Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We had a great trip, but it's always good to get home. 8 days in a hotel room with the kids - it's kinda tight quarters and we only had a few small toys so we were all a bit bonkers and ready to get back to normal life - well, as close to 'normal' as life ever gets for us, anyway.

Let's see, we spent 4 days at the MIND Institute. I feel like I answered a million questions at least. We had lots of parent interviews by various people. The kids and I all had IQ testing and medical histories taken among other things. Oh we also had blood draws - yikes. Mine was easy, but Lindsey was so pitiful, and Justin had to be strapped to a board - his was the worst, but he recovered much quicker than Lindsey, who I'm afraid still holds a grudge.

Lindsey also did a research study related to anxiety and Justin had speech and OT evaluations. We got lots of suggestions for med changes and IEP changes from Dr Hagerman, so we'll start working through those soon. I feel like I learned a lot, and really enjoyed meeting everyone there at MIND. We met another family from Birmingham with an adorable little 20 month old boy, who I got to keep an eye on for a while while his parents were in parent interviews. We also met a family from Dallas with 3 boys, who were staying at our same hotel, so we saw them a lot also. Everybody we met was very nice and it was just good to talk to people who totally understand.

Oh, we got pictures of the kids with Louise Gane(genetic counselor) and all of us with Dr Hagerman.
We spent Friday taking a day trip to San Francisco. None of us had ever been there before, but Justin can only take so much in a day, so it was a whirlwind tour. It was a gorgeous, sunny windy, cool day - maybe 65-70 degrees, which was amazing after being in Sac all week with temps over 100. The Bay Bridge was closed so we drove south and crossed over the San Mateo Bridge. We went to Hyde and Lombard and saw a cable car and walked down the steps a bit there(this is that really famous curvy road in SF) took lots of pics and then drove down it - twice.

We went to the Fisherman's Wharf area and walked around Ghirardelli Square, had lunch there at Lori's diner outside overlooking the bay.

We walked down along the street a bit and down to the little beach area right there. Then we came back and had hot fudge sundae's from Ghirardelli's. Justin got a toy cable car and I got a cable car Christmas ornament. We left and drove through Chinatown, and then across the Golden Gate Bridge. We stopped on the far side at a scenic overlook and took lots more pics and then walked partway back across the bridge. It was very windy up there, but the kids loved it.
Then we drove back to Sac and collapsed for the night. If we had it to do over again, we would have left our hotel in Sac and stayed closer to SF for Fri and Sat nights as the weather was so much better and there was lots to see and do there. As it was, we went Saturday to Old Sac - they were having Gold Rush Days, and it was really great - felt like we were back in an old Western movie, but miserably hot, so we all were done after only a few hours there. We did take the train ride. Justin got a cowboy hat, Lindsey got a t-shirt, they both loved the pony rides.

Justin wasn't too crazy about the cannon they kept firing. Oh and after we left, we drove to Rancho Cordova just to see a different part of town and we went to an In'N'Out Burger - don't have those back home - it was yummy!

The flights were the hardest part. Bhm to Dallas (90 min) Dallas to Sac (3 1/2 hrs), and then Sac to Houston(almost 4 hrs) and Houston to Bhm(90 min). Justin insisted on squealing, fussing, and kicking the seat in front of him and on our 2 longest flights the person in front of him was not understanding at all. The dvd player held his attention for maybe 5 minutes, so the flights were beyond draining. J and I did get bulkhead seats for our first short flight, but that was the only one.