Friday was Korban’s monthly infusion day. We had kind of been planning on this being a big day, because earlier in the year Brad bought some passes to a place called Treetop Family Fun Center off of his beloved Groupon. It’s a place with arcade type games, and mini bowling, Go-Karts, etc. We knew the kids would love it, and it was already paid for, but it was about to expire. Brad wanted to use it last month, but we didn’t get to, and we knew this was the last chance we’d have.
We had been trying for a while to see if we could stay at the Ronald McDonald House across from the hospital the night before his infusion so we wouldn’t have to get up so early to drive. Also, since Korban loves hotels so much we thought it might put him in a good mood for the infusion and maybe make that process easier. We hadn’t been able to work it out yet, so we just drove up early Friday morning. Korban was nervous but he waited until we got to the bathroom to throw up this time, bless him.
He still amazes me at how verbal he is getting, even when he is upset. When we were holding him down for the IV, he told me “Ow, Mom, that really hurts!” and then when they got it in on the second try he told me “The needle’s in!” Poor sweet boy.
Once we got that going, he settled down and drifted off to sleep, after his daddy taking him on a short wagon ride through the halls. He slept through pretty much the whole thing, and Selah watched TV and played. The nice volunteer lady painted her again. She asked for a dragon, and the lady looked a little surprised at this cute little girl asking for a dragon, but I explained that we had rented some episodes of the “How to Train Your Dragon” TV show from Redbox, and the kids had been watching it. So she told her she could pick the colors, and Selah picked purple, pink, and blue so it wound up being a girly dragon after all.
It usually takes from around 8:00-2:00, sometimes longer. And we get up before 4:00 a.m. to get ready and drive over, so it’s pretty exhausting. But we felt pretty good and were excited to go have some fun, so off we went to find the Treetop Family Fun Center. The kids were really excited about it, and we had quite a bit of arcade credits and attractions to use, which Brad said he paid $15.00 for back when he bought the Groupon. Not too shabby!
We stayed there for quite a while, and it was a blast. It was so hot outside, we opted to do mostly indoor attractions. Selah was looking forward to the bouncy houses, but it was so hot that they weren’t even blown up, which was probably a wise decision. We choose the bowling (indoors!) over the outdoor mini golf. We actually did several rounds of bowling. Korban loves to bowl, and Selah enjoys it too. The only thing we chose to do outside was the Go-Karts. We went to check those out for Korban, since he enjoyed the ones at Incredible Pizza so much when we were there a couple of months ago. He liked watching these for a distance, but refused to get on them because they were too loud. They really were pretty loud! Selah; however, jumped at the chance to ride fast in a car with her daddy and me and Korban cheered them on. I totally cracked up the first lap they made, because when they came flying around the curve, Brad was driving with on hand because Selah was clinging to his other arm for dear life. Her curls were blown straight back from her face, but I could tell from the look on her face she found it very exhilarating. After the first lap she wasn’t even holding on anymore. She wanted to ride again later, and she said she wanted Korban and Daddy to ride in a car together and me and her to ride in one. I declined, saying Korban didn’t want to ride and I don’t drive Go-Karts. “It’s okay, Mama!” she chirped, completely undeterred. “I’ll drive!” I’m sure she would’ve given it a go, but we were able to talk her into letting Daddy drive and her just be a passenger.
They had a big indoor playground that was free for ages 0-3, and it was really nice. Selah wouldn’t go in there by herself at first. Remember, my kids are used to me playing in these playgrounds with them! It cost us an attraction for Korban, but that wasn’t the reason I didn’t want him going in there. There were tons of kids playing in there when we first got there, and I was so afraid he would get in there and be aggressive towards some of the children without me being there to stop him. It’s always something to think about. After a while, the crowd cleared out some and Selah went in to play. She found a little boy about her age, and they had a lot of fun together. Korban kept asking to go in to play, and we finally agreed to let him. We swiped our game card to pay for the attraction, and I went in the first part of it with him. It was built like a giant tree house, with multiple levels. By this time, Selah and her little friend were the only other kids playing in it. Once we got in there, Korban wouldn’t do anything because he wanted me to go with him. He got upset because I couldn’t, even though I tried explaining that it was just for kids and not adults, but he started to scream and I put him in time-out on the backside of the treehouse. (Yes, I did.) After a while, the dad of Selah’s little buddy made him leave. (Maybe because we were scaring him, I'm not sure.) My kids were the only two left in there, and Selah was able to convince Korban to go up in the tree with her. But he sat down in one level to check it out, and she went on without him and then he wanted down and couldn’t figure out how to get down, so he was upset. I called to Selah and told her to go help him, but she couldn’t figure out how to get back to where he was at. I felt sorry for both of them, but it was really pretty funny, watching from the ground as both of my kids ran back and forth on totally different levels of this giant treehouse, calling for each other.
Korban was really starting to get upset after a while. I looked over at the attendant, and he was absorbed in a book, so up in the treehouse went this mama. I prayed as I climbed that I didn’t break anything. Meaning anything in the treehouse, but after I banged my head on one of the narrow passages I thought I might should maybe say a prayer for myself too. I was able to reunite both my children and they were both super excited that mom had finally come to play. There was this giant tube slide that they both wanted to go down, but refused to do without me. (Do they get together and plan this stuff? Seriously.)
