Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Vacation 2013 Begins

Yeah, yeah, I skipped July this year. Which was just as well. The short summary: Sam hurt his toe at camp (playing Frisbee barefoot) and had to go to the ER on the first Sunday of camp for an x-ray. Just a sprain, but they had been worried it was on the growth plate.

July 3, I was watching Sofia at the pool, looked at my leg and saw a huge "bullseye" - sure sign of a Lyme tick. Doctor didn't even give me a blood test, just three weeks of antibiotics.

Micah got a horrible sunburn when we went up to Maine on July 14 to play with our friends at the beach. We had to pull him out of second session of camp, and he had 2nd degree burns, oozing and painful, on both arms. Bandages from shoulder to elbow on both sides. Plus sun poisoning, so lots of sleeping. Poor baby.

And my parents went to NYC to celebrate my dad's 75th birthday, but while they were there my dad suddenly got a case of Bell's Palsey, making his whole face droop. After 6 hours in the ER in the city, to make sure it wasn't a stroke, they came home. He's getting better, but Mom says his mouth is still drooped.

Add to the the 10 days of 92+ degree weather and horrible humidity, and the fact that David was back in Costa Rica (again) for most of it. Skip July.

Now let's get on with VACATION! Here's Day 1 of my Journal:

Of course the pre-travel “what did I forget to do” worry kept me up waaaaayyyyy too late. David (and Sofia) and I watched the last three episodes of “Heroes” (I just went through the entire series), and they fell asleep. I did not. I ended up sort of sleeping in her room (since she was firmly planted in our bed), but I kept waking every half hour.

So I was up before the 4am alarm. Shower, dress, get the kids up, get the bags closed, make lots of hot cocoa (to use up the last of the milk). Steve The Limo Guy is always early, and at 4:40 I spotted him at the foot of the driveway. David was busy turning off every breaker and water valve in the house, like a maniac. We finally pulled away at 5:02.

Sofia loves her new wheelchair. It’s purple, of course. She sat so nicely at the airport. And the kids did not have to take off their shoes, which was fabulous. We got through security and settled in to wait for the flight.

We were the first to board, thanks to both the wheelchair and David’s Priority Club status. Row 10, seats A through E, on all flights, so that keeps things simple. Of course, Sam was stressed about flight rules, and was really bothered by Sofia (who was sitting next to him on the first leg). Fortunately, Sofia and I slept most of the way to Chicago. Unfortunately, she did not sleep again the rest of the day (although I caught about 20 minutes on the second flight). Micah slept 3 hours on the second flight, next to Sofia. Sam only slept about 10 minutes, which made this evening more problematic than needed.

But we made it to Portland before 1pm. Sofia and I went to get the car while the boys got the luggage. Smaller car than I hoped, a Hyundai Genesis, but we (barely) managed to fit everything and everyone inside. Got to the hotel, in Jantzen Beach, too early to check in, so we drove down to the marina and had a really nice lunch on the water. GREAT salmon burgers, and a yummy Bahama Mama for me. After we ate, we walked by the yachts, which was fun (except that Sofia wanted to get on and take a ride).

Came back to the hotel, and was told that there was still 13 minutes until check-in! (Hospitality Fail). So did a quick run to Target for Sofia’s pull-ups, and then we managed to check in. Oxford Suites. We got a larger corner room on the 3rd floor, 2 queen beds and a sofa. Plenty of room for all.

David passed out, and I took Sofia down to the pool, which was tiny but nice and refreshing. She swims like a little fishy now, and loves to jump in. Unfortunately, she refuses to wear goggles, so her eyes end up completely red, but it doesn’t bother her as much as it bothers me to look at her.

She and I came back to room, but then the boys wanted to go back, so we went with them. Stayed poolside (it’s indoors) for most of the next hour. Then up for showers.

It was “early” local time (like 4:30ish), so we drove in to the city, to Washington Park. First we went to the Japanese Garden, which was so lovely and peaceful (except for Sofia wanting to throw rocks into the water or walk where she shouldn’t walk). Then we went to the International Rose Test Garden, which was just breathtakingly lovely. and in the distance, Mount Hood is framed between the trees, large and imposing over the city.

