Ok. We made it.
The flights were all good.
Melb - Sydney was no problem, that is a quick flight.
Sydney - LA was long. Almost 13 hours. Tova was amazing. She ate, watched movies and slept. She didn't sleep much, at about 9.30pm Melbourne time she passed out on 2.5 chairs (we had 3 to ourselves). She slept for 5 hours.
When we first got on the plane the girl that was assigned the seat next to Tova took one look at where she was going to sit and looked horrified.. YAY!! haha. That was my plan. I was hoping that would happens so they would ask to be moved and we would get the three seats to ourselves.. and she did and we did.. It was great. She was all "oh no, but I want to sleep for this entire flight, I have to sleep for this entire flight... ".. haha. I said "oh yes, you don't want to sit here then".. I didn't want to tell her that Tova is non verbal, therefore QUIET.. haha. see ya lady!
We made friends with the 2 men in the seats in front of us. They were on their way to a crazy American road trip, and are quite possibly on the same plane home with us. I hope so, they were lovely. It would be fun to compare notes about our experiences over the 5 weeks. Josh and Cameron! Hi guys! I hope you are recovering well from the jet lag. I think Tova and I should be recovered by tomorrow. I hope.
I also slept little bits on the plane.. I think. My memory is a bit hazy now. We ate stuff, and shared the food we wouldn't eat with Cameron and Josh. It was almost like having Yuval and Nissim with me.. :-)
The flight attendants weren't very nice. Well, sometimes some of them were. It was a bit confusing actually. There were a couple of older flight attendants that looked like they were completely over working and that the flight was long and they were tired at the beginning of the flight. I heard one snap rudely at a passenger right at the start, even before we took off. I was thankful she wasn't on our isle.. But they wouldn't let me put the Growth Hormone anywhere cold. That was very disappointing. I don't know if it is damaged now. The cold packs were completely defrosted by the time we got to Toronto, but it was still coldish in the cold bag. I think the pressure in the plane made some leak. The bag is a bit wet (could be from the ice packs too), but also smells like that hormone. Yuk. AND when I gave Tova her injection last night, I had to do 6 clicks of air.. so perhaps 6 days worth of hormone leaked? I don't know.. well I am still going to give it to her. I just hope that it isn't damaged. It was such a big decision to even give it to her in the first place. I don't think there will be any left to keep cold on the flight home, so I may not have to worry about that.
So, I am pretty unhappy with the flight about that.
We got off at LA. We had to collect all our bags and pass through customs. That was a bunch of lines and waiting. But we had fast track cards because we were connecting flights, so we were in the quick lines.. they were still very slow. Tova did well. Nothing much happened, I was asked a bunch of standard questions, got finger prints scanned and photo taken. We check our bags back in and went on our way to find our next flight. We had to go back through security checks to get to our next gate. A security person noticed me with the pram (my pram was given to me almost the second I got off the plane, NICE!) and ushered me off to a special very short line (that still took ages). I was looking all worried and probably quite horrendous by that stage, the people in the line behind me were lovely and told me I had heaps of time and didn't need to worry. That was nice.
I took my shoes off, which also felt nice, as everyone else had theirs off and eventually Tova and I went through the security scanner. I think it is full body xray in U.S. Anyway, we went through uneventfully and found our way with help from everyone we asked to our Gate. Near our gate there was a charging booth. So Tova and I sat next to that and she watched her pooh Dvd for an hour.
The DVD player only lasted for a few hours on the flight from Sydney. It was the only thing Tova really wanted to watch. The movies that I had purchased on Itunes the other day and set up on the ipads didn't actually load onto the ipads, so they couldn't be watched. It was very stressful! That is something I have to fix up for the flight home.
LA-Huston Texas. Another flight. I was pretty fragile by then. Tova not so much. I don't understand, she was amazing for the flight to LA (except just before she passed out at 930pm on the plane, she cried then, but she was just tired). Then she was amazing in transit, amazing on this next flight. No fussing, no crying. She was a little annoyed she couldn't want her DVD player, but really, she was just so angelic.
The lady sitting next to us asked me where we were going and all that, and when she asked me if I had any other children, I almost burst into tears. I was so fragile. When I asked her for her story, she told me she was going to her best friends funeral.. Fabulous. We were the pity party seats at the back of the plane and we had a laugh about that.. That flight was pretty quick, I think 3 hours. I'm not sure.
When we landed we had to find our next plane. The staff were NOT helpful. I walked off wondering where the f I had to go. I found a board with the flights and gates. I found where we had to be, but had no idea how to get there.
I asked someone that looked like staff walking along near me. WHAT A LOVELY GUY! He re read the boards for me, to ensure I was correct, told me I had to catch a train and noticed my freaked out look. He took my bag ( we had no pram this time so I was carrying Tova) and took me to the train, he got on the train with me and walked me right up to the front of the gate.. I then realised that in America people tip.. omg, I had no money.. I hope he knows how much I appreciated his help.
