Friday morning I had the whole Sarah Hippert crew joined by Ali, Annabelle and Jack to help me with my morning routine. We got out of bed and went upstairs to the activity room for hand group. Hand group is usually held in the canary room, but every once and a while the activity planners get in on hand group and make it a little more fun. So, we went upstairs to the 9th floor and played pool for therapy. You wouldn't think that playing pool would be much work but holding the stick, leaning over for the shot, all of it really works all kinds of muscles throughout your body. To make the game fair Sarah or Ali, whomever I was playing at the time, also had to sit on a rolling computer chair. As we were playing Annabelle and Ali drew me some beautiful pictures with those awesome smelly markers we all love.
Once our hour was up we headed downstairs with stinky pictures in hand and went to my room for I had an hour break until exercise group at 11. Before group started in walked Wes Block one of my really good buddies from college. It was strange I remember meeting Wes and it was almost like love at first sight. Him and I hung out one or two times and felt like we knew each other forever. I said Wes you are just in time for exercise group! If you can make it through the whole class you would be the second person ever. Wes had just come out to CA to visit me the weekend before the wedding and was a real trooper since he was sporting a full leg cast for his broken ankle. We started pumping and pushing, rocking and rolling through exercise group. Sweat was flowing and the jokes were getting thrown around the room left and right, as usual. Turned out to be a great exercise group and somehow or another, both Kalli and Wes made it all the way through without breaks. So, that makes three people that have now made it. Sorry Guillermo your solo record didn't last too long.
After exercise group we headed into the canary room to all sit down for some lunch. Wes was also in town to watch the Brewers play the Cubs at Wriggly. So, he grabbed a little deodorant and ran to meet his family at the game.
After we all ate, my next class was PT group with Sally. Sally had several different wheelchair skills activities set up in the center area near the reception desk. We had the wheelie tree, orange cone obstacle course, wheelie ride up pad, and several boche balls and bean bags scattered throughout the floor to work your core practicing picking them up and throwing them into bean bag boards and buckets. We took turns practicing and working all of the activities, ending the session playing catch with a two and a half foot rubber ball and ten minutes of textbook wheelchair pushing doing laps around the outside of the 7th floor.
Once all of my therapies were done I began getting ready for Kalli and I had a really fun night planned ahead of us. We made reservations for a really cool hibachi restaurant about four blocks away. After the hibachi bar we went another five blocks to the lake to catch the Friday night fireworks show near Navy Pier. The hibachi restaurant turned out absolutely top notch. Fresh food, great entertainment and some nice company placed at our table with us. It turned out to be either lucky or quite a blessing for Kalli normally doesn't like the style of most hibachi restaurants but she loved everything here. I would recommend this place to anyone. After dinner our timing was absolutely impeccable for by the time we got to where we wanted to watch the fireworks from it wasn't more than 30 seconds and they started. I think they lit the fireworks about 10 minutes early because the whole way home people walking the opposite direction kept asking "are the fireworks already over?" "did we miss the show?" It turned out to be a perfect date night for Kalli and I which we have not had in a while.
Saturday morning I hopped out of bed for my nine o'clock hand group where I worked with my new putty and retrieved all 15 beans within the hour. While I pulled and prodded for bean after bean Michael and Ruth Schmelzer sat with Kalli, my mom and I for a nice visit. Schmelzers were passing through on their way to South Bend.
Again, we had a full day of fun planned for the rest of the day. We had four tickets to the Brewers Cubs game here in town. My dad arrived shortly after hands group just in time for an 11:30 cab to pick us up in front of RIC and bring us right to the stadium. This was the first handi cap accessible cab I had ever taken and it really worked out well for us. Once we got to the stadium we grabbed our tickets from will call and headed in to find their elevator which brought us right to our box seat wheelchair accessible tickets. They were directly behind home base and had a roof which was great because 80% of the game there was a gentle mist/light rain soaking the rest of the crowd. Wriggly field was really a neat baseball diamond with crazy extra seating on houses, bars, any building that was across the street from the outfield. There were huge bleachers sections built on top of the building. We took a bunch of pictures and it was really neat. A crazy coincidence occurred when I sat down. Sitting next to me was a guy who grew up in Appleton and Kimberly Wisconsin his whole life and had basically the same injury as me four years prior. He instantly shared many of his experiences involved with his accident. We exchanged information and Tim invited me to check out his home and converted vehicle next time I was in Appleton.
After the game we headed home to take a quick nap and then go out to dinner, the four of us, my mom, dad, Kalli and I to celebrate the 4th of July. Oh yeah by the way Cubbies got smoked, Brewers 11, Cubs 2. We headed over to The Cheesecake Factory about 6 blocks away. The food was absolutely delicious and I think all four of us thoroughly enjoyed our plates. We finished the night off sharing a delicious piece of raspberry cheesecake and headed home to go to bed.
After two days in a row of go go action and lots of fun and celebration of the 4th of July weekend, I was ready for a relaxing Sunday. I slept in until about 8 and didn't get out of bed until about 10:30. Once I did get out of bed the four of us went upstairs to the 12th floor where they have a mock kitchen and a big table. My dad and I went over all my insurance bills and some of the donation information in which was all being forwarded to him. After we got everything squared away and handed over to me we decided to go downstairs to eat some lunch and play some cards.
We played Euchre which surprisingly was the first time since I have been here and we ended up tying 8 to 8 because my dad had to hit the road in order to catch his train home. We said our goodbyes with hugs and prayers and then I headed to bed for another nap. After feeling guilty for just laying around all day I transferred back into my chair and we went and hung out in the canary room where we ate dinner and chatted for a bit.
Over dinner we decided it was time to play some more cards but first we needed to do something active to get rid of some of the soreness I was experiencing in my arms and body due to just laying around. So we pulled the bean bags out of my backpack and my mom, our friend Joey, Kalli and I made a diamond in the center area and we simply played catch, throwing the bean bags all over the place. After getting a little workout in it was time to get another game of Tricks in. Joey and my mom got into some serious crashing slumps but Kalli ended up pulling it all together and winning. She claims it was her first win ever and we were all really excited for her.
By the time we were done it was past 8 o'clock and it was time to head to bed and start my nightly routine. What a wonderful weekend with great food, fireworks, a dynamite baseball game and wonderful friends and family. It was really kind of nice just having my mom and dad and Kalli and I able to spend some quality time together. A much different fourth of July for all four of us than we have had in many years. After the long weekend I am excited to get a good nights rest and wake up refreshed and ready to pound out some new goals in the coming week.