December in Baltimore (pt 1)

As far as I mum and I can collectively count, going back over blog posts, this was our 11th documented visit to JHH in 3 years. We’re almost certain that there are at least two trips we didn’t blog about.

This trip was intended as a pre-op/checkup.  On Monday the 8th, we dropped Chad and Kristina at a friend’s house, and then headed to Baltimore. It’s a seat numbing drive, but with a loaded Kindle, it went quicker.

The Children’s House had some marked improvements. These pictures are from Monday night, because I always make a tour of the house first thing to see what’s changed.  We got t-shirts and a schedule of that weeks events, as a bundle that the Children’s House is giving to families.Baltimore December 015

I wasn’t crazy about the partially completed mural on our wall, but whatever. Life would be boring if it was perfect, right?Baltimore December 017

And someone had organised the free pantries, which used to be a jumble of food.

Baltimore December 027

Not pictured is the new counter in the dining room, which means that the chafing dish racks and takeout containers can be conveniently stored.

Also not pictured is the new magnetic wall in the playroom.

The Christmas decorations were up, and the house has never felt “homier”. Seriously, sentiment aside, Thanksgiving and Christmas is the best time to have someone in the hospital. You’re so well taken care of. There were meals volunteered for every night of the week, and sometimes multiple family activities in one evening.  I wish people would be so thoughtful the other ten months of the year. Baltimore December 022

Gingerbread houses:

Baltimore December 025

Katya spent her evening–what was left of it– rocking peacefully.

Baltimore December 019

The next morning we had an appointment with Neurosurgery and plastics, floor five this time. I love this view.

Baltimore December 035

You know, it’s a strange thing, but ever since the time we were left to sit in the cubicle for over an hour and became a bit hysterical– uncontrollable laughter, mainly– we’ve never been made to wait very long at all.  I suppose it must have been very trying to be in the next room, delivering somber news to an anxious family, whilst we were making merry like the audience of Saturday Night Live.  

I got busted while taking pictures, so I don’t have any. Its not that taking pictures isn’t allowed, but I was embarrassed to be caught, and so stopped.  But Katya cooperated beautifully with the exam, and was alert and curious.  The Drs. say, among other things that she’s going to need some un-absorbed hardware taken out; but nothing is going to happen until she’s gained some more weight.

To further this end, we’ve started putting avocado in her sandwiches and encouraging her to increase her portion sizes. I just love fattening her up! I makes me feel like one of those stereotypical Italian mama’s, who beg you to take some more cream, and to have another slice of lasagna, and to do justice to their Grandmother’s doughnut recipe.

Baltimore December 040

Katya spent a productive and happy hour voluntarily organizing the donation chest.Baltimore December 044

And so went our evening.


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