Preschool Graduation

Faith's been attending the same preschool for just over 2 years. I've sent her there between 1-2 days each week for a little extra socialization. Over the past year I've noticed it's really helped her 'shyness.' Not always, but often she will now talk more openly with people and it's great to see. Really, it's great to be able to share her with other people (I wanted to say 'to share her with the world,' but maybe that's a bit overboard). Faith is such a joy, a treat, and a delight to be around. I feel like, "How could she NOT make the world and anyone she meets happy? All she has to do is start talking or even smile a little with her big cheesy grin and bright blue eyes." When she does or says something so sweet that is just so her I find myself all teary with happiness. That's one of the best parts about being a mom.

So I was talking about preschool...Faith doesn't need to to any treatments there b/c she only attends for a few hours at a time. During snack she does take her enzyme pills, but after the other kids were told about them the first day, they didn't really mind and no one treats her any different to my knowledge. Miss Debbie is incredibly thoughtful and cautious to warn us when other children have been sick and Faith loves her dearly. The last few weeks of the school year, I could tell she was ready for a break b/c she would be pretty tired when I picked her up and often complained that she got very tired when they took long walks (still good for her). In true Faith fashion, she ALWAYS had a bunch of weed, er, "wishing" flowers for me that she'd collected along the way. I wonder if she'll be sad when we take Brooke to the 'bus' for preschool next year and she doesn't get to go. I also wonder how Brooke will do. Faith will be homeschooled. I'll have to write more about that as it gets closer.....kindergarden, I can't believe it!
The graduation went well. The kids all gave their moms a flower as they entered to the 'graduation song' and sung us a bunch of songs that they'd learned over the year. Towards the end, Miss Debbie called the kids out one by one to give them their book of creations that the teachers compiled, which is always fun to see b/c everything isn't sent home during the year. While she was speaking, there was a rainbow directly behind Miss Debbie, not sure if she ever knew it :) Great moment. Everyone celebrated with ice cream afterward and Faith was very happy. Morgan and I enjoyed a date night at the Tim McGraw concert the next night :)

Disneyland 2010

Conveniently, there's an annual CDA dental convention right next to Disneyland. The cost for our whole family to drive down, stay and play was little more than myself flying down, renting a car and getting a hotel for the weekend. So that was my excuse :)

The girls did well on the road down...I think the final total of "Are we there yet(s)? was about 28. Yes, we counted. There are VERY few perks to a chronic illness like cystic fibrosis, but there is a BIG one when it comes to the happiest place on earth. Faith is allowed to have a pass that gets her and up to 5 guests either to the front of the line, up through to fast pass or even up the exit in many cases, on EVERY ride. A major bonus at Disneyland. All we have to do is renew it quickly each time we go. It's free and no further questions are asked for the rest of the trip as to why we have it. The greatest thing is that we don't have to wait in long lines when it's hot or be fearful of the people and the germs standing next to us in line. Because the girls are so young, we love that we're able to get through the park and rides much faster than we would without that pass. So THANK YOU DISNEY!

Despite my warnings to Morgan about ruining the whole trip for Brooke if we didn't start off super slow, our first ride was Soarin' Over California. Faith squeeled with the excitement that we were flying and Brooke's whole body shook with fear as she cried the whole time while trying to get out of her seat and into my lap...and that was the beginning.
Intermittently throughout the weekend I went to the convention to take a few continuing education courses and pick up some samples. Morgan would take the girls swimming and once even braved D-Land alone for a few hours with them! Brooke never really did like the whole concept and for all 3 days we went. She didn't want to talk to or take pictures with most of the characters, would run away when we tried to take her picture, didn't want her face painted and kept wanting to go home. At every ride she'd ask if it was dark or flying or had stars and then say she was scared. The chosen few rides that made her happy list were Small World, Buzz Lightyear, the carousel and Toy Story (one of our favs as well). It sounds so awful, but it's not like we didn't try to help her enjoy the place. Faith liked most every ride, but wasn't too happy with Tower of Terror this year. The new Turtle Talk with Crush was a brief yet cute new show we all liked, too.
On the road home, Brooke refused to take her Dramamine so she wouldn't get car she got car sick...twice. Overall we had a good trip, but won't be crazy to go back too soon unless we have another excuse.

Of course it's on a Friday afternoon...

