Over the past couple of weeks, my neighbor, Laura, has filled my home with groceries and meals. The school called to refer us to Adopt a Family For the Holidays by the local Church. The church is going to pay our Electric Bill and possibly donate gifts. The police Dept called and said they have something to give to our family, and will be by Dec 21st to drop it off. I dont know what it is yet. Some of my family (Aunt Michelle & Uncle Paul, Rhea& Buddy) and a charitable friend of a friend (Kenny and Noelle, both whom I do not know) have given us money through the fundraiser and my cousin Raechel has in person as well as my FIL Olaf.... and this money has kept us able to drive back and forth to the hospital and pay for parking at the hospital, send the kids to school with lunch money, and eat + buy coffee at the hospital when Karl or myself are there with Cecilia or towards our Mortgage that has to paid or else. This morning, my friend Suzie brought a delivery. She reassured me that people made these donations because they want to help. To not feel overwhelmed how I will ever be able to pay any of these people back. I feel almost in shock.
We have not been able to spend a penny on Christmas for the kids because Karls income is only commission. The Ripple family and friends have just made it possible that my children can wake up on Xmas morning and open something from "Santa". From my heart and Karls, and for the innocence of Gina, Julia, Anastasia, Sophia, and Cecilia, we thank you. ♥
She wrapped everything which was so helpful, because I'm not even sure I would have time to wrap presents with everything going on. She coordinated all of the gifts by box. I.E., one box is barbie dolls, one box is games, one box is just for Cecilia, one box is crafts, one box is dress up stuff, baby doll stuff and a tea party set. She coordinated the boxes of clothes by size of the outfit. Isn't she such a wonderful friend?!! I feel so blessed to have her in my life! By the way, my kids dont have any bikes that work, and they always ask for one but we have never bought one. Karl always complains how unfair it is our children dont know how to ride a bike yet, so to whomever donated the bike to us, I want you to know exactly how special that is going to be to our girls on Xmas day! ♥
To Everyone: Steve & Sherry Ripple, Becky Ripple, Kenny & Suzie Ripple, Kristen, Kirk, Stephanie, Austin, Sammie (Lantz), Geneva Jones, Kathy W, Paula & Patty Guyer, Paula's church and Pastor Rev. Richard & Faith Davis, Greg, Wendy, Natalie, Aidan, Aunt Suebee, Marge, Jo Ann, Denny, Kayla, Ryan, Owen & our dear heart friend Collin. I wish you blessings from the bottom of my heart.
If you sent us money, I want you to know that it is going towards our bills. There was an abundance of food gift cards! As I opened them, I thought of another friend of mine, Donna. We met because we always run into each other at the hospital. Her husband is fighting cancer. We cry to each other and vent. I am so grateful of all of the gift cards, and I hope you do not mind if I pass a couple to my dear friend Donna. Of course we could and would use all of them, but I feel the urge to share the love.
I opened up the crease of the games that were donated to my family because we have been collecting games for 7 years between Gina's, Julia's, Anastasia's, and Sophia's birthdays and Christmas ♥. There were a few we already own, and I would like to donate those to the children of the hospital. I hope again, that it is OK. And I will let the Child Life woman know that these gifts do not really come from me, but from wonderful people who wish to make a Christmas a little brighter to a family in hardship.
When I came home last night, Karl and I switched places. I decorated the tree with the girls. It was fun for them. It is usually my favorite thing to do, but I did my best to pretend to be in the mood for the children.
They predict that Cecilia can come home after her antibiotics course is finished on Monday. I feel like she is no longer in pain, which is awesome. I feel like it is hard to console her sometimes. I think she just wants to come home. I cried Friday morning. It just feels like Cecilia hates her life sometimes. She had her feeding tube port changed to be able to feed her intestine or stomach, the difference is that now we can choose. I thought that this Glenn surgery will make her heart work better and she will be able to tolerate food better. But she still has issues, and actually they are worse. It really bummed me out. Her heart looks good from her echo and her brain looks good so nothing can be tuned up basically. Like before, I always felt her vomiting increased as her aorta narrowing increased. Now we don't have to come back to the hospital for projectile vomiting (hopefully). I hope that the port to her intestines will be a good fix. Because if she isn't keeping food down, she has to be on IV fluids and possibly even IV nutrients or an NJ tube. None of which can be managed at home. There is a surgery called a Nissen that is a last option and I hope we don't have to go that route. People have been mentioning it to me often and its making me upset.
Now, a few pics of Cecilia from my phone:
Every hospital admission, Cecilia receives a blanket from Marissa, her Child Life specialist. This pink one is from this admission. The blankets are made by Project Linus. She has quilts from them too. All homemade! If you make blankets and want to donate them or even supplies, This is a great organization ♥ I plan to take pictures of Cecilia with all of her Project Linus blankies and mail it to them, and thank them for being a part of Cecilia's journey.
(click on name below to go to their website)
Volunteers for Carroll County Project Linus
569 Sunshine Way
Westminster, MD 21157