When we scheduled surgery for Patrick a month before the end of summer, we decided to try to make that remaining summer month as fun as possible. So, sure, we had to do responsible things like starting school and going to therapy and getting work done on the house and cleaning and shopping and that darn line infection that wasted a whole week for us… but whenever possible, we’ve been playing.
Here are a few of the highlights:
We took Papa to the zoo. I’m not sure which was more exciting, the animals or the company.
We went swimming at the area water park. We were the first ones through the doors on a Monday morning.
Patrick wasn’t really a fan of it, until I found a corner where the water was warm and we could sit on the stairs. I taught him to blow bubbles in the water and then it was ok.
We went to a baseball game. Patrick wasn’t so very interested in the baseball, but he liked being outside and he liked watching the other people and he liked the cup of ice water. Most impressively, he wasn’t scared by the crowd cheering.
We tried to have a day at the lake with my family. However, when the rules for our lake of choice prohibited canoing or wading, we went back to grandma and grandpa’s house instead. Grandpa filled his canoes with water and let the cousins play in them until they were all quite blue and exhausted from the effort. Then, Patrick got to eat some zucchini marinated in teriyaki sauce, his new favorite flavor.
We went to the aviary. Patrick was tired and not very impressed by this.
We spent a significant amount of time fighting over him wanting to push the stroller all by himself off of the sidewalks. When we didn’t let him, he threw a major fit, so we put him in his stroller and in retaliation, he took off his brand new shoes and tried to throw them in the pond.
But, we saw a cuckoo bird and he’s learned a cuckoo song in music group. And he recognized the flamingoes from one of his picture books. And there were a couple of places where you could go inside and he tried to pet the birds. So, yeah, he enjoyed the birds some, too.
We had family portraits taken. We bought Patrick his very first suit and we drove an hour and a half up to a ski resort and had some amazing pictures taken. I don’t have them to post here yet, but you can view them here. http://rltphotography.smugmug.com/Family-Sittings/Hoopes-Family-Snowbasin-2011/18948043_f8vx4k#1470664088_ftcqnVz
We went to the State Fair. Patrick was especially excited to see pigs this year, which is funny. And sad, of course, that I didn’t get a picture of him with the pigs. But here’s a cute picture with a goat.
They had a giant slide at the fair, too. And brave daddy took Patrick on it. Perhaps when I’m somewhere with a better internet connection I’ll share the video of it. Patrick was so excited going up the stairs to the slide that he about crawled out of Brian’s arms. He was laughing hysterically at the bottom.
I let him try frozen strawberry lemonade. (Do not try this at home. It is NOT recommended for kids with Short Gut AT ALL.) He liked the experience of something so cold and so sour. He’d make a horrible face, and then come right back for more. Then his face broke out in hives. Won’t do that again.
We went to Brian’s company party at the park. We played a bit on the playground and had some dinner and Brian won a camelbak backpack in a trivia contest that Patrick proudly wore the rest of the evening.
We went with HopeKids to Hollywood Connection for a private party – a rare opportunity to have the place open just for kids like Patrick who might need some extra accomodations. We golfed.
We rode the carousel over and over again.
We roller skated. (But the pictures of that didn’t turn out and it wasn’t all that exciting.)
But Patrick’s favorite ride was their “Crazy Bus” ride. This is a pink bus that goes around in a circle kind of like a fast ferris wheel that seats 30. This was his face the first time it moved.
And this is waiting in line to go again right away.
We took him out for dinner at his favorite japanese steakhouse. Patrick LOVES their onion soup. He ate an entire bowl, and we let him because things weren’t going to get much worse from doing it and we didn’t know how soon he’d feel like eating again.
We visited family. We got him to his preschool classes as often as we could. His speech therapist was so thrilled with his progress that she gave him the rest of the year off to work at home. We went to church and let him play in nursery. We played in the yard. We went for long walks. We went for bike rides. We read extra books. We watched the sun set.
We lived it up!
And then this morning, we kissed him goodbye and sent him away into the hands of a surgeon and GI who we know love him almost as much as we do.
After 3 and a half hours in surgery, his surgeon just came to talk to us and tell us that things went well – just as expected. His intestine was definitely too stretched before and was already squeezing as they finished the procedure.
Hopefully this will mean many more fun days to come.