Going Back to Chicago – Again

Well, close enough. We were actually headed to an area about 90 minutes outside of Chicago. This is the part of the trip I haven’t been looking forward too – because I know by the end of it, mini-man is going into surgery, I know, rationally, that it’s not major surgery, its just his teeth, but I think its engrained within every mom to worry about their kids when they’re in the hospital.

Before the kids woke up, Damon ran out to get himself a video game unit that he found on LetGo. We all woke up before he got back, but the boys were, surprisingly, okay with that.

Since our final destination, Elgin, Illinois, was too far from St. Louis to drive in one trip, we decided to stop halfway, Utica, Illinois. After our quick trip, we found ourselves in a very beautiful campsite surrounded by nature and very quiet.

The one downfall was the lack of cell service. But, this gave is the chance to try out our new cell phone booster. And, I’ve gotta say, it worked. I went from one bar to three, could surf the internet, and even download a few movies if I put my device right next to the booster.

Our only day there, we’d planned to do some errands but one kid fell asleep and the other wanted lunch, so I stayed behind while the other two went out. Of course, the other child fell asleep just moments before McDonald’s. They managed to get some shopping done once he woke up, but it meant that it took a little longer than we anticipated.

Completed the trip to Elgin the next day. What should’ve been a 90 minute trip became 2.5 hours, thanks to Damon’s RV GPS, which take you on the easier route – not the fastest. It wasn’t until we were almost done that we realized the error.

I was worried about this campsite, as its first-come, first-serve. Once we arrived, it was obvious that we had out pick of spots. I’m thrilled we got in – it’s close to a lot of amenities, including the place where mini-man is having his dental surgery. Once we settled on, we decided to hit some thrift stores. No big scores, but nice to get out.

After chilling out at home the next morning, we headed out for some more fun. First, we hit up a nearby playground and spent hours playing with the boys. It was amazing to see them having so much fun.

After a quick lunch, we did hit up a new thrift store and we scored big – got some Halloween costumes, a Bluetooth radio for Damon, some play sand for mini-man, some Elmo DVDs, roller skates, and some other nic-nacs. I love finding so much great stuff at a thrift store.

Now, this is our third time visiting this area, and – I still hate the traffic. Even out here, 2 hours away from Chicago, the traffic can be horrendous. At least there’s lots of side streets to maneuver around some of it, but it’s still not fun. It’s should never take 30 minutes to go a mile.

So the day we’d been waiting for had arrived – mini-mans surgery. We’d packed a lot the night before, so we were able to get the boys in the car fairly quickly. We arrived about an hour before the surgery. Mini-man didn’t like waiting but calmed down once we were taken into the pediatric waiting room.

The nurse gave him some medicine to make him groggy. This made it much easier to get him onto the bed. However, he’s still mini-man. When they started to wheel him away, he tried to get up despite being so tired. We gave him an iPad to watch Elmo while the doctors gave him the anesthesia – which they said helped immensely.

Once he got settled, Damon took little-dude out to shop and explore, which left me at the surgery center by myself. It wasn’t too bad. I thought the wait would be hard, but I had my iPad to play games and watch movies; the nurses came in every so often to give me snacks and say everything was going well.

Damon came back with little-dude when he fell asleep and went to get us some lunch. Just as he got back, mini-man was done. The dentist told us that it went well and they got everything done. Once they got started, they realized that mini-mans two front teeth were badly damaged. He thinks mini-man hit his mouth at some point and severely damaged his teeth. Unfortunately, they couldn’t be saved and if we’d left the teeth alone, we could’ve done damage to his adult teeth. At least we caught it when we did and he’ll just have no two front teeth for a while.

The next part was the hardest part – when they wheeled him in. He was crying and very upset. The doctors said this was a normal reaction to coming out of anesthesia- but still not easy to handle. The nurses placed him in my lap to help calm him down. Unfortunately, they did a really bad job of that – his IV got wrapped around him and they kept tugging at it to unwrap him. Then they decided to take it out, so they started, then stopped, then moved it. I couldn’t believe that they were doing it so fast and not realizing that they were hurting him.

Once they left, mini-man cuddled into me and calmed down. Then he got Elmo and became much happier. It had only been a few minutes, but the nurses were already kicking us out. I understand that they want to go home, but my three year old is just waking up – give me a few minutes. The staff that handled the surgery seemed to be trained with kids and were amazing with mini-man. The nurses that helped at the end seemed to not care at all and just wanted to go home.

The doctor recommended that we stay home and just have mini-man rest for the day, then resume normal activity the next day. However, mini-man is just like me and doesn’t like to be in bed when I’m sick. He wanted to jump and play and got very frustrated when he couldn’t do just that.

Thankfully, it was just as the doctor predicted and he was back to his normal self the next day. To celebrate how amazing his did, we took the boys back to the Randall Oaks Zoo. We visited this zoo the last time we were here and the boys loved it. This time, we tried feeding the animals. The boys were hesitant at first but soon got into it – mini-man even lost his cup to one of the goats!

Then we tried something just for mini-man – a pony ride. We hoped that he’d be ok with it since he’d seen a lot of videos of kids riding horses. He did great – he got on and had a lot of fun. It started to rain after the ride, we we took the boys home.

Our final day, we spent the morning kind of relaxing around the RV – playing and trying to get the boys to nap. That evening, we sped to Walmart for supplies for our drive the next day – it was six hours and there was no way we’d make it without food. The boys were great and even helped get the items we needed.

Once we got home, they continued to be so good that I got to cook! I’d been in the mood for Mexican food but since I’m trying to eat better, stayed away from it. Then I found a quesadilla recipe that was low in calories that I wanted to try. It turned out great! Even Damon and Little-dude liked it.

Then, surprisingly, the boys went to bed early. Which was great for our six hour drive to Detroit.

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