We were  there several hours, and finished our trip to the park with a stop at the Holocaust Memorial (which was haunting and beautiful). Then back to the hotel for a quick bite to eat and everyone to bed.

Except me, blogging and downloading pictures, of course! And too warm - I must be getting hot flashes, because the rest of them are complaining how cold they are, and I’m sweltering.

So here are the best pics of the day, taken by me, Sofia, or Micah:

Kids in the pool

Chillin' at lunch

Japanese Garden (in case you can't read the brochure!)

Mt. Hood in the background

Sofia and Daddy
 Sofia and Mommy
 Yes, all five of us in a photo! Not terrible...
 The astonishingly lovely roses

 Stop and Smell The Roses

 Our Boys
 Catchin' a ride on Daddy (Washington Park is mostly not particularly wheelchair accessible, so we left the chair in the car).
 The Holocaust Memorial

It's 1:19 am at home. I've been mostly awake for 22 hours...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Bragging about my kids

Got the report cards today from the Day School. Sofia's was sweet. She's only there a few hours, so it was mostly narrative about how well she did. Micah's narrative was possibly the funniest report card I've ever read. She really managed to capture his essence.

Sam's was the best. Algebra 96% A, Science 95.6% A, Humanities 94% A. Excellent or Good in just about everything. I am SO PROUD!

Today I had a fun morning with Sofia. After we dropped Micah at camp, we headed toward my hairdresser. We were early, so we stopped at Starbucks. That one has counter seating right by where the baristas work. It was like dinner and a show for Sofia. Plus it was on tall stools, which is fun.

Then I looked over and noticed she was filing her nails. With a coffee stirrer:
Then we went to the hairdresser. Sofia kept a careful eye on my while I got my hair washed, and then she sat in the washing chair the whole time I was getting my cut. And wouldn't get out until she got her hair washed:
And then she sat under the dryer:
And said "One More Picture, Mommy":

 We finished the morning with a quick bike ride:
She's getting pretty good! It's only been a few days, but she's more able to steer, and her pedaling stamina is getting better.

So I had an interesting moment later in the afternoon. After I dropped her at MonkeyGym camp, I had to swing by the camp she'll be going to next week to drop off her med form.

When I got there, the kids from this week were getting ready to get into the water. The camp is on a lake, and the camp has a great ramp for wheelchairs. (And Sofia is looking forward to swimming "in the ocean").

A lot of the kids at the camp are in wheelchairs. A lot. Way more than I had expected. So I mentioned to the nurse that they should keep an eye on Sofia because she'll be very distracted by the chairs. One of her classmates was in a wheelchair this year, and Sofia was often obsessed with it.

And the nurse said they are going on a field trip next week, so could I send in her wheelchair? Which we don't have yet. So I have to see if she still fits into her stroller. Or they'll just take it slowly.

Which makes me wonder...a whole bunch of things...

1. Should I be pursuing this wheelchair? Her Physical Therapist gave me push-back because in general she really does not need it. She only needs it when  we go on vacation...when David takes us on his "forced marches". And since he's not going to change his style, this is my way of coping, to get her a chair so we can all keep up.

2. Is this camp going to be the right place for her? Am I doing her a disservice by putting her there? Am I taunting, being mean, to the kids there? She's so in-the-middle. She's not "typical", but she's not so "special". She's strong and active and interested and engaged. Except when she's not. (Which probably answers my question, it IS a great camp for her). But watching all the kids in chairs, I worry that seeing Sofia will make them feel bad.

As I mentioned in my last post, one of the other kids at camp is W, whose mom used to burst into tears every time she saw Sofia when the kids were in Early Intervention together. What if I get that same reaction from other families? What if Sofia makes everyone feel bad?

Wow, talk about stress! I'm a little nuts tonight, right?

Ok. I'm watching "Heroes" on Netflix. On Season 2 now. Love Netflix. Enjoying "Heroes" most of the time.