Sunday, June 10, 2018

Connections - Week of June 4th

"Cherish your human connections - your relationships with friends and family." ~Barbara Bush

It was hard to believe the last week of school was upon us.
Oma came to stay with us for a few days while Chris traveled to Ohio for work. 

Jane and her mom picked out some beautiful flowers to plant in the mailbox area as well as the big planters.  Even after a full day of school, Cam was ready to help put the flowers in their place.  To help keep the dirt off of Cam's power chair, Jane had pushed the arm backwards.  After the planting was completed, Oma and Jane gathered the materials and started up the driveway...Cam could not stop laughing and when asked why he was giggling, he had a tough time talking until finally his mom realized why.  Turns out she had not brought the arm of his chair into drive-able  mode, so he literally couldn't move.  It was quite some time before the hilariousness of the situation wore off. 
The next few evenings were full of grandma/grandson activities including the Passport monthly gift from Auntie Karen.  Oma left on Wednesday and we were sad to see her go, but we knew a trip to the cottage was on our agenda for Saturday.

Speech path-Ms. Kate, Cam, OT- Ms. Kendra
Thursday was a half day for Cam and the day of our annual school cookout!  Everyone arrived at 1pm to celebrate with teachers, therapists, aides and classmates.  Each tasty treat brought by the attendees was enjoyed and the huge decorated cookie brought by Ms. Cris and Mary Jo was really cool!
The afternoon went by much too quickly and the theme of the day was "see you later" vs. "goodbye."  Although we neglected to capture a group picture, it further solidifies the fact that we will continue to see our friends.  Cam had already indicated that his Meadow Brook family would be at his house for the cookout every year and we will "add in" the Northern Trails group.

Friday marked the final day of our 4th grader's school year.  Since this was the last time the current 4th grade students would be at Meadow Brook, it is tradition that the classmates parade through the school.  Cam's teacher sent the pics to us and said that our son was all smiles.
Thx Oma for the delicious Ryke's cake!

Jane, Cam and Annie all
blowing out the candles:)
On Saturday, we headed up north to celebrate Jane's 49th birthday. Thankfully, Auntie Jo brought plenty of homemade games and activities for Cam to play due to the dreary weather.

Although the weather didn't cooperate, time with family and friends brought the sunshine inside.  Oma, Opa, Auntie Jo, Aunt Joyce and Uncle Joe, Annie and Aunt Gay all shared cake and ice cream together with us.  Hanging out and relaxing certainly is a great way to enjoy a birthday.
Jane did say her favorite moment was hearing her son sing, "Happy Birthday to mom!"

Camology Quotes:
Oma was telling Cam that after he left for school one morning, she got ready to take a shower and shut the bathroom door.  When she got into the shower, she realized that Stella the cat was staring at her and she had no idea how Stella had gotten into the bathroom.  Cam's immediate response...
"Oma, were you embarrassed?"
(that Stella was looking at you in the shower?)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Bittersweet - Week of May 28th

"It isn't summer until you eat your first popsicle!" ~ Amanda K.

Back in 1905, an 11-year-old San Francisco Bay Area kid named Frank Epperson accidentally invented the summertime treat. He had mixed some sugary soda powder with water and left it out overnight. It was a cold night, and the mixture froze. In the morning, Epperson devoured the icy concoction, licking it off the wooden stirrer. He declared it an Epsicle, a combination of icicle and his name, and started selling the treat around his neighborhood. In 1923, Epperson decided to expand sales beyond his neighborhood. He started selling the treat at Neptune Beach, a nearby amusement park. Dubbed a "West Coast Coney Island," the park featured roller coasters, baseball and an Olympic-sized swimming pool. Neptune flourished in the pre-Depression days, and consumers eagerly consumed Epsicles and snow cones (which also made their debut at Neptune). Buoyed by this success, Epperson applied for a patent for his "frozen confection of attractive appearance, which can be conveniently consumed without contamination by contact with the hand and without the need for a plate, spoon, fork or other implement" in 1924. The patent illustrates the requirements for a perfect ice pop, including recommendations on the best wood for the stick: wood-bass, birch and poplar. Eventually, Epperson's children urged him to change the ice pop's name to what they called it: a Pop's 'Sicle, or Popsicle. (full article)

Amanda and Cam enjoyed their frozen treats immensely on a very warm Tuesday evening.  Ironically, they choose the color popsicle of the shirts they happened to be wearing that day.

Friday, however, was a bittersweet day.  The final LINKS (school program linking children of different abilities together) ceremony took place at Cam's school. LINKS is about creating connections within a diverse group of students and ensuring that all students are acknowledged for what makes them different and what makes them and all of us the same.
Each participant received a medal in the front of the gym, heard the principal say their name, and watched a cool slide show with lots of pictures from the program's past year.  Afterwards, in the very warm gym, Cam was feeling pretty sad.  When Jane asked him why, he said "because it's over" and his friends all assured them they would see him at the new school in the fall.  Cam explained, "I'm sad because I won't see all of my teachers."  For five years, he's attended the same school.  As he made his way back to the classroom with Ms. Kathy, he told her- "I'm sorry Ms. Kathy for being upset."  Ms. Kathy responded to Cam by saying, "Cam, don't ever apologize for feeling your feelings."
Uncle Jon, Cam, Aunt Betsy
Will, Cam Auntie Jo
Saturday brought another finality as we attended the last WMML game of the Spring 2018 season.  This event, though, was a super happy one!  The surprises just kept on coming...
Auntie Karen, Cam, Sue
Uncle Jon and Aunt Betsy were waiting for the game before we even arrived!  Oma and Opa, Auntie Jo and Will appeared as well as Ms. Kathy and her husband, Kevin.
And then, all of a sudden, we saw Auntie Karen and her sister, Sue who drove 220 miles to see Cam's final June game!  Karen kept it a secret from Jane and Chris had only told Cam that very morning, but our son remained quiet about the impending visit.
Picnic lunch- Oma,Opa,Sue,
Auntie Karen, Chris, Cam
The volunteers for the game were therapists and workers from Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, many of whom already know Cam and quite a few of the WMML players.
The game went by much too quickly, but it's nice knowing there's another season to be played in the fall.  Cam has already informed us that he would like to play every single season until he is 18 (the maximum age for WMML).
WMML Playground swing
Following the baseball festivities, we were grateful for yet another surprise- a picnic lunch provided by Auntie Karen and her sister, Sue.  Complete with an American flag tablecloth, we dined on delicious sandwiches, veggies, fruit and all of the fixings with homemade brownies for dessert.  Cam kept commenting how he had worked up an appetite, noting that he did have room for a chocolate treat.

We cannot thank our Cam-Fan crew enough for making the trek to cheer on this kid with a heart of gold blessed with family and friends who are truly priceless!

Camology Quotes:
Saturday was quite busy and it had definitely been a long week.  Each evening, Chris and Jane take turns reading to Cam.  It was Jane's turn and after finishing the story, she and Cam were chatting about the day's events, when suddenly...
"Mom, I don't mean to be mean, but could you please leave now.  I am tired."