispy Kreme in Oxnard. The kids (or maybe just Grandpa) ate themselves sick on fresh-baked sweetness.

Later, after the grands left, we went to Harley’s Camarillo Bowl for a Mom and Son’s Las Posas PTA fundraiser. Mike and Eliza assisted while Hallie and Landon knocked down a few pins. Landon even broke 100 and won his game! It sure was fun hanging out with friends outside of school.

On Saturday, Mike took the kids to gymnastics before heading to work and then brought them home in time for Hallie to take Eliza to run some errands for Hallie’s big party. After some drama at Sam’s Club, we all got together with family and friends at the Catalina Heights clubhouse for fish tacos, chicken flautas, cake, pool time, and fun. Four parents at our school all have birthdays in May, so we decided to have a big party together. What a great idea it was, and everyone had a lot of fun. It was great to socialize on the weekend with friends and to meet new people.

We continued celebrating family birthdays (four in May for the Maygrens) at Grandma and Grandpa M.’s Sunday afternoon. Aunt Elise and our cousins have come down from Alaska, so we were able to celebrate all four May birthdays in one. Emerson did the honors of blowing out the candles. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Costumes for All Occasions

Short entry this week due to Sunday activities for Mother’s Day. Many of our activities involved either wearing or watching people dressed in costumes.

Hallie started out her Monday morning walking with her friend Rhoda. The rest of the day was filled with meetings, work, and gymnastics.

Eliza started the kids' fun Tuesday with strategically placed K-cups. One day she’ll have bosoms of her own, but for now implants will have to do.

Later, she and Ellie had Slurpees. Yumm!

On Wednesday, Hallie used the last day of her three-day pass to go to Disneyland. As Landon had tests and a broken toe, he had to forgo his last day. Poor guy. As Hallie reflected later in the week she would definitely go to Disneyland alone again. Good times!!!

Kids dominated the day Thursday. Besides working at the school, Hallie watched the three cousins. Pizza and park fun was had by all. On the way home, Hallie saw Mister Softee out of the corner of her eye in the Ralph’s parking lot, and so of course the night was topped off with ice cream. The kids were great, and they all had fun together. We cherish these times as they will not happen quite as often once we move.

Friday was a busy day for everyone. Hallie and Landon took a trip to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. The boy got to get around in a wheelchair, but he thinks he is made of steel and can just hobble around all over the place. Let’s just say he is not so fond of the crutches anymore, and thank heavens the podiatrist appointment is right around the corner.

Meanwhile, Mike had graduate school commencement. He hooded five of his doctoral students and saw many of his master’s students receive their diplomas. Happy profe seeing his students in their flowing robes!

After picking up the kids from school, Hallie dropped the kids off with Mike at work and then drove down to Torrance to pick up Jenny for an Angels/Tigers ball game. Of course, we had to root for our Motor City Kitties. Too bad they used up all their scoring power in Thursday’s game, because they got shut out tonight. Hallie and Jenny had a great night out celebrating, and it was especially fun treating Jenny to 2nd row seats along 1st base. It was a beautiful clear night, and watching Mike Trout hit a homerun was not too shabby.

Mike took the kids to gymnastics Saturday morning before going to work. Hallie picked Landon up a bit later and ran some errands with him before meeting Mike at Grandma and Grandpa M.’s to wish Grandma a Happy Mother’s Day. Mike and Landon went home to get some packing done, and Hallie went back to get Eliza. After gymnastics, Hallie and Eliza attended a baby shower for Amber (Eliza’s gymnastics coach). We did a fair amount of packing up belongings after the girls got home. Not enough, by any means, but something. Why does it seem like we have not made a dent? Oh, well. We keep on trucking.

After church on Mother’s Day Sunday, we took advantage of the only time we were going to have available this month to attend the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Eliza went dressed as Merida, and Landon brought his sword and shield. They both left with new wands, our little wizards. Eliza even gave us a little scare by performing a brief disappearing act. That girl! We plan on saving our pennies so we can come back again next year and participate in all of the fun that can be had at the Faire.

We rounded out the day with a visit to Granny O. to wish her Happy Mother’s Day. We love our moms!