There was a crawling tube to go through before the slide, and both the kiddos moved aside to let me go first. Of course, right? So I got on my hands and knees and started shuffling across. Midway through, the tube, which was positioned on an upward slant, started shifting rapidly into a downward slant. The thing was moving, and I totally though I had broken this playset and was about to crash out of it, probably right on top of the attendant. I might’ve shrieked and flailed around for a minute grabbing at anything that seemed stable, I’m not sure. I was busy watching my life flash before my eyes. Then I realized that the thing was made to tilt and that was just part of the fun. “See, Mama?” Selah called to me, as I lay prostrate on the platform. “That’s why I was scared to go across it.” Thanks for telling me that BEFORE I got in the middle of it, honey! Korban surprised me by scooting across it, and I have to say he handled it a lot better than I did. Selah was still nervous, but I was able to hold it steady so she could cross. Then we still had the slide to get down. I read somewhere that it isn’t safe to slide with kids in your lap. Something about their legs might get trapped between you and the slide and broken, so I try to avoid doing that. Usually we do a little train down the slide, and I have to go first, but this time Korban positioned himself at the beginning of the slide and looked back over his shoulder at us for reassurance. “Go for it!” I told him. “I’m right behind you.” I planned on going between the two kids, but Selah wrapped herself around me and wouldn’t let go. Then Korban had a last minute panic and refused to go. So I gave him a little nudge with my foot. (Not a kick, just a gentle push!) And then I pushed myself off with my little leech stuck to me. Now I’ve been on a lot of slides in my lifetime—probably more as a mom than during my own childhood—but I’ve never been on one quite like this. It was pitch black. I mean, I couldn’t see anything. We weren’t moving fast. I had my feet up to slow us, and apparently Korban did the same thing because he stayed right in front of us and we talked to each other. So we are slowly scooting blindly through this tube, and I can’t even tell which way we are going. It was pretty freaky. I was thinking in my head that this must be what the birthing process feels like from the babies’ perspective. If I’m right about that, no wonder babies come into the world screaming.
We popped out at the end, looking all crazy, with Brad standing there staring at us. If the attendant ever noticed that I was illegally playing in a children’s treehouse, he gave no indication of it. And somehow my children talked me into doing the whole thing over again. I really feel like I could get through a military grade obstacle course after all that, but we enjoyed ourselves.
We wound the kids down after that, and let them go pick out their treats with the tickets they had won. Korban loves inflatables and airplanes, and they happen to have an inflatable airplane so he was happy, happy, happy. Selah got several smaller items: some plastic animals, a toy seal lion, and a ring. Then we got them out the door.
As we were leaving Birmingham, we passed a Target and I remembered that I still had some money on a gift card from way back. I love love LOVE Target, so my sweet hubby pulled in and told me to go for it and he would sit in the car with the kids. So I got to run around Target on my own for a little bit (Brad said it was a long bit) but anyway, I enjoyed it!
When I got back in the van, Brad informed me that the clerk from the Ronald McDonald House called while I was in Target and apologized for not having in vacancies on Thursday night but said that we were welcome to stay that night, as they had a room open that no one needed. He jumped at the chance, since we were tired and three hours from home, and the kids were elated that we were going to a "hotel."
We headed on over to the Ronald McDonald House and went in to get registered. The clerk was a nice looking young man with long brown hair and a beard. He complimented Selah on her cool tattoo right away and that made her happy. A little later on Korban stared intently at the guy for several minutes and then asked him "Are you Jesus?" We all cracked up, and then the guy said "No buddy, not even close." I was thinking he looked sort of familiar.... I thought that was really sweet of Korban, and the guy was really nice too.
I don't know how much you guys know about Ronald McDonald Houses, and other places that minister in the same way to families of children with health concerns, but they are awesome. They even provide food. Different groups donate meals, and the houses have a kitchen area set up for the families to eat in. The Jesus clerk told us that they had feta chicken pasta, and there was plenty left, and to help ourselves because it was good. It was seriously awesome. Wish I had the recipe! Anyway, I just wanted to explain how grateful we were that we were able to stay there and how nice everyone was to us.
We let the kids play in the playroom and outside for a few minutes and then we called it a night. I was sure glad we weren't on the road and it was so nice to lay down! We had a good night's sleep and woke up feeling refreshed on Saturday. Saturday also turned into a rather adventurous day, but this post in plenty long already, so I'm just going to do some pics and let Saturday have it's own post.
This is Korban's absolute favorite arcade game. He calls it "the dog game" and the point is to push the lever and get as many balls as possible into the dogs mouth. Korban says the dog is hungry, and we need to feed it. At home he uses our ball pit balls and throws them onto the top shelf of my closet and says he's playing the dog game. Pretty clever, huh?
Here is Selah's pretty dragon. She was so proud of it!
Selah scored 12,000 on skee ball all by herself, which blew my mind!
Korban LOVES bowling!
Selah likes it too, and she made sure to only use the purple ball to bowl with. Drama bowling!
Korban also loves basketball, and I have to say, he's pretty good at it!
He also loves football. Daddy's boy!
He even talked me into letting him play the big basketball game. I didn't think he would even by able to get the ball over the barrier. Let's just say he surprised me!
This is Korban stranded in the giant treehouse.
This is Selah running around looking for Korban.
And here are the kids on separate levels of the treehouse, calling for each other.
This is me, preparing to go in. *Act nonchalant. Be cool, be cool.*
This is Korban in the shifting tunnel that nearly gave me an embolism. The picture quality isn't good, possibly because the tunnel was moving. Or because my hand was still shaking.
Selah and Daddy on the Go-Karts!
And this is what Selah did after getting off the Go-Kart, when I asked her how she liked it. Have I ever mentioned she tends to be just a little bit dramatic?
We took a break for Icees. Korban had blue and Selah had red, and she wanted to try her brother's. I had to post this because he doesn't share food very often and we thought it was sweet. Ha!
We had a really good day and I truly thank God for letting us make those sweet memories. I hate Korban has to have the infusions but I'm so, so thankful they help him be healthier and we are hoping that he remembers the fun stuff way more than the needles!