It’s been a long time — too long — since we’ve been able to visit my aunt. We were glad to come up and unwind.

Treetop kitchen

Since Namine was little, we’ve referred to the area of the kitchen which looks out over the lake as “Namine’s treetop spa.” It’s the area where, when she was tiny, we did her trach cares and bathed her. She was so tiny then, she fit into a small bucket.

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The perfect height for pouring her own cereal.

Now that Namine is six — seven in July — my aunt has turned that corner of the kitchen into something a little more suitable. She’s installed a counter at the perfect height for Namine in her wheelchair. Since she loves to help make the meals, now she has a place to do so: Namine’s treetop kitchen.

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Also the perfect height for scrubbing potatoes for a salad.

Her own sink

Along the same vein of accessibility, my aunt also installed a sink next to the bathroom. It is, in fact, quite similar to the one we have at home. One addition my aunt made that we cannot, though, is the towel rack on the wall. (We’re not allowed to drill into the walls in our apartment.)

Making stuff

Whenever we visit my aunt’s house, Namine and I like to build something with the Lincoln Logs. It’s one of those things from my childhood that I can share with her. I consider myself fortunate that she enjoys it, too.

Namine and I usually make just whatever comes to mind, but this time she wanted to build what was on the directions sheet. It was a hotel — so the sign said — so we built a hotel.

Namine didn’t just oversee, either. Even though the directions didn’t provide any words, she discerned the differences between each step and both instructed and helped to add pieces.

After we finished building, I gave Namine the satisfaction of destroying our creation.

We also built a castle for Namine out of giant blocks. This was the product of several times’ assembling, disassembling, and assembling again. It used to be that she could hardly lift a single block, but they pose no problem now.

Switching over to a bit of arts and crafts, I had cut a section of cardboard out for a crown for Namine. Jessica helped punch holes in said crown, and Namine threaded beads through for decorating it with jewels.

As a finishing touch, Namine took a red marker and drew what I thought was a ruby on the front. She corrected me on this, pointing out that it was, in fact, a heart. Beautiful!

Shortly after posing for this picture, Namine insisted that we disassemble the castle in order to build her a throne. I don’t trust that maniacal laugh.