Iwo Gima

Iwo Gima
Marine Corps Marathon

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17, 2014

First a recap of yesterday - since I didn't post yesterday...

Monday ended with everyone getting to bed at a reasonable hour, and I had expectations of sleeping very soundly through the night. At about 01:10 I received a call from Jason, who was up with Stacy. She was having some very tough pains in her lower abdomen and we soon decided that we needed to get her to the ER, at Balboa.

We arrived there at about 01:40, and by 02:00 (I happened to look at a clock) a nurse was working with Stacy, in the ER. They diagnosed that it was severe constipation and after taking some X-rays decided that they were correct. I was worried it was an appendix problem, and I was very glad when I found out I was wrong. They also ran some cultures and found out that she had a urinary infection (UTI). Total time at the ER was just about 3 1/2 hours, and though it was now almost time to be getting up, I felt like it wasn't a long stay. We left with the antibiotics and went straight home.

Fortunately, Linda was able to get back to sleep with Jackie, at least for a couple of hours. I didn't wake either of them until it was time for Jackie to start getting ready for school (we decided Stacy should just stay home and rest). Since Linda also had an early appointment to get to I let her know I could take Jackie to school, and I would let them know what was going on with Stacy. We actually thought that for the most part, everything should settle down now. But it didn't - Stacy had an appointment with her doctor (it had already been scheduled previously), and it is important to know this, for the next issue. She was up a couple hours later and still complaining of stomach/ abdominal issues. Because of the rain, and the time of the appointment, it was decided that I would take Stacy to see her doctor, and let them know about the ER visit earlier in the day. When we arrived the exam led them to believe, again, it might be an appendix issue. In order to have the right tests Stacy was going to have to go to the ER at Rady Hospital, and so began our next ER visit on Tuesday.

This visit proved to be a bit more painful for Stacy, as they had to draw blood this time, and she really does hate needles, and tests were run. The final outcome was, again determined that she was very constipated and backed up, and needed an enema. Of course this took several hours to figure out and, in their defense, there were multiple labs to be done, and all these take time. Their first blood test was some how messed up and they had to come get more blood, which Stacy really didn't want to happen. Finally, everything done, the enema was given and a short while later Stacy was cleared and she felt much better, immediately. Stacy was back in her own bed at about 23:30 (11:30pm). Needless to say, we were both tired, and I was out.

This morning rolled around and at 05:20 I am up again, and I need to help Anthony get to the airport, to catch a flight. Not sure why I wake up like that, but when I know I need to be up at a certain hour I tend to wake up very close to the hour, without using an alarm clock. When I was done with that I was back in bed at about 06:10, and trying to get some rest when Jackie came up and wanted to get in bed with Grandma, where I also happened to be. She was very happy and full of energy so we got up and did our regular routine of getting her ready for school. Before we went to school Stacy came out and also stated she wanted to go to school - the Christmas show was set for tonight and she wanted to be a part of it. Jackie was ready to go so I took her and came back and then took Stacy.

The rest of the day was pretty relaxed, and I even got in a short bike ride. This was quite nice considering that it was raining when I took Anthony to the airport. Jason had a couple of appointments, so he took off, with Gracie, and Linda and I stayed at home. We took care of a couple of little chores and things around the house, and then I took a little nap. While napping Linda was able to get out and do a little shopping.

The evening came and we all got ready to head over to the Christmas program, where both girls were going to be singing. It was a nice program and very enjoyable. It didn't take too long and it is always fun to sit back and watch the children stand up, so proud of themselves, and listen to them sign. Even better is watching the parents when their kids are singing as they all get up as close to the front as they can, so they can get that one better picture. For the most part they attempt to be courteous but some of them really don't seem to realize just how silly they look. It was a nice program and we were glad we went. The girls went out with their mother this time, and we came back to the house. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

Well, we had a great weekend and made the most of the relaxing time. The weather improved from the rain storm we had - and we really do need the rain, so I am hoping we get some more. We made a little progress with our Christmas Cards, and who knows, we may be able to actually get them out this year, before Christmas (I was hoping to have it done by today, actually). On Saturday I got in a nice 25-mile ride, and then on Sunday to switched to a faster pace and put in 15 miles, so I'd be back home in time to go to church. Now all I have to do is be able to get in 30 miles at the 15 mile pace, and I'll be ready for the longer rides... ;-)

Also on Sunday we went over to our friend's home, Anthony and Angelica, and enjoyed a nice relaxing time with them. We made it back to the house about 19:00 (7pm) and within a pretty short amount of time had the girls bathed and in bed. All quiet at the house by 20:30 (8:30pm) and shortly thereafter we were ready for bed ourselves. Sofia, from Serving Spoons, had left a very nice dinner for us, and it was waiting, hidden, when we got home. We had actually communicated with Sofia the day before so we kind of knew where to look.

