Sunday, June 9, 2013

Gracie Goes to the Children's Hospital (and Trader Joe's)

I took Gracie to a Children's Hospital last week to get a little bump removed from the inside of her mouth.

Our family doctor could have taken it off, but suggested we go to the Children's Hospital in order to keep all of Gracie's doctoring experiences at our usual place positive. 

Oh.my.goodness!  I was amazed by the Children's Hospital!  It was so beautiful and cheerful and happy and positive. 

I mean, they had free valet parking, so that in and of itself was a great start to our experience!  Plus, the valet guy was so nice.

The lobby was bright and fun and reminded me of a children's museum.  Granted, I haven't been to a children's museum since I was, well, a child, but that was the feel of the place!

We headed up to get Gracie registered.


The registration people were wonderful!

Plus, there was a big, blue cow, which makes registering more fun :)


We waited for all of about 45 seconds before we got called to our exam room, so Gracie hardly got any time to play with the magnet table...which is fine, of course :)


The nurse who checked us in and weighed Gracie was great!

And check out that exam table!


I love that she could see a reflection of herself!

They had little stairs to climb to get on the top.  She was so proud to be able to get up by herself.


And was very happy to hang out up there.


She even humored her mommy and posed for a picture with me!


Gracie is so adorable!

She got down from the exam table to check out the chalkboard.


We did a little writing and drawing together, and she said she wrote, "welcome."


Such a friendly little greeter!

The pediatric dermatologist and nurse (they were wonderful...are you picking up on a theme here :)) came in to check Gracie out and had a Child Life Specialist come in while they got their instruments/tools ready.

The Child Life Specialist came in with a bag full of toys, which Gracie loved!  Once the doctor was ready, Gracie climbed up onto the truck exam table.  The Child Life Specialist, nurse, doctor, and I all crowded around her.  

Gracie did an amazing job!  Surely it helped that the Child Life Specialist held an iPad above Gracie's head so she could watch Elmo!

Gracie started crying when they gave her the numbing shot (and cried the whole time), but she never kicked or squirmed or tried to move her head out of the nurse's hands or tried to push them away.  The doctor cauterized the wound in her mouth which was a bit much for me, but I managed to keep it together.

As quickly as they started, they were finished!  I don't think the whole thing took more than a couple of minutes.  

The medical peeps kept saying what a "phenomenal" job Gracie did and how great she was!  

She even got a teddy bear as a prize for being such a big girl!

After everyone left the room, Gracie just sat on the table and leaned her head into me.  I held her like that for as long as she let me and cried a little.  It was a little emotionally taxing.

Naturally, Gracie bounced back and she gladly left the room and took a look outside.


She's holding on to the bear they gave her and is still looking a little sad.

She had a more subdued visit with the blue cow, which she insisted was a moose.


We ended up back in the lobby by this amazing statue.


Gracie played with her bronze buddies while a retired woman played some beautiful music on a grand piano, and I felt like I was in a movie. 


We eventually made our way back to the valet station where the worker gushed about how pretty and sweet Gracie is.

As I got lost on my way to Trader Joe's, I called Aaron to update him on how everything went.

I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for how great the morning was.  I really feel like God met us in something that could have been more difficult.  Literally every person we encountered couldn't have been more wonderful.  Gracie did an amazing job and bounced right back.  I didn't start sobbing like a crazy person (always a plus).

More than anything, though, I was profoundly grateful that this beautiful Children's Hospital is not a regular part of my life.  It hit me the moment we walked in that the reason it is so cheerful and clean and fun and pretty is because they want to add whatever joy than can to a situation that may be daunting or scary or even tragic.  The employees are wonderful because tired, weary, overwhelmed parents need someone to show them bits of grace and hope even in the mundane-ness of registering or getting their vehicle back.  

My heart was so full of thankfulness and an awareness of God's grace to us when it comes to the health of our daughters.

We really appreciate all of you who prayed for our morning; God certainly answered those prayers above and beyond what we could have hoped for!

Plus, we even got a chance to stop at Aldi's cool cousin's store, Trader Joe's.

Gracie was really interested in the make your own guacamole box, which we didn't end up getting.


She really enjoyed their upbeat music and was dancing in the aisles...


...like a cute little kid (not an out of control one, fyi :)).  I love that picture; it's so her :)

The cashier guy even gave her a bunch of stickers.  Such a nice little gift to finish off our morning!

And, yes, I impulse bought some sunflowers (which you might remember from the post about the before and after of our kitchen).


So, yeah, that's what's been going on in our life lately!

I'm linking up with Blair at Wild and Precious!

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