Thursday, February 25, 2010


Let's just say between the Shamrock Shake & the Thin Mints, my breath is feeling very minty!!! No need to brush teeth when you can just eat sleeve after sleeve of Thin Mints!! Oh my ... so much for ever reaching my goal weight that is actually printed on my driver's license :-)!

Life is good.

Last night Lily & I drove to the Los Angeles Airport to meet a dear friend from "blog-world". Diana & her husband, Jeff, & oldest daughter, Ainsley, are on their way to China to bring home daughter #3, Sienna. The story of how Sienna came into their lives is simply amazing ... click here & stand amazed at how our incredible God has worked out all the details for Sienna to become their child! The story still gives me chills!! Pray for them as they will be meeting Sienna on March 1st!

A huge highlight in the past week was having over my dear friend, Tamara, & her new husband, Guma. Tamara has the most tender, caring spirit of anyone I have ever met. She is just a treasure! We weren't able to attend their wedding so they brought all videos and pictures for us to see (we LOVED it all!). Plus, they brought over the top tier of their wedding cake to share with us -- what an honor! Thanks, you guys! We love you!!

Hannah's numbers continue to climb -- It still amazes Jim & I when we hear the results of her blood tests. Right now we are going to the lab every 2 weeks to get her blood checked but the doctor mentioned maybe going to once every month if the NIH thinks that is OK. WOW!!! This week her blood counts were the highest they have ever been: Hemoglobin 10.6; White Blood Cells: 5.5; Platelets: 74K.

The girls are both at school today ... Aaah, the sound of silence!

All God's best from HOME --

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some Videos

Been having a very mellow weekend at home. It has been so nice to just do a lot of nothing! Hannah is off school tomorrow so we are going to be delivering Girl Scout cookies & doing her entire homework packet from the last week .... in one day!?! Yes, once again, I win the "Mother of the Year" award ...I know!

Did I mention that I took Lily for her 2 year check up (just a few months late!)? She made it onto the American growth chart & is in the 5th percentile with height & weight. The doctor attributed her being on the chart to the change in diet here in the US -- I attribute it to Auntie Mom's Italian food!! The doctor was just amazed at Lily's language development for a 2.5 year old -- truly impressive!

My parents just left on a cruise -- not going to be the same these next 7 days without being able to pick up the phone & call them anytime. Happy cruising, Dad & Mom!!! Our ship is leaving just 2 weeks after yours!!!

Here are two videos from my camera that hadn't made it to the computer yet. The first one is of the girls playing in the house. The second is from the hospital in January when Lily came to visit Hannah in the hallway of the hospital before we drove to Phoenix.

Enjoy .. no pressure to watch my home movies but I know the Aunties love this!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thanks, Friends ...

Thanks, friends -- for all the support, nice comments, prayers, verses & encouragement. I haven't gotten back to everyone that sent me a message or an email - I apologize but please know that I am very grateful!! This week has been better!

Today Lily & I took off today for Disneyland. Just the two of us. Dropped off Hannah at school & then got to Disney for a few hours of walking around & just being together. I loved it and she was very busy checking out all the people & taking it all in while trying to figure out how the rides work (hello, future engineer??). We followed this horse, "Kayla", all the way down main street -- I think Lily wanted to bring her home!

Here are some pictures & a video from our day together. And, yes, Shay, this is the shirt from you -- Lily loves it! Cheering you on, my friend!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Not Myself These Days ...

Happy Valentines Day & Happy Chinese New Year!!!!
Aren't these two the most beautiful girls ever!?

Caution: the blog you are about to read is a vent of emotions ... pardon my honesty!

Many great things are going on here at home but for some reason I am a complete basket case. Really. I am just not myself these days. Obviously I am so thankful for how well Hannah is doing & how adjusted Lily is to life at home but for some reason I can't shake my feelings of being overwhelmed by just about everything.


My family thinks it is all a delayed reaction to the year & a half we have made it through. Major life things have happened & I don't think I have ever really dealt with it all, especially Hannah's illness.

While we were in-patient at the hospital I just COULD NOT break down. I couldn't. It wasn't an option to sit in the bed next to Hannah & sob uncontrollably at all that was going on & that we had just brought our daughter home from China & I was not with her.

I think now that Hannah is in school & I have some time to myself it has hit me like a ton of bricks what we have just survived. And "survived" is really the best word. We have survived. Hannah has survived - thank you, Lord!  Lily has survived, remained attached & completely connected to us - thank you, Lord!

Someone asked me last week how Hannah is doing & I honestly replied that "Hannah is doing amazing but for some reason I am a total wreck". Her reply was "well, it could have been a lot worse." Ah, HELLO?!?! Yes, I am very aware that it could have been a lot worse. Believe me I am well aware that I could have buried my oldest daughter but excuse me ... It also could have been a lot better!!! Her comment just put me sideways.

Yesterday Hannah, Jim & I went to Jacob's memorial service. So many nurses were there & both of the doctors that took care of Jacob & Hannah. I lost it hugging Dr. Horvath. She was just amazing to Jacob ... to Chance .. to Daniel ... and to Hannah. I don't know how we would have made it through last year without those wonderful nurses & Dr. Horvath -- that are truly family to Jacob's family & to our family. Daniel's parents were there. I have not seen them since before Daniel died because we were on the East Coast when Daniel died. His mom told me she hasn't unpacked the bag from the hospital when they came home after he died & she hasn't touched his room at all. His room is exactly as it was when Daniel was at home. Just tragic.