Today began a little on the rough side. Both Stacy and Jackie had gotten us up a couple of times, through the night, and as we result we're both kind of worn down tonight. Perhaps we'll be able to get to bed early and be able to get the full 8-hours in. Anyway, we were up at about the same time as we usually do, and we were able to get the girls to school with a few minutes to spare. Afterward, Linda had a couple of errands to run; Jason had a few errands to run; and, I had a couple of things I wanted to get done. I think the extra errands is a direct result of the holidays that are upon us right now. Linda went one way and I went with Jason, to help him out with some of his Christmas shopping. After we returned to the house I went back out, on my own, to take care of the two little errands I wanted to get done.

Tonight we ate the Serving Spoons dinner, and it was excellent, as always, and the funny thing is, is that she is looking for another family or two, in this area, to help in the same way. I need to connect with another family that would appreciate this gift. I also made some Toll House cookies, with the girls. It is the first time that they have made cookies with me, and both of them had a great time. The cookies came out very nice, only I didn't make my usual double batch. I told Jason I was anxious to get into the new kitchen of his new house, so I could make more and possibly get some other baking and other cooking done. The rest of the evening was getting the girls to bed and Jason's dressing changes in, and then that was it. The really good news is that once again, Jason's wounds are looking pretty good, and we might see some significant improvement before the end of the year.  Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Friday, December 12, 2014

December 12, 2014

I felt kind of special today... It actually rained most of the day here, and at times it actually rained kind of hard. Most of the time it wasn't very hard at all, though. Unfortunately it doesn't look like it will rain tomorrow, but that's okay, we have some things to do and the rain would make some of them a little more difficult.

We took the girls to school today, and we still walked, and they got to wear their rubber rain boots. They were pretty excited to do that. What I found out later was that the school administrators truly considered closing the school down today, just because of the rain. "There is a concern for the standing water caused by poor drainage." I just kind of felt numb when I heard that. Now I know the folks in So. Cal have a slanted view of the world and reality, but come on, a little rain and you shut down the school? Fortunately, there are enough people around that over road that line of thinking.

No problems with the van today, as we did take it out for a short spin, and went over to Balboa. There was a Christmas luncheon today, put on by the ASYMCA (Armed Services YMCA), and the kids who registered received some gifts, along with the lunch. Stacy and Jackie both got to pick out a little something and were very happy with what they got (Stacy a very nice Barbie Doll and Jackie wanted a Play Dough set). I'll post a few photos of the event, like Jason with Santa, tomorrow. A little later in the day we took them to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese. It was one of the girls in Stacy's Kindergarten class. We got there at about 16:00 (4pm) and left at around 19:30 (7:30pm).

Tomorrow we hope to have a nice relaxed day, and should be able to stay dry. Thank you for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

December 11, 2014

Today started out with Linda and I still getting up before 07:00 and looking at all the different little chores/tasks we wanted to get accomplished. One of those was for me to get a 25 + mile ride in, and I did it with some morning left over to spare. I was really kind of surprised that when I got back home I felt pretty good, and I figure it was all related to my diet. Prior to the ride I ate an apple and a yogurt, and then on the turn around, to come back home I stopped and had a banana and a small packet of honey. I think the honey was the most important thing for energy. I'm going to continue working like that and work myself up to even longer rides.

Linda went off with a friend of hers, to go look at thrift stores and do a little shopping. It was one of those girls days out, kind of things. I guess it had the effect needed because she came back with only a few things purchased, and she was in a great mood. You might wonder where was Jason in all this, well he was relaxing in his room playing his video games, and that was okay by us. Of course he did do other things, and took care of a few on line needs and communications, but most importantly he didn't put any stress on the wounds.

One thing that happened today, and it was kind of expected, was that the van has returned! They got it fixed and made a minor change in the dash board (the average person would not even notice the difference), and now it works again. The problem was a blown fuse. 

Tonight we went out to visit with the cats, as we hadn't seen them in a few weeks. It was fun and we even had the girls with us. Where the cats are staying, there are a few dogs in the house as well, and they all seem to get along okay. The girls were initially interested in seeing the cats, but as soon as they saw the dogs the cats were almost forgotten. The dogs are cute and small, so it is the perfect size for them to play with, and they did. Jackie didn't want to come home! Anyway, that was pretty much the day, and it was a nice relaxing day. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

December 13, 2014

Today was another of those days when things just go right. It began with Jason having to get ready to go to PT, at Balboa, and at the same time I took the SemperFi van back to the Wounded Warrior Battalion. The SemperFi van was great having, since we really did need it, just to get around, and now another family will be using it. We made sure it was clean and had a full tank of gas. I also spoke with Terry, from the Ability Center and found out that our Ford van should be ready tomorrow, and that they did find out what was going on with the shifter being stuck in park all the time. Apparently there was a blown fuse and when it was replaced, everything thing worked again. I know, it makes you wonder why it too so long to figure out it was a blown fuse, but I don't care at this point, I'm just glad that it should be back tomorrow. Because it was a  "should be" we still went ahead and took the loaner van... just in case.

