12 pics, 22 days

It's been a bit.  And it's been mostly fun.  We finished off the school year with the annual Easter Seals boat regatta in Port Dalhousie.  We were graciously hosted by the Cooper family again - such a treat!

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Rachel and Janneke finished their school year a week after Em and Soph. We said goodbye to a super team of teachers for Rachel; they've been alongside her for two years.  In September, she is transitioning within the same school to a different team.  Janneke will continue with her same team from this past year.  If it isn't obvious: We love the Niagara Children's Centre School family.

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New this year: Babysitting highlights this summer at the Pot home include rides on the porch lifts.  
With popsicles, of course.

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And, most recently in these 22 days, we camped.  It was one of our best camping trips since trying to make this crazy type of holiday work with four kids and two wheelchairs and feed pumps. Just to be clear, the updates from previous summers of our camping trips were ones that tried to find the joy in the middle of the stress.  This trip was all good.  Seriously.

Despite torrential rains, strong winds, longer-than-planned hikes in the hills, bear scares, driving into Pennsylvania trying to find the campsite (which was in NY state), the week went well.  We all slept better than we ever had on holiday.  Hurray!

Christina camped with us again, and her help made it possible for us to hike with Em and Soph, sit and have coffee without feeling rushed, read by the campfire, and go on day trips with the whole family.  

A huge part of this past week's success was the new trailer.  Harv (Ralph's brother) and Carol purchased a trailer earlier this spring with the intention of not only enjoying for their family holidays, but they also wanted to find something that we could adapt easily for our family.  Ralph redesigned Emily's bed to make a double platform bed that allows us to care for the girls in the trailer without back issues, and this bed was inserted in place of the table and chairs that come with most trailers.  In short, the trailer was recreated to be Rachel and Janneke's bedroom on wheels.... a great scenario for camping in any weather.  Forever grateful for this new opportunity and excited for (not dreading!) future camping trips.

We camped in Allegany State Park, about two hours south of our home.  It is a beautiful park that we hope to visit again.  The park was recommended by neighbours and a nurse who thought it could work for our family, and they were right.  Next time, we hope to reserve one of the paved campsites. Though a paved campsite doesn't sound quite like camping, the sites are shaded and private, nestled in the hills of the park.  The paved part pales in comparison to the surrounding scenery.

(that's Soph's star jump off the pier)

Each day was an adventure, including the trip home with a new g-tube insertion in the parking lot of Tops Supermarket somewhere along the 219.  Janneke's g-tube wasn't working, so we needed to put a new one in.  Christina did great, and I look forward to hearing the reaction of her prof when she shares that in her nursing courses this fall.

The not-so-fun part of the last three weeks is trying to figure out what is causing Rachel pain.  I spent time at McMaster - three visits (not in-patient) in the week before we left for camping.  She had an antibiotic that seemed to bring relief, but now we are back to pain again.  Here's hoping for more help and answers this week.  My mom sensors tell me it's a persistent infection that needs a strong swift kick.  Argh.

So... the rest of the summer awaits.  And we are thrilled with the success (finally!) of camping.  In hopes that Rachel feels better soon, we look forward to more adventures.