Since last Friday Ella and I have been staying at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. It is by far, the coolest hospital I've ever seen.
The foyer has flying whales.
Every floor has some sort of animal theme, and even the elevators have fun little buttons that kids can push to make sounds (not that I've tried every single button just to see how cool it is. I'm just, um, assuming they make cool sounds).
There is a beautiful kids play room with books, toys, and an area especially for babies with plush carpeting and baby toys. A hospital staff member even came and took Ella to the play room for me so I could have an hour to myself (although it wasn't really to myself because I had meetings with doctors and nurses the whole time, but still, it was a really nice thought that perhaps I could have had some time to myself.)
On the twelfth floor there's a small room where I can do laundry for free. This has come in handy as Ella has had Niagra Vomits twice, along with the general messy detritus that goes with being a baby.
Getting to the laundry room I have to walk past the Creepy Room of Faces. (Play the video only if there are no small children or bunnies nearby lest you scare them.)
Even the playful fire dogs have a manic gleam in their eyes.
As I usually do laundry at night when the floor is deserted, it is especially creepy. In my head I hear discordant violin music and a narrator saying "don't go into the basement, don't go into the basement . . ."
Our room is quite large with a private bathroom and has a lot of natural light with a beautiful view of the city.
(My parents brought me a hibiscus plant, isn't that sweet?)
Hospital rooms aren't known for their sleeping comforts. The couch isn't terrible, but it's certainly not what I'd call "cushy". Thankfully there is a curtain I can pull across that gives me a bit of privacy at night (which is especially nice as the doctors come in at the indecent hour of 7 every morning for a consultation with me).
Ella especially likes going to the play room where she can see the other kids. She really misses her brothers and sister.
The staff here are fabulous. Everyone has been so kind, and Ella seems to be known by everyone. When the doctors or nurses come in for the first time, they always say something like, "Oh you ARE as cute as they said!"
So, even though we're not here under happy circumstances, I couldn't have wished for a better place to be.