Archive for July, 2013

Post-camp Musings

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

So we like the idea of camp – meeting new people, doing new things, perhaps gaining some independence. Reality often is quite different than an idea… On the way to get Maria, somehow we managed to lock the keys in the van at the gas station. After calling AAA, I noticed a car in front of us had a huge lock painted on it, so I approached the guy and he unlocked the van for us! We arrived at camp just after 1pm. Although we were supposed to pick up the kids between 1 and 3 (no later than 3 or you’re not invited back next year), they didn’t even open the camp until 1:30pm. If that’s not bad enough, they didn’t even tell anyone waiting in line what was going on. Not a good start to the last day.

We finally got in and got Maria, after realizing it wasn’t a dream, she was so happy to see us! Gave me a good hug and her daddy a nice Maria grin. Just like when we dropped her off, there didn’t seem to be any adults hovering over her. ok. giving us space perhaps? None of the camp counselors talked much about what happened during the week, just that they enjoyed having her, she liked the go carts and the swimming (I think), and the nurse had some questions about how to communicate with Maria (so why didn’t she call earlier in the week?). A couple little girls were sorta hanging out around Maria’s bed, but seemed more interested in us than her.

Went to talk to the nurse, she said they thought Maria had a seizure early in the week, only lasted 20 seconds or so, and why am I just finding out about this now? They just seemed a little hesitant about her, not like they were in love with her, like most people who spend any amount of time with her. They said she slept through some of the activities, and that one night she’d climbed over the bed rail and was hanging over it with her hands on the floor — which all I could think of is thank goodness she didn’t pull out her button or suffocate herself. After that one of the counselors slept on a mattress on the floor by her bed (that was the first thing I heard that made me think they treated her like we expect her to be treated).

They’d finally posted some pictures on Friday (the day we picked her up), and I could only find 2 half-way decent ones of her. One in the go-cart and she looked happy. The other was at the dance and she did NOT look at all happy. The white shirt I sent for tie-dyeing was still white. The clothes I sent for the messy activities were still clean. I just did not get a super fantastic feeling, which has lingered with me almost a week later.

The icing on the cake is when we got home (didn’t notice it when we picked her up), she was breathing really rough and kinda wheezy. When I looked for her breathing machine, I found out they’d forgotten to pack it, along with the tray for her wheelchair, so they had to ship it back. In the meantime, we ended up borrowing one from Megan from soccer – lifesaver!!! They tried to call but my cellphone was out of range (did they try to call Manolis??). Now I have a sore throat and possibly a cold and I’m going on work travel next week to Wisconsin, DC, and Mississippi, so I have to be in great health before I leave Monday. I think Maria’s feeling pretty crappy too. I’m just not happy about not getting any communication before, during, or after camp. I think they had more kids than usual, and they told me some of them needed 2-on-1, so I’m sure Maria, who’s so sweet, got neglected. Oh, and she lost 2 pounds. I still really like the idea, but I just don’t know if we’d send her again. I’m going to volunteer to stay at camp the week she’s there and write a daily newsletter and take photos and post both everyday. Oh well, at least we tried!

Last Night of Camp (Thank God!)

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

Can you imagine being without your best girl for 5 nights?! Without hearing squat?! Well, it’s been rough. The only word we got was from the camp director in response to an email I sent. This is what it says: “Maria is doing really well. I was in there each night as they were getting ready for bed so I know she was warm:-) We have been making sure to keep her hydrated, she is drinking well out of the bottle . She tends to mainly suck on her cup, but we have been encouraging that as she needs to keep working up to that. We did find raincoat:-) Overall she is a sweetheart and seems to be doing well. Occasionally during the day she will tense up and then relax, is that common for her? She eats some, not a lot and they have been giving her the ensure [Nutren Jr] you brought.”

That’s it. We dropped her off on Sunday. It is now Thursday. I got that email on Tuesday. What is she talking about…”tenses up and then relaxes”….? Common? What does she mean, common? I have no idea!

No photos posted to their webpage, no videos. They have a place where photos/videos are supposed to be posted. But the only photos are from previous weeks. One of my co-workers thought they could write a daily newsletter about what the kids did each day, calling some of them out. I think that’s a fabulous idea! I’m going to suggest it to them. It wouldn’t take but a minute, and it would make us crazy parents–especially us first-timers–feel a whole lot better.

We can pick the kids up between 1 and 3pm tomorrow. I think we’ll be there at 12:59pm… So we’re going to leave early, have lunch, snatch that girl up, and bring her home!

Maria’s at Camp Now

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Well, we took Maria to camp, dropped her off, and drove away. Wow. The most scary thing was that we had to ask the girl outside who we were leaving Maria in care of. They didn’t seem to “take control” of her. On their side, maybe it’s because they didn’t want to rush the “first-timers” off…

And now it’s been more than 24 hours. We are at home. We haven’t heard a word. No pictures are posted to the camp website yet. The email I sent her last night hasn’t been printed and read to her yet (it’s something the provide for, not me just being …. whatever). Soooo.

And it rained a lot last night (we stayed in Pinetop a couple miles from the camp) and was coolish. I packed a rain jacket for her, but is she wearing it? Is she warm enough? Are they paying enough attention to her? What will she do without her quota of 1,000 kisses a day?

This is what she looked like right before we drove away…

Maria's 1st day of camp.

Maria’s 1st day of camp.

Maria is 9 Years Old Now!!

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Can you believe that Maria turned 9 last weekend? She had a soccer game that day, so we got some (gluten-free) cake pops from Tempting Creations, the sister of a barista at my favorite coffee shop, Elevate, and had an impromptu party. Nanny Sue came to the soccer game, then to the house to watch Maria open gifts. Then Uncle Andy came over for a while to celebrate too!

Maria celebrates her 9th birthday with her soccer team.

Maria celebrates her 9th birthday with her soccer team.

A few days after Maria’s birthday, we surprised her daddy by getting her hair chopped off!



Here she is with short hair!

And after!