If you are at all familiar with my boys you probably know that Leo HATES having his picture taken. In fact, his reflexes are lightening fast so most pictures end up like this:
So correspondingly...you know that when he actually AGREES to having his picture taken....and almost smiles...it's very important to him indeed. Here he is with his beloved swimming teacher Adam on their last day of this session of classes. Adam isn't teaching the evening swim lessons next time so this was Leo's last lesson with him (although he offers private lessons and we're thinking of splurging on them). Adam took a guy who during his swim lessons last summer, spent one week mostly in the corner of the pool and the other week (as a protest against the move to Sholem Pool) refusing to get into the water, and has him swimming. Leo made incredible progress this year with Adam and even better than that he is really proud of himself. My sweet pea.
Owen was very jealous of Leo's certificate promoting him to level 4.....and then his teacher gave him one promoting HIM to level 4 also. AHHHHH......for a few short hours yesterday evening...all was right with the world.
Here is Owen getting a chance to dive (well, get dropped) off the high diving board.....into TWELVE feet of water (imagine him telling us this with his hands raised high over his head to emphasize the incredible depth). My baby....
And then to finish things off was the highlight of it all....a game of Starball between Leo's class and Owen's class. The action is riveting....well, if you're their parent anyway....
So my mother's appointment at the wound clinic was fine...she's healing pretty well. It's not the appointment itself...it's all the logistics surrounding it. Here are the steps involved.
1. Pull my car up to their front steps. 2. Get my mother down the steps in the rain, on her walker, into the car. 3. Bring the walker back to the front porch. 4. Drive to the hospital. 5. Pull into the drop off area, jockeying in between vans from nursing homes. 6. Go inside the lobby and get a wheelchair. 7. Get my mother into the wheelchair. 8. Wheel my mother into the lobby. 9. Go back to the car and drive over to the parking garage. 10. See the "garage full" sign and go back towards the street. 11. Drive two blocks, waiting through each red light to the parking garage at the South Clinic. 12. Find a parking place on the third floor. 13. Walk through the rain to the elevator and go to the first floor. 14. Take the elevator to the ground floor. 15. Walk through the rain to the South Clinic. 16. Take the elevator to the third floor. 17. Take the walkway across the street to the North Clinic. 18. Take the elevator down to the lobby. 19. Walk to the lobby of the hospital and find my mother. 20. Wheel her to the hospital elevators. 21. Take the elevator to the third floor. 22. Wheel her down the hall to the Wound Clinic. 23. Good appointment, doctor charming as always. 24. Schedule next appointment. 25. Wheel her back to elevator. 26. Take elevator to first floor of the hospital. 27. Wheel her to lobby. 28. Go back to North Clinic elevators and go to third floor. 29. Take walkway back to south clinic. 30. Stop in a bathroom because my bladder is bursting by this point. 31. Take elevator down to first floor. 32. Walk through rain to parking garage. 33. Take elevator to third level. 34. Exit garage and pay $1.50. 35. Drive back to the hospital. 36. Find a spot in the drop off area. 37. Go get my mother in the lobby and wheel her to the car. 38. Get her in the car and bring wheelchair back to lobby. 39. Go back to car and squeeze out of traffic jam in pick up area and wait at the traffic light. 40. Drive home. 41. Pull up to the front porch. 42. Go get walker from front porch. 43. Help my mother up the steps in the rain. 44. Get her into her chair in kitchen. 45. Write the next appointments on her calendar. 46. Tell her "sorry, but I need to take off."
Actually, writing that out it doesn't look as bad as it felt. Suffice to say it can be somewhat exhausting. One thing I did think of on the way home: perhaps having kids later in life is a good idea...because Leo and Owen will be pretty young and still have energy when they need to take care of us!!!!
1. Because every SINGLE time I wheel her through the hospital lobby at Carle and she sees the sign that says "rated on of top 100 cardiology centers" or something like that she snorts and talks about how when they went to Naperville they saw a cardiologist TWICE a year instead of once a year. I don't know why...but this makes me utterly insane.
2. Because no matter how many times....like 100....that I have said to her that it would be good to get another homecare person in before we go to Maine...she ignores me. When I said that to her today she said, "oh, I never thought of that" and said well she just figured she'd tell the wound clinic she couldn't go that week. When asked about grocery shopping she did admit that twelve days is a long time, perhaps they would need groceries. She said she'll think about it. grrrrr.
3. Because she fell yesterday in the bathroom and laid there for an hour and a half before managing to drag herself into another room and stand up. My father didn't miss her although he couldn't have really helped...but he could have called ME. Then she tested her blood and it was 44. (O.K., O.K., this one doesn't make me crazy...just a little sick to my stomach).
4. Because when she told me she'd been reading the books on Alzheimer's and they talked about the fact that using utensils to eat could become a challenge for the Alzheimer's patient and suggested finger foods and sandwiches she cheerfully said, "I figure when he gets to that point I'll just have you make a lot of sandwiches and we'll eat them all week."
5. Because I need to leave in about an hour and take her to the wound clinic and as much as I have a crush on her doctor, it just takes a hell of a lot of time.
6. Because I love her. And there just isn't any light at the end of this tunnel.
Remember my flooded basement? Well, it's down to just slightly soggy but gee....look....here's our weather forecast for this evening:
and thunderstorms likely in the evening...then scattered showers and
thunderstorms after midnight. Some storms may produce heavy rainfall in
the evening. Lows in the upper 60s. Light west winds. Chance of
precipitation 60 percent.
And here's the forecast for tomorrow:
Showers and thunderstorms. Highs in the upper 70s. Light south winds
becoming northeast in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation 80 percent.
and here's our current radar (we're at the little plus sign southeast of Danville):
sigh. I wonder if we should move the litter boxes upstairs? Leo's not going to like having his trains marooned on an island either....
Leo has never been one for holding hands. Owen, now he loves to hold hands. Leo, however, we had to teach to hold hands and force him to do it when crossing streets, etc. Just not something that came naturally to him. Yesterday was the visitation for Dave's father. I didn't necessarily plan to bring the boys but I couldn't figure out the childcare situation. Unless we didn't take the guys to swimming of course....and Thursday is the last day of Leo's adored swimming teacher Adam....so I hated for him to miss a day. I kept coming up with different scenarios but given that we were going out and had Hayley coming at 7:30...none of them worked. So we talked to the guys and explained what a visitation was....told them that it was important to do things like this for people you love and that yes, they would see a dead person most likely. They agreed and got ready after swim class like the good boys they are (most of the time). When we got to the visitation we had to wait in line for awhile....I kept telling the boys they could go sit on the front porch or in one of the little side rooms....to no avail.... Leo stuck like velcro to me with the tightest hand hold...well....ever. Owen was kind of curious to see the body and kept whispering to me, "I think I see it" and I'd say "yeah, that's Ricky's grandfather" and he'd just stare wide-eyed. Leo....well, Leo just kept holding on to my hand.
Afterwards we went across the street to West Side Park and Owen ran and played for a few minutes. Leo just sat on a bench with me and hugged me and kissed me....and held my hand.