The next few months will be a bit of a whirlwind of activities, though I'm not sure it ever really isn't. After the excitement of the walk, we went to the Roseville speedway to watch Uncle Pat race around the track. It was incredibly hot, but Faith was ecstatic to see that he won a trophy! We were sure to pump her with fluids, fan her and even get an ice cream treat, but her little face was covered in the salt of a sweaty CFer as you can see from the picture. One of the obvious symptoms of a person with cystic fibrosis is salty skin, you can lick their forehead (ya, why not?) and it's immediately obvious.

Later that week she got to ride in a huge stretch limo for her good friend Olivia's birthday.
By Friday afternoon, of course it's on a Friday afternoon, Faith was holding her ear and crying about it hurting. She only rarely cries about pain so I figured it was serious and called her pediatrician. I pulled the CF card b/c he's told us before if it's important that she see him he'd make time and he did! We hurried over and he confirmed that she actually had a DOUBLE ear infection, poor baby girl. She literally finished the previous antibiotics exactly one week ago. There's always fear in my mind when she's put on another antibiotic b/c I don't want the 'bad bugs' to become accustomed to them, thereby allowing the bugs to become strong enough that antibiotics won't work. At this point though, what's important is that she's healthy and out of pain. A prescription for 10 days of Augmentin and an ear drop pain reliever and she was feeling better by the next day which was Stephanie's good friend Catheline's wedding shower for which Faith is the FLOWER GIRL! By the end of the party, she'd decided to take a nap on the couch for a needed rest.
Mother's day was the following day and after church I was treated to a pedicure with the family girls, then we walked around the Fountains. At school, Faith had made an adorable flower arrangement out of a plastic bottle, sand and paper sits in my closet so I see it every day :)


May 2, 2010
We did it! Year #6 of walking as Team FaithFULL on May 1, joined by 66 walkers, 1 fur person and over 10 who couldn't make it. Together, we've raised OVER $7500 this year and as a Sacramento whole, close to $110,000!

The weather cooperated incredibly well this year (making up for last year's rain), the walk route was a little longer and made for a fabulous stroll. I was asked to share a few words about why I became involved in volunteering for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and didn't expect to get emotional multiple happens I guess. It's always a challenge to be sure to talk with everyone and I always wish the event was a little longer just so that I can spend equal time. My drive home consists of going over in my head what were the great parts, what we could improve on for next year and a reflection upon the many meaningful, though brief, conversations with people from our own team whom are friends or family we rarely get to see, people from the CF community and new people. I am constantly amazed at the support, love and willingness of all of you who are able to donate and/or come walk with us. To have one of the largest teams for multiple years in a row is so amazing to me it's really hard to put into words. So my 'problem' of not getting to chat with everyone is a good one to have :)

This year our team added red ribbons to our walk shirts in honor of a little boy named Connor who's favorite color is fire engine red. He has CF and is not doing so well. Connor most likely will not live to his next birthday and get to experience more than 7 years of life. His mother keeps a blog at which I've followed for weeks now and have a hard time reading all the way through without breaks to dry my sobbing eyes. His story is heartbreaking and an incredible reminder that CF is real and in desperate need of a cure. And for everyone, it's a strong reminder to hug and love the ones we love with all we have while we can....
So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your care, concern, love, prayers, help and support. We love you.

Thanks to & Crosspointe Community Church has been generously donating our awesome team walk shirts with Faith's picture on the front for SIX years now! Each year is better than the last! They also print the back of the Sacramento Greatstrides t-shirts that walkers receive for raising $100+ and have done a fantastic job of that for the past few years. Thank you for your kindness and generosity John and Patty Gamble (owners) for many years of support!!!
We have attended Crosspointe Community Church in Lincoln since it's opening about 18 months ago. Casey is in the band and a few of us girls help out in the back with the children each month. Almost every month they do a "Change for Change" program, highlighting a worthy cause for us all to give what we can to. This month, Pastor Steve and the church family were kind enough to have Faith's video played at two services...mentioning that Faith who also attends the church has cystic fibrosis. I'm not sure how many people there knew about it before, but now everyone does. Not only did the church as a whole raise hundreds of dollars, but also MANY people ended up coming out to walk with Faith on May 1st as well! Our gratitude runs deep for Steve, Julie and the Crosspointe family. Thank you for bringing more awareness about CF and for helping us in our efforts to find better medications and an eventual cure. We feel your love and prayers and are fully aware of their power. Thank you from our warm and fuzzy hearts to yours!!! Local friends and family are absolutely more than welcome to join us on Sundays at 10AM, every Sunday! The church will be changing locations to Rocklin this summer.