Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and visit! We hope to share with you our journey of raising a child with Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism. If this is your first time here, please start by reading Caitlyn's Story. It will share the beginning of her life with you. Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

LPA District 12 Fall Regional

This past weekend, Caitlyn and I headed to San Jose for the Fall Regional conference. We left Friday morning, and drove to my parents, who live about 30 minutes from San Jose. We got there in time to have lunch and for Caty to take a nap. We played some (my parents are in Maui so it was just us girls for the weekend) and had an early dinner. We drove over to the Fairmont hotel, where the Regional was taking place, for a Welcome Reception. We ran into some old friends and met some new. I was so excited about meeting the Mallinson family from Southern CA. I first met Mike on the POLP (Parents of Little People) yahoo group and then we became friends on MySpace followed by Facebook and now through our blogs - visit Mike's blog "The Mallinson Adventures". Mike's wife's name is Cherylle and they have two kids, Evan and Caitlin. Evan is 5 (right Mike?) and Caitlin is 14 months. Caitlin also has Achondroplasia. Mike and I met almost a year ago just after Caitlin was first diagnosed. I am so happy to have met Mike and Cherylle and look forward to a lifetime of friendship with them. Caitlin is the recipient for my Caitlyn's altered clothing. We have no other younger girls in our chapter and we have no use in keeping the clothes that I have altered, so I am happy to be sending them off to them. We met up with them at the Welcome Reception and my Caitlyn took right to theirs. We pulled up a spot on the floor and listened to some jazz while the kids danced. We seemed to be the place to be for the kids because soon enough we had about 6 or 7 other families join us on the floor. In our chapter Caitlyn is one of the youngest, however out of these families, she was the oldest. Another blogging mom, Jane and her some Jake were also there - they flew up from San Diego. It was great meeting them! Stop by and visit her blog - "The Chronicles of Drake." Jake is such a cutie and a very happy almost 1 year old. Caitlyn really liked him! I hope that the next time we're down in San Diego visiting my brother and sister-in-law, we can plan a get together with them.
Back to the Welcome Reception - we stuck around until about 8:45 or so, then headed back to my parents.

Saturday was going to be a LONG day for us, so instead of waking Caty up and heading to the hotel for the Parent Discussion group (which I had wanted to attend, but it started at 8:30) I decided that it would be better to let her sleep in. She woke around 8:00, we had breakfast and got ready to leave. We showed up at the meeting during the last 10 minutes or so - oh well. After the meeting was over, a few of us decided to head to an area outside where the kids could run around. The Mallinson's, Bradley Williams and his dad Bryan (from our chapter) and another mom which I just met - Anel and her son Matthew (from Southern CA) came with us. Across the street from the hotel there is an area with fountains (obviously way too cold for that, but they looked neat and I'm sure kids run through them in warmer weather) and a stage. We hung out there for almost an hour, while the kids played, and Caitlyn danced and blew bubbles for the younger kids. It was getting to be lunch time, so we headed back to the hotel for Mike and Cherylle to grab Evan from the kid's room and then we decided to meet at Johnny Rockets for lunch. Caitlyn found Mary, one of the girls from our chapter - they have really taken a liking to each other. We chatted with Mary's grandparents for awhile and then headed to lunch. We had a fun and loud lunch with the Williams and Mallinson families. The kids had a great time together.

After lunch Caty and I headed to the car, as we were off to see my friend Jacqui and her husband Ray, who live in San Jose. Jacqui and I met each other in 5th grade and have been good friends ever since. Caitlyn helped Ray with some yard work - cleaning up the leaves. She also liked when he showed her the different vegetables they have growing in their backyard. Across the street from their house is a park, so we took a walk over there and played for awhile. We headed back to their house and spent some more time in the backyard, with Caitlyn playing. It was great seeing them, as we don't get to see each other as often as I would like.

