Friday, June 27, 2008

Our favorite kid-friendly places to eat

When we dine out as a family, the best place to eat is the most kid-friendly place to eat. Souplantation is one of our favorites. Ever since another triplet mom made the recommendation, we've been taking our girls there at least twice a month. It's healthy, doesn't break our budget and free for the girls. Needless to say, the variety at a buffet really makes it easy even for the finicky eater. So we grab mac&cheese, foccacia bread, some type of soup with lots of vegis, chicken noodle soup, and fruit for the girls. Their hands are wiped clean and they don a catch-all bib for their feasting. I have to say...I'm seeing less and less food end up in their bibs so they're getting better at feeding themselves.

Yesterday we discovered how kid-friendly Claim Jumpers is. They offer complimentary kid plates of cheese, apple sauce (which tasted more like pie filling than apple sauce), orange slices, and a roll of turkey lunch meat. Granted, it's not a gourmet meal for the kids but it's free. It gives them something to munch on while we wait for our food. They also provide table toppers for the kids. The only thing missing was a disposable bib.

If anyone out there in our cyber comunity can recommend other kid-friendly restaurants, please share with us ! Hope you all have a good July the 4th !

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Faith and Erin cooling off in the pool

We're hoping for this heat wave to let up soon but in the mean time Faith and Erin are cooling off in an inflatable pool these days. It's a good alternative to our community pool for now. I've added some pictures. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tim signing in for Father's Day

Hello everyone, it's Tim again. I've been visiting Elyse's site to read Susan's blog every week, but I thought that I would chime in once again with my thoughts for father's day.

Faith and Erin are now walking, dancing and saying "Abba" (Korean for Daddy). It cracks me up to see these little human beings walking around and touching everything within reach. Faith is the more experienced walker so she wobbles less as she walks around, while Erin takes multiple mini-quick steps while striking a superman pose with her arms. Just imagine how Speedy Gonzales would have walked as a baby and you'll have a fair idea of what Erin looks like when she's walking. Oh, and they sway and nod their heads to any beat or music that they hear. Of course they say Um-Ma (Korean for Mom) and lots of other words and do many adorable things, but personally I like hearing "Abba" the best.

Why is it so great? I guess it's because I can see that they understand that I am their dad. I'm sure moms could relate also. Faith and Erin put so much of themselves into it as they point, stretch out their hands and grin from ear to ear as they call out to me. Then they wait for my response, which usually mirrors their excitement topped with a goofy expression. It may not seem like a significant exchange, but let me tell you, we speak volumes to each other.

Then I started to wonder if God, our heavenly Father feels the same as I do when He hears his children calling out "Abba" to Him. Maybe He doesn't need to hear a lot of words and drawn out prayers. Saying "Abba" can speak volumes if it is combined with the love and excitement we have in our hearts towards Him.

Happy father's day.

We are thinking of you Gary and Toya.

-tim

Friday, June 13, 2008

Family in mourning

While Elyse was in the BMT Unit, one of her neighbors was a smart and vivacious 5-year-old girl who was discharged after almost a 3-month stay in the Unit shortly after Elyse was admitted. I remember the day when her parents were so happy to take her home. When Elyse's condition was deteriorating, her mom and I talked with tears in our eyes. It's been almost a year since her bone marrow transplant and we just received word from her parents that she went to be with the Lord 2 days ago after being readmitted for a common cold she was fighting. Her parents are bold and amazing people who even shared the gospel with the hospital staff. I know that their faith in God will carry them through this difficult season but they also need our prayers. Please remember Gary and Toya in your prayers. We will be attending their daughter's memorial service at Grace Community Church next week to offer our support to the family.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Socalhistiowalk 2008

Some of you may remember....we attended the Socalhistiowalk last year. It's a HAA (Histiocytosis Association of America) fundraising event. Just to fill you in....for those of you who are not aware...HLH is considered an "orphan" disease because it strikes too few people to generate government funding for research into its cause, treatment, hopefully a cure and ultimately prevention. So, fundraising is done independently. If you're interested in finding out more about the HAA, here is their website: www.histio.org
For a list of all fundraising campaigns, please click "Special Events."
For this year's event, I was asked to write about Elyse's story for their brochure and submit a photo of her as well. Going through the chronology of events and searching for a photo of Elyse still and, I suppose, always will gnaw at my aching heart on some level. I will always miss her but I am also very proud of our Elyse for the way she moved and inspired so many people.

Last year's event took place just 2 weeks after Elyse's passing so we were, at first, hesitant about attending. At the time, we were in a state of shock, struggling with acceptance and just so grief-stricken that we thought it would be pointless to attend. After some nudging from another HLH family, we decided to attend. It was comforting to be surrounded by people we can relate with. We were also humbled and moved by brave and dedicated parents who continue to fight this horrible disease in so many ways.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

First week without our nanny

Faith and Erin have turned 16 months old now and this is the first week that we are without our nanny. She was with us since the girls were 1 month old so we will miss her dearly. She loved the girls like her own. While she cared for our little ones as a mother would, she also kept our house very clean and organized. I expressed my gratitude to her for all the love she poured out to Elyse, Faith and Erin. It was quite an emotional goodbye for both of us. She became quite attached to the girls, I would imagine. Mentioning Elyse again opened the floodgates of memories. During my stay at the hospital after giving birth, one of the nurses mentioned that it seemed like Elyse was my favorite and that I'm allowed to have favorites. Of course I never did have favorites. I still don't. They are all very special in their own way. Even during their sleeps, they all did something different. Elyse always smiled in her sleep as an infant. Faith would get startled easily in her sleep. Erin grunted and stretched a lot. I'm looking forward to reuniting with Elyse when I get to heaven someday but for now Faith and Erin depend on me for everything. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed this week without an extra pair of hands. I'm sure I'll get used to working efficiently on my own once I give myself some time to adapt to yet another chapter in our lives.