Vacationing in Lakeside 2015 - Part Two
I know Nathaniel's private duty nurses and therapists are watching the blog for information how he is doing on the trip. My first Lakeside post was read and shared far more than I expected, but I doubt it gave Nathaniel's people back home the nitty-gritty details they want. Here you go, Team Nathaniel. This one is for you.
Nathaniel's week in four words: He is doing great.
He traveled well. He seemed to enjoy the hotel experience on our way to Ohio. His older brother taught him how to jump on beds. He slept in a full size bed at the hotel and is sleeping in a twin at the cottage. I think going back to his crib at home is going to be a challenge. He's a big boy now.
We take three to four walks to the lakefront every day. Rich, Nathaniel, and I go alone during his breakfast g-tube feed. While out, we grab Patio donuts for those still sleeping. We either go back and have breakfast with the older kids or to the Uncle's cottage to hang out. Some mornings after breakfast, we have gone back to the lakefront to throw rocks. We bought the last strawberry-rhubarb pie at the Tuesday Farmer's Market. We have spent time with friends from my high school and college days. We have enjoyed the quiet mornings together.
One way from our cottage to the lake is about 1,500 steps for me. Nathaniel has walked the distance himself at least once a day. Some days have been rainy; Nathaniel has discovered puddles. We named a big one The Little Lake Erie for Non-Swimmers. He wanted to sit down in it.
After Nathaniel's nap we head out and about again. We have enjoyed the playground a few times and the splash pool. Older siblings and cousins come and go in our day. We connect with them for a bit to play and catch up between their own activities of swimming, reading, art classes, paddle board rentals, and riding bikes.
The whole family gathers at one cottage for dinner and then most evenings we walk to the dock again for the sunset. There has been numerous time lapse photo set ups. Card games help with the waiting. Uncle Clint takes awesome photos of us; his camera causes people to stop and ask if he can be hired for their family. We are spoiled with his skill and generosity. Some evenings we get Toft's ice cream before we stop by Hoover Auditorium to listen to the program for a bit. Check out VoicePlay. They have been our favorite performers so far. Nathaniel's bedtime has been vacation late; after ten o'clock most nights. That's when the older cousins gather at the Uncle's or our cottage for a movie. Back to the Future films have been popular this week.
It has been a beautiful week. It has been a full week. Between all the activities, we have managed to still fit in three breathing treatments, Nathaniel's medications, and feeds. We have remembered to tape his hand most days. We take his talker and model some; we have enjoyed his minimal but timely, communication appropriate, and often funny use of his words. It is nice to fit all of his care around life rather than those things being the focus of life. The awareness of a potential accident at any point does not leave. We are constantly working the moment to make sure that Nathaniel is being watched, that we know where the airway bag is located, and that we have a charged suction machine. Rich and I are both a bit sleep deprived as we have shared the night responsibility while also enjoying long days with the family. All of this is worth being a little tired. Our older children have been very supportive to fill in our gaps, assist with their little brother, and help with meals.
Friday morning one car load heads back to real life. The older boys have to be at work Saturday. I wish they could stay longer. I wish we all could stay longer. I suspect that is the mark of a good vacation. God has been abundantly good in keeping Nathaniel (all of us) healthy and safe so far. We know many have been praying for this week for Nathaniel and our family. Thank you. We have felt the blessing of your faithfulness. God is good.