I know I will start feeling better but for right now I am just grieving what we have endured - Hannah's sudden & critical illness, the loss of our friends from the hospital & even the loss of Roisin on June 7, 2008. I miss my sister-in-law & I can't wait to see her again in heaven! We are going to have so much fun together for eternity .. and in that day there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more sadness. It will be as it was supposed to have been for us!

Here is a song that is so appropriate for all of us that are going through hard times ...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Weekend Update

Me & my favorite 8 year old!

Hannah & my dear friend, Tamara. I was Tamara's camp counselor many years ago .. now she is a married woman! I love you, Tamara - thanks for hanging out with Hannah!!

Picking up Girl Scout cookie orders

* Hannah's blood counts continue to climb --- Thank you, Jesus!! Yesterday her labs came back as follows: wbc 6.0, hemoglobin 9.6, platelets 57k. Just remarkable from year ago when she was fighting Typhlitus & we were wondering if she was going to survive that huge medical set-back. Each day of life for Hannah is just an amazing gift!!

* Hannah & I went on a camp retreat this past weekend. It was snowing like crazy while we were up in the mountains & she LOVED playing in the snow (without a jacket most of the time!?!?). She has tons of bruises from the snow ball fights but she had a fantastic time!

* Lily's first Chinese lesson went really well. It was like playtime with a Chinese speaking babysitter but Lily loved Elaine so I know it will be a good thing each week. And really at Lily's age, playtime is all we are going to be doing right now! It was hilarious when Elaine would tell Lily certain words & Lily would repeat them back to her but would add a very clear "NO" in front of the word. So funny!

* Hannah's Girl Scout cookie sales rocked! We just finished the pre-ordering season & she sold 265 boxes! Can I just say she was over the moon!!!! I think 50 boxes were sold here on the blog .. thank you to everyone that ordered to support Hannah! Thank you to Sunja & Jenn for really helping Hannah out with extra sales!!!!

* Lily's doing a sleepover at Auntie Mom's house tonight. When we pray, the first thing Lily will pray is: "Thank you, Jesus, Auntie Mom". The Slazas' are deep in Lily's heart & it is so dear to see how much she loves them all! I am so thankful for the forever bond that has been formed since the day Lily came home! What an incredible blessing!!

"Sing praises to the Lord, O you His faithful ones, and give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment; His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning."
Psalm 30:3-5

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Update ... & Thinking of Jacob

Ok, it was so hard to post the picture on Wordless Wednesday & not write a thing about Lily's adorable toes. It's Thursday and it's my blog: "Isn't it the cutest thing how she flips up her big toes like that?!?!" I don't know how she does it without pushing down the other toes but I love it!!!

Lily is having a lot of fun in her pre-school program 2 days a week. My sisters & I are addicted to watching her on the closed circuit TV while she is at school. Only one of us can be logged in to watch at a time so the texting goes back & forth to get off the "Lily Watch" & let the others have a turn. So cute to watch her with her little friends at school!

I have a Chinese lady (well, she looks like a young girl!?!) coming tomorrow morning to start Chinese lessons with Lily. Lily knows that tomorrow when Elaine comes, Elaine will say "Ni-How". I guess that is as prepared as Lily can be but I am sure it is going to be a shock when Elaine only speaks Chinese to her for a few hours!?


For the past few weeks Hannah has asked me everyday, "So ... how's Jacob doing?" She knew he wasn't feeling good. We had seen Jacob while we were in patient at the hospital in January.

Back when we first met Jacob he told Hannah at some point that she was his girlfriend. Well, Hannah is a typical girl & hearing that is NOT what a girl wants to hear from a boy at this age! That was over a year ago (and believe me, Jacob had totally moved on from thinking Hannah was his girlfriend!) but Hannah still thought he thought she was (does that make sense?). She told me last night that he probably has pictures of her all over his room in heaven. Cracked me up .. yes, Hannah, I am sure he has pictures of you all over his room in heaven: hilarious!

It was very hard to tell Hannah that Jacob had died. My heart just breaks for her as she has now lost 2 friends from the hospital. She handled it better than I did ... thank you, Lord!

It is comforting to know that Daniel is there with Jacob. Daniel was so kind to all the little kids on the unit. Here is a precious scrapbook page that Jacob's mom, Melisa, made of Jacob & Daniel together. Both were precious guys & dear to our hearts!!

Kim said it best, "as life goes, you can see why we will long more & more to get to heaven -- think of all the friends we will be re-united with!"

Please pray for Tony & Melisa. They are Jacob's parents & he was their only child. Their pain is just beyond comprehension ... unimaginable.

"To Thee, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in Thee I trust ... Lead me in Thy truth and teach me, For Thou art the God of my salvation; For Thee I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, Thy compassion and Thy lovingkindness, For they have been from of old" Psalm 25:1-2, 5-6

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Forever A Friend

Our hearts break for the loss of our friend from the hospital .. Hannah's friend, Jacob.

He fought so hard for over half of his life against this monster called Leukemia.

Jacob, you will always be remembered ... for the laughs, the fun in the hallway, ringing in New Year 2009 across the hall from each other and hearing you call "Mommy!" when she visited with anyone for too long.

Your Kaiser family will never forget you!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just for Fun

Here is Hannah & her cousins over Christmas break in Philly having some Jammin' time to the Jackson Five (Chance will be proud .. I hope!). This is at my sister, Rachel's place, with her kids on guitar & drums. Love you Sarah & David ... fun, fun times!!!