Sunday, April 28, 2019

Bring on Baseball - Week of Apr. 22nd

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other. ~Walter Elliot 

With recovery comes challenges and Cam has faced quite a few.  His pain is still noticeable but lessening every day.  We know it will get easier and for this we are grateful.
When Friday arrived, we decided it was time to take Cam out for a celebration.  Well, that task proved a bit more daunting that we expected...first stop at 5:45p was Buddy's, a new restaurant we all wanted to try.  Jane ran in to secure a reservation and the response was a one hour!  We drove a bit further to a favorite Mexican restaurant, El Arrieo's and the parking lot looked noticeably empty for a Friday eve- sign on the door indicated power was out...but, our final attempt was successful!  Texas Roadhouse was a 5-minute wait to be seated and Cam declared they had the best warm yeast rolls and cinnamon butter he had ever tasted!
It's a good thing we had a hearty dinner on Friday because Saturday was going to be quite busy indeed.  Opening day for West Michigan Miracle League was upon us.  Cam's spring team for 2019: the Cleveland Indians.  His 5-game schedule:
April 27@ 11:15 a.m. – Yankees v Indians
May 4 (Picture Day)@ 10:00 a.m. – Indians v Orioles 
May 11@ 11:15 a.m. – Diamondbacks v Indians
May 18@ 10:00 a.m. – Royals v Indians
June 1@ 11:15 a.m. – Cubs v Indians

It was pretty chilly for the first game, but the rain held off and the kids were excited to be back on the field.  Even with Cam in his recovery power chair, he is still able to use the cool batter box and drive around the bases.  The helpers from the Zeeland H.S. Boys Baseball team were on deck to assist.

We arrived home for lunch and then promptly got ready for our next event in downtown Grand Rapids.  Kaylee, Cam's Saturday night sitter, invited him to her GVSU ceremony to accept her Master's in Special Education.  Thankfully, Kaylee's parents saved seats for us so Cam had a great view and lots of room.

Because the master's degrees are announced before the undergraduates, we heard Kaylee's name called within the first hour and the look on Cam's face is shown to the right.  The festivities lasted almost two hours and Cam asked shortly after he heard Kaylee's name "why does she have to stay for the rest?  She already has her degree!"  Hmmm, we think many others may feel the same way. Afterwards, we gathered outside and waited to give congratulations.

Upon arrival home, it was obvious Cam had been pondering something.  His most pertinent question:  "Miss Kaylee graduated from Grand Valley, so why did they have the ceremony at The Van Andel Arena?!  That is not a University!"

Camology Quotes:

On Sunday, Chris and his son continued their home automation projects, resetting the ceiling fan in the bedroom to be able to ask Amazon's Alexa to turn it on and off.  Cam has become very adept at announcements and typically we will hear: "Alexa Announce: Mom and Dad, please come here because I need your help please."
Cam does have a tendency to announce run-on sentences and after so many seconds, he is unfortunately, cut off...without any apology from Alexa:)

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Hip Surgery, Round Two - Week of Apr. 15th

Pre-surgery outfit/styling
in new Phillies shirt from
the Schulze fam
Cam's new hardware after surgery
"Light at the End of the Tunnel: to be near the end of a difficult task."

The origin of this expression is unclear. Some sources say the idiom is first attested in the early 1900s. Others put it in the 1800s. Regardless, the idiom should call to mind a dark and dangerous tunnel. When one can see the light at the end of the tunnel, one knows how to get out, and that the end of the ordeal is almost there. The light symbolizes hope. 
It is possible that the U.S. President John F. Kennedy helped to popularize this expression when he used it in a speech about the Vietnam War.

We certainly felt like we were closer to that light as we began our week knowing surgery was around the corner.  After a very difficult night of sleep on Tuesday, we were hopeful our son would finally feel relief following his recovery.
Ms Patti comforts Cam
Chocolate-covered strawberries
& brownie pops from FTCH
On Wednesday, we arrived at the hospital with a new book from Auntie Leslie and an Amazon gift card from Auntie Karen.
Cam knows the drill of not having anything to eat the morning of a procedure.  His surgery was scheduled for 12:30pm and didn't actually start until after 1pm.  He was in recovery around 4p and then assigned a room on the fifth floor.  Eating was slow, but we were all thankful he didn't experience nausea.
Ms. Patti stopped in first, bringing a sweet frozen Frosty treat from Wendy's.  Cam was still quite sleepy and didn't even remember her being there.

Auntie Jo popped in to treat us to dinner in the hospital and visit with Cam.  Cousin Mike also surprised us with a hello to check in.

Helen DeVos Children's hospital provided the best care.  Aside from the restless sleep for vital checks and meds, it was a fairly good night.  We avoided a second night in the hospital since Cam was doing well.  He was released around 4pm on Thursday.  Cam's next 6 weeks involve recovery with a foam pillow that is velcro'd around each leg to provide stability for healing.  It remains in place 24 hours a day.  He will use an extra power chair that is bigger so healing will not be an issue.
We arrived home to find Oma already waiting.  Oma brought us two delicious baskets of fresh fruit and kept her grandson company.  We were grateful for her loving help.

Dinner was provided compliments of Aunt Betsy and Uncle Jon through a GR friend and we feasted on Cam's favorites- grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and fresh rolls- absolutely delicious and much appreciated.
Molly K and Cam
Saturday brought more visitors and more meals.  Auntie Jo and Will showed up after Will's soccer game (they won!) as well as a feast of a cheesy ranch spaghetti, chicken bacon casserole, deviled eggs, homemade cookies and a delectable fruit tray from Edible Arrangements- wow!

