Thursday, May 28, 2020

Grouse Falls Overlook Trail

Tahoe National Forest
Placer County, CA

Day 75 of the COVID-19 lock downs. As the country starts to open up, we are still mostly hunkered down out of an abundance of safety for the girls, especially Kellisa since she's considered high risk. I took a few days off of work and decided I needed to take a hike. Since this was my first trail since last October, I selected a short, but challenging trail near our home to explore. Based on pictures and trip reports, I selected Grouse Falls Overlook Trail for my hike and it didn't disappoint. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Full Circle Champagne

Kellisa's first sip of alcohol on her 21st birthday came from a bottle of champagne we bought on December 31, 1998. We made the purchase with the intention to toast the new year with sips of the bubbly, but Lisa wanted to make sure she wasn't pregnant before partaking. The story is told in greater detail here. Long story short, that's the night we found out Lisa was pregnant (with Kirsten and Kellisa), so we never opened the bottle of champagne. 

The bottle of champagne has moved with us from Bolingbrook, IL to Edgewater, FL to Jacksonville, FL to Jacksonville, FL to Jacksonville, FL and finally, Roseville, CA. The years passed and we never had a need or plan for the bottle when Lisa got the idea to save it for Kellisa's 21st birthday first drink. We kept the bottle safe and chilled it a few hours before we would share it with Kellisa.

Lisa tried to take a video of me opening the bottle, but it wouldn't open. It might be me and my lack of experience or more likely, it was the old bottle making it difficult. After several attempts, I was able to pry the top off with little fanfare. There was no 'POP' with bubbling champagne spilling out as the kids had hoped. The bottle just opened.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Shark Cake with Dripping Blood

1. Kellisa loves creepy and scary creatures from spiders to lizards to snakes to sharks. 

2. Laurel has been doing quite a bit of cooking and a little baking during the COVID-19 lock down.

3. Lisa purchased the ingredients and Laurel did all the baking and decorating herself.

4. The end result - Kellisa was blown away with her birthday cake's appearance.

5. And the shark cake tasted amazing! 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

#1 - The Most Popular Blog Post of All-Time

Kellisa's Path Blog has been around  for almost 9 years with 528 posts and exactly 1 guest writer. Lisa made her blog debut on Kellisa's 18th birthday (May 23, 2017) when I was struggling to write a post. Lisa stepped up and created (by far) the most popular post of all time. So far, this is Lisa's only post.

Here's the link to our most popular post from May 23, 2017: Kellisa Reaches 18

Friday, May 22, 2020

2nd Most Popular Blog Post (as of April 15, 2020)

A lot happened in 2011, including three surgeries, trips to visit family, narrowly avoiding a serious train accident, backpacking on an island, getting a pet eel, one of my very few regrets with Kellisa, and Oh Yeah....we legally adopted Laurel!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Friday, May 15, 2020

4th Most Popular Blog Post (as of April 15, 2020)

I get spooked all the time deep in the wilderness, but I rarely get seriously scared. Kellisa and I had just finished a beautiful hike in Northern Idaho when we had an encounter with a man and his chainsaw.

Here's the link to the original post from July 13, 2018: Driving into a Horror Movie Scene.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

5th Most Popular Blog Post (as of April 15, 2020)

5 years ago to the day, I didn't follow my own safety rules and we found ourselves on the 3rd floor of a burning hotel.

Here's the link to the original post from May 22, 2015: Hotel Safety (Part II).

6th Most Popular Blog Post (as of April 15, 2020)

This is an interesting post to make our top 10 most popular list. It's my recap of 2000 and 2001. A lot of things happened in those years when Kellisa was a very medically fragile baby. In a lot of ways, looking back, it was a simpler and easier time even though we had zero idea while we were living it. In other regards, it was some of the most difficult days. 

I named the post, "84 Cents" because Lisa and I had to pay out of pocket for one of Kellisa's emergency brain surgeries because the insurance company didn't agree with the neurosurgeon that Kellisa's life was on the line. We decided to trust the doctor and it took literally everything we had and more than can be imagined. We had no money, gas, or food, but Kellisa was alive and fighting and we owed it to her to give her every chance. 

Roughly two decades have passed and I don't think we'd change a single thing from these years. It would be easy to say, we wish insurance would have paid for the brain surgery (and resulting hospital stay and follow-up appointments), but then I'm not sure we would have ended up in Jacksonville where we spent 16 years. It's where Kellisa grew up and set the foundation for who she is today. We met many amazing people during our time in Jax. Lastly, if we didn't end up in Duval, it's highly unlikely we would have ended up with Laurel. all happened for a reason!

Here's the link to the original blog post from May 2, 2017: 84 Cents (2000 & 2001)

#5 Hotel Safety (Part II)

Friday, May 8, 2020

Staph Infection

A few things are certain in life, Kellisa catching a break isn't one. We had the chance to take a ride out to Lisa's work on Saturday, May 2, 2020. This would be only the second time Kellisa left the house in 49 days since the CORVID-19 lockdown started. The first was a nice little stroll through our neighborhood. As I was helping change Kellisa's shirt to get her ready, I noticed a large sore on her back. I recognized it as a staph infection because Kellisa has had it a few times in the last nine months and I've had it twice myself. 

The sore looked worse than her previous outbreaks and I would have taken her to a walk-in clinic since it was a Saturday afternoon, but I didn't feel comfortable going during the middle of a pandemic. I decided to treat it with warm compresses and triple antibiotic ointment until she could be seen by her awesome pediatrician.

I called Dr. Singh's office on Monday and described the sore and my diagnosis. Kellisa has always been well taken care of and this would be another example of perfect care. Dr. Singh offered to see Kellisa at 7am the following morning. The appointment would start before the office opened to limit Kellisa's exposure to other people. We didn't hesitate and agreed to this time and felt extremely grateful for the special consideration to keep Kellisa safe.

Even though it was early, we were greeted at the office building by a lady in scrubs wearing a mask. She asked us a series of questions, took our temperatures, and handed us masks. We proceeded to check-in from a healthy distance and went to the pediatric waiting area where we were the only people. Chairs and sofas were marked telling you where you could and couldn't sit to allow for proper social distancing. I barely sat down when we were called back.

Kellisa was so excited to see Dr. Singh, she keeled over with enthusiasm for a minute while giggling before sitting back up and blowing countless kisses through her mask. Kellisa is not used to being trapped at home and I realized Dr. Singh was the first person Kellisa saw up close besides mom, dad, and her sister in 49 days and it was a person she loved. 

After taking a culture to confirm it was in fact a staph infection, Dr. Singh was patient and asked how Laurel was doing and how we were holding up as a family. Dr. Singh shared what she knew about the virus and offered tips on how to protect ourselves. We also received valuable suggestions to help keep our sanity as this pandemic creeps along with no real end in sight.

Kellisa wanted to stay and I even offered to pick her up at the end of the day, but it wouldn't have been safe to leave her. I had to wheel her away against her will. Kellisa kept her mask on the entire time without a fuss, but started ripping it from her face the second her front wheels crossed the threshold to the exterior of the medical building. I think Kellisa made Dr. Singh's day and she never fails to make me proud and crack me up.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

7th Most Popular Blog Post (as of 4.15.20)

Our 7th most popular blog post is simple, Kellisa received her new Special Needs Jog Stroller and we took it for a stroll around our neighborhood in St. Johns, FL. We still have the chair and it's never let us down...on or off a trail. 

Our Freedom Push Chair entry was originally posted on November 3, 2012.