Back to the hotel again... We joined the Mallinson's in their very spacious suite, which they were nice enough to let us change for the dinner later that evening. Caty and Evan played hide and go seek with each other for quite awhile, which was hilarious to watch. Evan is not the quietest of hiders and Caty is not the best at hiding - she needs some help finding places to hide, so I would give her an idea. She would go to that spot and just lay down. It was pretty funny! I also had more altered clothes to give them, so Cherylle and Caitlin when through the box - mainly Caitlin taking everything out and throwing it. I'm so glad that we have them to pass the clothes onto. We then got ready for dinner and headed downstairs. Dinner was okay - a pasta buffet, but with only two choices of pasta and two choices of sauce, nothing special, however the price was somewhat lower than other regionals, so I guess that I can't complain too much. Caitlyn was ready for dinner to be over just as it was starting because she knew that after dinner the dancing started. And boy did she dance!!! Okay, so sometimes it wasn't really dancing - she would run from one end of the dance floor to the other, continuously doing this all night long. A few times she stopped to dancing with a friend, me or Cherylle, but boy was she having a blast. Around 9:30 she hit a wall. She got all weepy and clingy and wanted to be held, so I knew that that was the end of our eveing. We said our goodbyes and headed home. She talked to Scott and my mom on the drive home, which didn't go so well, as she was very tired and not listening to what was being said on the phone. She said goodnight and crashed out after hanging up. When we got home she woke up and started crying "I'm tired." We got ready for bed in record time and she was in by by 10:30 or so. This was an incredibly late night for her as her bedtime is right around 8:00.

For both our sakes she decided to sleep in on Sunday morning until about 8:30. We cleaned up my parents place and headed to Stakes to meet some friends for breakfast. Michelle and her son David met us there as well as another good friend Eric. Caitlyn was sad because Eric's daughter, Ainsley didn't come. Caty did draw her a picture that Eric took to her. We had a nice visit and I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends that I am still in touch with after so many years. Hopefully the next time a few more friends will be able to join us for breakfast. When we visit my parents, I usually try to plan a get together, however this one was such short notice that most couldn't make it.

Anyways, we had a WONDERFUL time at the regional, and are completely EXHAUSTED. Yesterday (Monday) morning Caitlyn decided to sleep in until 10:00!!! Yes I said 10:00!! She needed it though - with late nights and no naps over the weekend. I don't know if we'll make the Spring Regional, wherever it may be, but our chapter, the San Joaquin Valley Chapter, will be hosting the Fall Regional and it's going to be great!

Enjoy the pictures!


mejane said...

Jaime --It was great meeting you in person. Jake and I had a blast as well. Caitlyn is just a big bright ball of sunshine, I can't imagine her ever being grumpy. I think she did great on her longest day ever. I'm looking forward to seeing you again soon and please please, let me know when you're in SD.

Mike said...

My goodness - that was a book! I don't think I'm gonna bother writing one myself - I'll just refer everyone to your post! LOL - your pics look better than mine anyway, since you were using a real camera instead of a cell phone like me!

Anyway, we really had a blast meeting you guys and everyone else there. Sunday afternoon at the Children's Discovery Museum was great, and we ended up hanging out with Ellen and Stuart at the Lobby Bar in the hotel Sunday night until close to midnight, while Caitlin and Justin played far better than you would expect for being so far past their bedtimes, and Evan slept next to us on the couch with Ellen's sweater as a blanket! I wish I'd gotten a picture of that...

Anyway, we're looking forward to the next trip up - we'll see you guys again someday!

Ever Changing said...

that is great that the regional turned out so well for you guys and you both had a blast! i watched some of the videos of caitlyn that mike posted and they are fun to watch! lilah loves to watch her dance!

melkrivdo said...

Makes me wish we had been there. I love the photos!


Emily said...

Love the great pictures! I can't wait to attend an LPA event. Looks like you have a great chapter nearby with lots of fun families!

Kim said...

Love the pictures. What a weekend-no wonder Caty slept until 10!
Bradley-I have to write to his mom agains through POLP-I swear I was looking at a picture of Preston form about a year ago! The pics of Caitlin and Caty were precious. Oh the cuteness was too much. Loved all of her pictures and outfits ( you know I think she is just a little fashionista)! I know you are not coming to NY, but hopefully we will meet up for Nashville!

Alex said...

It looked like so much fun!! How fun that you guys got to meet in person!!
The kids are just adorable!

Greene Family said...

Adorable pics!! It looks like you had a great weekend!

Destini said...

Looks like Caitlyn (and everyone else) had a great time! The fall regional for us is 9 hours away, so we are not going - which is a bummer because it promised to be a great time. LPA and our "blogging family" is such a great way to make new friends!

How Life Is Measured said...

Now it's my turn to be SUPER Jealous! Great pictures! It looks like you had such a great time! Caitlyn is the cutest thing. Are you going to NY next summer?

Caden and Mommy said...

Looks like a great time! How fun to get to meet a few members of our blogging family! Adorable pictures!

The Sweat's said...

Great pics! Caty looks like she had a great time!! I am so glad you got to meet up with some of the families!! It makes it that much more fun!!

erica said...

Wow Jaime..you are such an inspiration to me. I really need to get out do more stuff with Emily. I wish we lived closer to you. Caty is absolutley darling. She seems so happy and bubbly. She needs to rub off on Emily.

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