Linda and I took the girls to school and then we had a bunch of other little things to get done. The one BIG thing we needed to get done was our trip to Costco, so when Jason and I got back from the morning appointments Linda and I went to Costco. We managed to only buy a couple of things that weren't on the list, and got out relatively inexpensively... One of the other things we did, while by the Costco was to go to Ikea (the two stores sit very close to each other). Neither of us had ever been in an Ikea, so it was a learning experience for both of us. To be honest, we were not impressed all that much. I did like that they offer an area to watch the children (you have to pay for it), and there is a food court like area, in the store. There were a couple of things that we thought were nice, but over all I would have to say it is kind of low on our list for places to shop.

The rest of the evening was relaxed, and Jason even fell asleep kind of early. Linda and I had a nice dinner (Jason ate later), and then we watched the movie, The Giver with Jeff Bridges, right after I finished my blog - which I'm doing right now. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 9, 2014

Another good day to relax, and Jason did just that. He didn't get up any more than he absolutely needed to, and that is very helpful to his healing effort. When I did the dressing change there was a noticeable improvement of the wound areas, and I am hopeful that it will continue. And, since there really wasn't much else to go on about for today, I will let you know that I got another bike ride in, and had another 22+mile ride. It was very enjoyable and I am determined to work my way up to 30+ miles with each ride... I'll let you know how that works... ;-)

We did get some decorations up on the tree and in the house yesterday, and I am posting a couple of pictures today, to go with it. On top of that we have a couple of decorations out in front, and it does help to make it feel more like a Christmas time of year. I really do enjoy San Diego, but it just needs to have a little more seasonal type weather. This constant Spring/Early Summer is starting to get to me. Even when we were in Livermore there were come days when it was cold, as well as hot. I guess it made you appreciate the moderate temperatures more. When we move to Jason's new house next year I am hopeful that the weather will be more like Livermore.

Jason has a couple of appointments tomorrow, and I will be turning the Semper Fi van back in. It has been a wonderful gift, as it allowed us to get around as a family unit. We will still have a van to use, and not to worry about us getting around, its just that the Semper Fi van was nearly brand new when we were loaned the vehicle, and that was almost 3 years ago. If you're looking for a place to send your donation dollars, the Semper Fi Foundation or The Gary Sinise Foundation are very high on my list. There are others, Stand Up And Play, EOD Warriro Foundation, and others that can also be seen as very helpful, so please consider these when the time comes. Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

Kind of a fun day today. The morning started out with us getting up at around 07:00 and me getting ready for a bike ride. Jason didn't have any appointments for himself, just for Gracie. Linda was up and taking care of some things she wanted to get done, and it was one of those feel good days where none of us had any immediate pressing issues. I got in about 21.5 miles, so that's two days of 20+ rides. Tomorrow I might go for another one, but it all depends on how things work out. Jason had to get Gracie over to the veterinarian, and have some dental work done. Apparently she had to have a tooth pulled, as well as some other dental work done. The tooth being pulled was the major issue, and apparently it was a tooth that had been bad for some time, just never caught before. The roots were pretty much non-existent and it was simply being held in place by the gums and some pressure from the other teeth next to it. It wasn't infected or any other problem with it, just that it might have become a real problem, so it was pulled.

The girls are with us for the next couple of days, and when they came Linda had some decorating fun ready for them. The tree is up and I have all the lights working, so now it is up to the three of them to finish with the rest of the decorating. Linda let the girls hang all the ornaments, and the tree sits up on a table, so it is effectively about 6.5 feet high at the top. Stacy figured out to get the stool, so she could reach higher, yet still not high enough to make it to the top. All the ornaments sit in a 3-foot band around the tree and it looks wonderful. When they finally get everything done I'll post a picture of the master piece.

I just about got our Christmas letter finished, so we'll probably be sending out our cards in the next few days. They might even reach everyone before Christmas this year. Over the past few years we just weren't able to get cards out, so it is important to us to get it done this year. Otherwise, we didn't do much today, except take care of a couple of errands and get the paramobile down out of Jason's truck and back into the garage (we're expecting rain soon). The other thing to update everyone on is the van, and the lift mechanism. The folks at Ability Center have had the van for about a week now and have been working with Ford (one of the dealers - not sure which one) and no one can seem to figure out what has gone wrong with the Interlock System - the van's transmission still won't come out of park. When I spoke with them today they said they have done everything they can, including setting a new programmed module for the interlock and it still won't work. The van is going back to Ford and we're hoping that whatever is hung up can get fixed. I'd like to have the van back. It was nice having a larger vehicle to carry everyone comfortably. I'll keep you updated as I learn more, so for now... Thank you, for all the continued support and prayers. Take care and stay positive.