Later that same day, our sweet friend Molly K drove up with a homemade pasta meal, pumpkin blueberry muffins and cadbury eggs.
Easter Sunday, Oma and Opa came in from up north to spend the afternoon and night with us.  Oma and Cam colored eggs and we dined outside on our patio table for the first time this spring!  Steaks for the adults and a hot dog for Cam along with all the fixings made for a delicious Sunday dinner.  Oma made a chocolate mousse pie that tasted heavenly with Culver's frozen custard.
Amidst all of the activity, Cam was pretty worn out by Sunday evening.  The cards and gifts from well-wishers kept pouring in from cousins, friends and family.
Jane told Cam she responded to almost 20 text messages the day of his surgery from folks checking in.  As a family, when we're challenged with an obstacle, we always feel uplifted being surrounded by love and hope.
Important reminders from one of Jane's favorite authors, Kahlil Gibran:
"The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention."
"Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."

Camology Quotes:

Cam has been blessed since preschool with thoughtful teachers, true friends, and committed teams of individuals pushing for kindness and advocacy.  This video was created by Ms. Konkle and sent on Friday. "I cannot believe they did this.  It makes me feel so special!"

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Up in the Air - Week of Apr. 8th

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo 

No truer words resonate more than with Michiganders.
With the grass beginning to show its green hue, yard work was on the agenda for the boys.

The breeze picked up on Saturday and with the blustery wind it was time to break out the kite.  It lifted so high so quickly, we almost lost sight of it!  Cam liked driving a bit with his kite connected to his chair and seeing it almost dance in the air.
The beautiful blue sky and puffy clouds put us all in such a good mood. 

It is thought that the earliest use of kites was among the Chinese, approximately 2,800 years ago. The kite was said to be the invention of the famous 5th century BC Chinese philosophers Mozi and Lu Ban. By 549 AD, paper kites were being flown — in that year a paper kite was used as a message for a rescue mission.

On Sunday, though, our blue skies and sunshine seemed like a lifetime ago.  In the early afternoon, the white stuff started coming down and didn't stop or let up at all.

It was an indoor project day and Chris fished around in the attic while online with Cam via technology so he could see his dad's movements above him.

We enjoyed dinner with our Raisch friends and it was a tough go even getting up the driveway with the slushy snow making it difficult.

We all thought that quite possibly it may have been the latest snowfall Grand Rapids, Michigan had seen.  We were quite mistaken when we looked up the information online.  It turns out that both Grand Rapids and Lansing, Michigan have seen snow 10 times in May.
Back in 1923, Grand Rapids endured 5.5 inches of snow on May 9th!

Camology Quotes:

Cam loves working with his dad on any project.  Apparently, some are more exciting than others...
When the pair had strung Cat 6 cable from one end of the house to the other to test out connectivity, Jane was sitting in the living room and the boys were working in the hallway.
Isn't this fun? said Chris.  
"Yes, Dad."  (Chris proceeds to walk down the hallway)
"Mom, can I tell you a secret?"  
"Sure, Cam" said Jane.
"This isn't very fun."

Sunday, April 7, 2019

A Break and some Spring - Week of Apr. 1st

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"... "It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...” ~ Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

As spring attempts to emerge, we've still experienced some very cold nights.  Our next door neighbor's tree looked frozen in time from rain that fell the previous day.

We were so fortunate that Miss Amanda was happy to spend spring break with Cam.  Since she was house-sitting and dog-sitting, daily visits to Roxie were on the agenda.  The dog is a big fan of Cam's and loves to jump in the van and get right up close to him.
A new experience for them both was taking a walk together.  Amanda expertly attached Roxie's leash to Cam's chair and the pair strolled along the road.

We were excited to welcome Oma, Cam's cousin (Jane's niece), Steffanie and her son, James during the week.  James had an appointment in Grand Rapids and they were spending the night with us.  With the sun shining, they all ventured out for a stroll down our street as Cam led the way.
Even Cam noted how sweet his baby cousin was.
We all took a trek in the van to run some errands.  Cam kept a close eye on James for the duration.
Back at home, James, his great grandma and Cam had fun hanging out together.  And Jane found her great nephew's smile irresistible.

Amanda and Cam baked a tasty treat almost daily and the house smelled like sweet deliciousness all week long.
One might think by the time the weekend rolled around, we'd had enough chocolate, but we thought we'd sneak in one more delight.

Saturday mid-morning we began our family outing to Country Dairy, located in New Era, Michigan.  Oma and Opa met us there for lunch.  Everyone thinks the bottomless milk refills are the best, especially since they have the tastiest chocolate milk around.  The ice cream options are endless and some of us opted for the newest flavor, Peanut Udder Bliss.  It was so good, we decided to take home a half gallon.
Before heading back to Grand Rapids, we stopped at the cottage to see if there was any ice left on Lake Michigan.
The last remaining chunks appeared stranded on the sandbar.  We surprised Oma and Opa with a new refurbished laptop that Cam proudly helped set up.
Always quick to provide technology tips, he's even become an expert in troubleshooting techniques as well echoing a familiar phrase his dad uses, "Have you re-booted it yet?"

Camology Quotes:

We know Cam has a pretty good memory.  However, when he recently saw a bone specialist who talked about taking multivitamins, our son was all over it.  We spotted a bottle in the cupboard and just maybe they were a wee bit old.  Because Cam was insistent on taking them, we didn't share the date noted on the bottom of the container.  That evening, though, he took Jane off guard and asked where they were.  Without thinking things through she indicated that the bottle expired and had been thrown away.  
"I had these this morning and they were expired?!  I need to get some new ones."
Needless to say, mother and son headed to grab new multivitamins right after dinner :)