Texas-Toronto. Teeny tiny plane. I think it was a 40 seater. Tova was again amazing. No fussing about anything other than the fact that I couldn't let her watch the DVD player. We made friends with the guy in the seats on the other side of the isle. He was good to talk to. Tova liked watching me talk to him too. So that was entertaining for a while. At one stage I looked over and the Tova as asleep. So cute. She slept for about an hour. The flight attendants on this plane were lovely. Perhaps because it was such a small plane.
We arrived in Canada. I was pretty emotional by now. Tova not, she was happy and cute. I thought that I could burst into tears at any stage. I am not even sure why. I was very tired and worried that I have made the wrong decision about going to Canada and spending so much money and missing the boys.. My beautiful boys.
Customs here in Canada was a little bit more eventful. I had collected all our bags and walked up to the customs dude. He asked me the normal questions and then asked me what I was doing in Canada for 5 weeks. I said "holiday".
Customs "where are you staying"
Me "near picton, I don't know the address...."
Customs "Who with?"
Me "Kevin someone, omg I can't remember his last name".
customs looking very surprised and physically jumped "What?"
Me "the place is called Ability camp".
Customs "do you have a letter from your husband saying you can bring your child into Canada?"
Me: "what the... a what? No, but I have her birth certificate, my marriage certificate and a letter from the camp"
Customs "you do understand why I am asking you right?"
Oh my goodness, I looked like one of those people on the TV shows about border security. It was pretty funny and not so funny at the same time. In the end the customs guy was really lovely and helpful. He did have a few odd things to say about children with special needs, but only had good intentions.. so all good.
We made our way with all our bags out into the freezing cold air and waited for the shuttle bus to the hotel. It arrived after about 15 mins and took us to the hotel. We slept. I slept very badly because I was sharing the bed with Tova and even though she is small, she seems to take up the entire bed. I will attach a photo of how she was sleeping, which shows how much room I had next to her. So, we went to bed at about 1.30am Toronto time. I woke up to my alarm at about 9am. I ate chocolate to give me a sugar rush. Tova wouldn't wake up. Even with the tv on, music on and curtains open so the room was light, she was just totally out. I had to wake her at 10.50 so we could get downstairs and meet our ride at 11am.
We were picked up at 11am by a friend of the Camp. He drove us via Walmart to the Camp. It took something like 3 hours. Walmart was like Kmart, but had a food section. No free range eggs, no free range meats. BUT $17kg fresh Salmon. I got $22 worth. YUMMMMM.. I don't think much of food from Walmart, so I will try and find a better shop next week when we need more food.
Apparently there is a farm down the road from this camp that sells farm fresh eggs, so we will buy them.
Last night Tova went to bed at 7.30 and went to sleep almost straight away, in my bed. I went to bed at 10ish and would have slept through perhaps if a Tova didn't wake me at mid night. She couldn't sleep, we got up, I fed her a banana and gave her a drink. Then I set up the portacot and put her in it. I listened to her cry for a while then I guess we both fell asleep. UM, we woke at mid day!
When we arrived yesterday, we were the only ones here. Everyone has arrived now. There are going to be something like 5 other families and 3 adults. The adults are in different sessions and only one is staying here, the others will come for their sessions and then go where ever it is they live or are staying. The adult that is staying here is lovely! She is with her mum, they are both lovely. Nice to talk to and friendly.
Tova has made friends with a little boy and his big brother. The big brother is great, he is about 12 years old and really polite. Tova likes them both. The little brother is here for therapy too.
So, I haven't met everyone yet. All the other families have been here before, one even 5 times. I need to win the lotto if we are going to have to keep coming back.
Sessions start for Tova tomorrow at 8.30am. I have to join in with her for the day tomorrow. I am not sure how I will cope with that. 5 more hours of Tova and Ima time. I hate therapy, I really find it boring and I struggle. But then for the rest of the time she is with them for 5 hours a day 5 days a week! woohoo. .
Tonight is going to be interesting. We have only been awake for 7 or so hours. So even though it is bed time, it isn't. Maybe I will put Tova to bed at 8.30 and see what happens.
It is so confusing. At least there is the baby jail to put her in so I don't get crawled all over during the night, and she doesn't fall off the bed.
That is that for now.
Oh, two things I forgot to mention. First when we woke up in Toronto the first morning, it was snowing! Not impressed! The second thing that is quite astounding is that on the way to the camp the guy driving us stopped for coffee. I got a coffee for me and wholemeal carrot muffin for Tova. The cost of those two things together was...... $2.60. Amazingly good! So, if we were actually staying somewhere close to shops, Tova and I would be living off Coffee and muffins.. Lucky we aren't. The coffee isn't very good, Tom or Tim something is the name of the cafe chain.. not that I know anything much about coffee..