Last night before we got checked into our hotel I went to Target to print some pics off of my camera for Eli. I made him a little scrapbook of pics that he could keep with him and look at whenever he wanted. I even decorated it with stickers, and he had fun playing with the leftover stickers. He made a treasure map, and he looked so cute in his bugs jammies that I snapped a few photos...
We watched an episode of "How It's Made" and learned about how wallpaper is made, and then it was time to hit the sack. Overall the mood was good, and he was in good spirits. He would say occasionally that he didn't want to go, but it wasn't anything that got him too worked up, which was comforting to me. I told him that this place will help us figure out how to keep him from having to go back to the hospital he was at in DC, so that helped him be more positive about this all.
So this morning we drove out to Meridell, and my first impression was a good one. The buildings are actually cabins and are set off of the road, at the end of a long driveway. There is a country feel to the place, and it seemed more like the setting of a summer camp than medical facility. That alone was a relief. It was LIVABLE. It was PEACEFUL. It was HOMEY.
We went to the main admissions building, and were greeted by friendly people. There was a huge train on a track at the top of the room which Eli was mesmerized by, and they gladly turned it on for him. They also had Thomas the Train tracks and trains, which he played with on their huge throw rug in the front. He stayed there a large part of the morning while I met with doctors, nurses, therapists, psychiatrists...you name it, I met with them...and they were all wonderful. Very caring, attentive, professional, and most importantly, wonderful with Eli. The way they spoke with him and treated him...it was wonderful. We broke for lunch at noon and we ate at the cafeteria. I was blown away. The cafeteria is in a cabin with exposed beams in the ceiling, and they had black, metal animal statues of country/wilderness animals all over the place...deer, wolves, cattle, rabbits...The decor is rustic, and the food was wonderful. Everyone was SO very nice. We went back at 12:30 for more meetings, and then we were able to go to Eli's cabin/building and get him settled. We unpacked his things and set up his toys...I stayed with Eli and we had a tour of the playground, therapy rooms, etc, and then when it was time for me to leave, I walked with Eli and the nurse to his classroom at school, where he is now enrolled in a fully accredited Kindergarten class. He is really excited about learning, so he is thrilled with that part of it.
We did find out that he can have his own comforter/rugs/decor, so I went shopping this evening at IKEA, Target, and Marshalls to get him some things to make his room more "warm" and cozy. It's a small thing, but I think it will make a big difference. At least it does to me...knowing that he has some of his favorite things with him. I did take a couple of pictures of his room. I couldn't take a lot of pics because they don't like people taking them for obvious reasons...but there was no staff with us in his room so I snuck my camera out...This is BEFORE his room makeover lol.
So that brings us to right now...it is 11:26 pm, and I am about to shut this computer off and hit the hay. I am going back out to take the things I bought Eli at 10:30 in the morning and I'll get his room set up, then he gets out of school at 11 for lunch, and I'll eat lunch with him and then head back to my parents house in OK. It looks like I will be down here Thursday-Saturday each week, unless I can't make it or are in DC, then we will do remote family sessions via phonecalls.
So that's it...I'm beat and I'm turning the lights out and going to bed...Night night all...