Friday, July 08, 2011

Jess's Cardiology Appt & My Birthday Idea

We took Jess to Boston Children's Hospital's satellite office at South Shore Hospital yesterday for our annual visit to Dr. Rhodes. Jess did great! She was a little nervous the night before and we watched some videos on Youtube. She had an EKG and an echo. Dr. Rhodes said everything looks good; she has no need for meds, no restrictions and we're all set until next year. I'm glad he has us come back every year. I read that coarctations can recur especially in people who had them repaired as newborns. Jess was 3 months old when hers was repaired so that qualifies as a newborn to me in this case. Afterward we went to IHOP for lunch.

Mike asked me again for birthday ideas and I told him the one I had. He's not thrilled but hopefully he'll go along with it. I put some things on a list because he asked me to but, at least from my immediate family, I really don't want things, I want to do something. Jason was totally confused by that idea although he chooses to get Calumet as a present from both my in-laws and us. That appears to be different though because he's asking for tangible gifts from others. My friend's daughter (who also happens to be one of Jess's babysitters) shows dogs. There's a dogshow in Fitchburg in August and I want to go. It's at a hotel that has a Coco Keys water park in it so the kids would have fun. Mike and Jason's first reaction was "A dog show?!" with a less than enthusiastic tone. Jason's attitude changed when he found out it was at Coco Keys.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

What do I want?

Mike asked me what I want for my birthday. You'd think that would be an easy question for me to answer. It always has been - scrapbooking stuff, gift cards for scrapbooking stuff, kitchen ware. This year, what I really want I can't have which is probably why I am having such a hard time coming up with ideas. I want 2 things, neither of which are going to come to fruition; I understand that and I accept it but it doesn't stop me from wanting them.
The first thing I want is to go on a trip with my mom the way she was before the surgery. Whenever I think of my mom, it's always either Before Surgery or After Surgery; that one day is the dividing line in her life and my thoughts of her. I wish so much we could just go back and say "You know, maybe we should see what other options there are besides surgery." We knew about the chance that she may not make it physically back from the surgery, that there's always the chance of death but no one warned us that she may not make it back mentally, about the dangers of anesthesia with the elderly. Since this surgery, I've talked to many other people who were likewise unaware of the mental devestation that can follow anesthesia.

About 8 years ago, I went to Nashville with my mom. We had a great time and I treasure those memories. After that, she wanted to go to Natchez, Mississippi. She had gone with ElderHostel but she wanted to go with me and I put her off. No time, no money, too busy. I feel so badly about that. If there'd been some way to know what would happen after the surgery and I knew that she would have the surgery regardless of what we said, I would have gone away with her for a few days like she wanted and just charged part if I had to; it would have been worth it. Unfortunately, I don't possess a crystal ball or any form of clairvoyance so that trip never happened. I'm usually okay with this; I don't fall apart like I did right after the surgery but every once in a while it hits me. I hear of a restaurant I think she'd like and think "We have to go there." but then I have to factor in things like how far is it, how long it would take to get there and would she be likely to start sundowning while we were out. I see a brochure for a museum or historic site and think "She'd love that." and then remember that there's no way she could handle the physical requirements to get around it (her medications make her very uncoordinated) and whether she'd love it or not would depend on her mood at that moment (her moods fluctuate significantly and quickly).

The second thing I want is something I've wanted for a long time but watching my mom go downhill so quickly has made me want it even more. I want the whole family to go on vacation together. Preferably a cruise or something like that where people can spend time together but don't have to spend every second together and where's there's something for everyone. I want the family to spend time together while we're all still here and able to; I want to build those memories for when people aren't here; I want my children to have memories to look back on with their grandparents. Jason remembers going to WDW with Ruth and Jen. He remembers going to NH with them as well and he has said he wishes we'd go somewhere again. Jess doesn't have those memories. Jason is getting older and spends more time with his friends and away from his family. That's normal; that's growing up. But, I'd like to capture a few more moments where it's family time (extended included) before its too late. But, like with my mom, I do accept that a big family vacation with everyone is not going to happen but it doesn't stop me from wanting it. Guess I should go think of some things that I want that are realistic or I'm going to end up with a Home Dept gift card (so Mike tells me).

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Twinkle Toes
Jess had been begging for these sneakers. She wanted them so badly but I just couldn't see spending $40-50 on a pair of sneakers that she wouldn't be able to wear long, especially at the beginning of summer when she rarely wears sneakers. Jess's grandfather gave her $20 to get something at Canobie. She didn't seen anything she wanted so I told her if she wanted, she could put that money towards sneakers. I had a $10 coupon for Kohls and the sneakers were on sale so they only cost me $11 which I figured was reasonable. She was SO ecstatic to wear them and show them off.

New Hampshire, June 2011
Jason had confirmation camp at Camp Calumet the last weekend in June. He would have been the only boy so the church asked if he wanted to bring a friend. Dawson joined him and they had a great time. Jason wanted us to drive them up so Mike, Jess and I camped at Calumet for the weekend.

The weather was very cloudy when we got there.

Jess still enjoyed running on the beach even though she couldn't play on it that first day.

We went to UberBlast which is an indoor play place on Saturday in North Conway. It was a lot smaller than we'd expected but Jess had fun.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday we went to Storyland (go in after 2 the first day and go another day free). Jess had a blast. Here she is with Heidi's grandfather. Later we watched a chipmunk jump up beside him and start eating out of his cup.

My baby girl in jail.

Antique German carousel horses. Instead of going up and down, they need to be rocked front and back.

I love the way they put the year on the different photo props.

Jess in Baby Bear's bed.

Jess loved hearing and retelling how she flipped out the first time she saw this spider (she'd been 2).

Jess milking the cow. When we came back on Sunday, it was pretty warm, hence the bathing suit.

Outside the Polar Coaster, there's a huge cylinder of ice.

Jess's favorite ride - the Polar Coaster!

Jess in the water area.

Jess making sure she's big enough for the Polar Coaster.

I told Jess I'd go on this with her if she promised not to spin too fast. She was very good and kept it slow for her old mom!

Jess loves her princesses.

Jess learning to ride her bike at camp.

We went out to eat Sunday night and on the way to the Pizza Barn, this deer jumped out of the woods in front of us.

Our last day, Monday, was hot so Jess finally got a chance to play in the water.
Canobie Lake Park
For my sister-in-law, Jen's, birthday we took her to Canobie Lake Park. What a great time we had! Jason was especially excited to have someone to go on the rides that Mike and I won't go on.

We got there as it opened so we could get
very minute out of it.

Jess with Abraham Lincoln

Jess getting ready for the swing ride. My mom once told me this was one of her favorite rides when she was younger.

Jen and Jason going over our heads on the roller coaster.

Jess is a danger behind the wheel!!!

Jen and Jason on Sk8ter.

My favorite ride - the Boston Tea Party!!! (which for some reason I kept calling the Mayflower).

The Turkish Twist - this used to be my my favorite ride but I can't handle it anymore :( This picture is of Jen. Jason's standing on the other side of her but it was really hard to get a pic with it going so fast.

Canobie's newest ride - Untamed. Jen swore she wasn't going to go on it but she couldn't deny her favorite nephew! They said it was a really smooth ride. Just looking at it makes me very nervous.

We hung out at the water area for a little bit. It was a warm day so it felt good to put my feet in the water. Jess doesn't like the buckets that dump water so she didn't venture too far in.