Cloud 9 Little Heroes

Since Cloud 9 opened, I’ve had the privilege of meeting some amazing kids. There are kids that come in to play that have so much to work through, whether it’s medical conditions, special needs, or family struggles. Often times the kids have no idea how hard they really have it and are still the happiest kids around. However, their parents do know how hard they have it, and work so hard to make life easier on their little ones. I want to be able to honor these little heroes and their parents by recognizing them and give them a little support by letting them play for free for a month.*

This is Koda - Scroll down to read just a bit about his story!

This is Koda - Scroll down to read just a bit about his story!

So - if you know a child who is overcoming odds, pressing on through a tough medical journey, through hard family circumstances, etc - nominate them here to be our Little Hero of the Month! Little Heroes of the Month will receive a 1 Month Pass to Cloud 9, some special photos of themselves and their primary caregiver(s) while at Cloud 9, and have a blog post detailing them, their journey, and any ways they may need help so that the community can support them. It is my hope to bring awareness about some of the struggles that kids and their families are facing, and be able to connect parents going through similar journeys as a result.

Little Heroes of the Month must be children 6 years old and younger - as those are the ideal ages for our Play Space.

Pictured above is Koda Kramer. If you’ve followed Cloud 9 for awhile, you probably recognize him! He has been coming to play for about 5 months now, and he’s one of the inspirations behind this Little Heroes program. He is diagnosed with Lateral Meningocele Syndrome and is just as SWEET as can be. Here’s a bit of his story, as told by his mom, Tayler.

He was in NICU for 93 days. He eats 100% through G Tube. Hearing abnormalities. Braces for loose joints, he has the starting of scoliosis (13 degree curve as of last week) hydronephrosis of his kidneys, he had a PDA and PFO coil put in his heart for holes that didn’t close. He’s had multiple hernia surgeries, jaw distraction, tubes, muscle biopsy, he has low tone, dysphasia which cases him to have trouble when he does try to eat(very seldom) but we are working on it. He gets speech PT and OT every week, he uses a posterior walker to help him with his gate and balance to try to learn to walk. He is learning sign which he is actually doing great with, still not much vocalization but baby steps. We are getting him hearing aides soon to hopefully help with speech. He has hydrocephalus, so he is monitored with neurosurgeon and neurologist. He major part that is unknown is his back... the Menegeoceles expand with time and they aren’t sure exactly how to treat them with best results 3 of the older kiddos or adults are wheel chair bound now how we are hoping medical science advances and they find some way to prevent that, we just have to pray about that one and hope they find something that helps relieve the pressure on his spine and nerves. He has a chiari malformation as well in his brain that might need decompressed soon but no way to know when until he shows symptoms. He gets breathing treatments 4x a day and vest treatments to help with his lungs... he has chronic atelectasis of his lungs from being on high pressure for so long and then Intubated. Positive pressure for extended times is not good for their lungs but at the time its what he needed to keep him with us. He is the happiest little guy ever loving so friendly and personable. Couldn’t have asked for a better little guy to make our hearts whole.

*Little Heroes of the Month must be 6 years old or younger. 1 child will be chosen per month. The child’s parents must approve the child being submitted, and will be contacted if the child is chosen. All participants must sign a waiver before playing at Cloud 9. The Month Play Pass is valid for one month from issue date and includes the Little Hero and up to two siblings under the age of 6. Cloud 9 reserves the right to chose whichever child we see fit and will not be able to choose each child nominated, though all will be deserving. Please call or email with any questions.

Abbey Kline
Christmas PJ Party & Gingerbread Workshop

Last Saturday we had what we hope to be our annual Christmas PJ Party and Gingerbread Workshop! It was SO much fun to see all of the kids in their Christmas jammies creating gingerbread houses and playing with their parents and friends. My friend Laurel from Hickory Creek Lane was in charge of our gingerbread decorating stations, and they were fabulous!! The kids loved them! Here are a few of my favorite photos from the night. Thank you to all who came out! We still have spots open for our next event which is Tuesday Dec. 11 from 6-8 PM! Contact us for more details.

Abbey Kline
The Story Behind Cloud 9

Hey guys and welcome to the blog! I wanted to share the story behind the Playspace for those who may not know it yet!

So this is my family - my husband Lance, and our little guys Simon (almost 6) and Theo (almost 3) - Yes, their names are Simon and Theodore, and no, we don’t have any strong feelings for Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Since Simon was born, I’ve been primarily a stay at home mom, though I do wedding photography on the weekends. I loved it, but at the same time also had a hard time keeping up with my highly social kids who LOVE activities, crafts, going places, and everything in between. I was constantly looking for places to take them to kill a few hours during the day. We definitely have a few good options around us, but I had the idea one day for a different kind of place. I thought that maybe I could create a place that was designed more for the parents than for the kids. I think our culture these days can sometimes make parents feel like every waking moment of their lives has to be centered around their kids, or they aren’t doing things right. I wanted to create a space that encouraged parents to actually relax a bit. They’re still there primarily so that the child can play, learn, and explore, but why shouldn’t the parents get a bit of time to themselves at the same time? That’s where the idea started, and it’s been evolving ever since. They say every invention starts with a need - and well, this is what I felt I needed at that time in my life!

My husband is extremely encouraging of me and my dreams. It took no time at all of me pitching my idea to him for him agree to let us go for it. I had the idea on February 4, 2018. By May, we had the keys to our space. That started the crazy and amazing process of getting permits, contractors, lawyers, insurance, and many, many hours surfing the web for the best and most unique toys and play experiences I could find. I seriously loved it.

We’ve been open for about 3 months now and it has been SO much fun to share this idea of ours with the community. Sometimes people get it right away. Sometimes people need a little (or a lot) of explaining when they ask “What exactly ARE you?” :) But overall, I’ve seen my vision come to life in real families’ lives and it’s been the best feeling. Sometimes parents come in and play with their kids the whole time and love every minute of it. That’s so awesome!! Giving the children new and exciting toys in a space outside of the home where the parent can fully focus on the kid is also what we want to be if that’s what a parent needs on that day. Sometimes the parents come in with a book, project, or something else to get done and the kid just plays, and I smile inside as I know what it feels like to get one minute of undisturbed “me” time during the day. Many times moms will come with friends and their kids and the moms actually get to TALK to each other while the kids play. This is a huge victory for me, as I know how badly you need to maintain those relationships for your sanity as a parent.

We’ve got lots of different ideas and plans for the future of Cloud 9, but overall we hope to continue to be a spot where parents can come with their kids and actually enjoy their time as much as the child does. Parents are people too, after all.

Abbey KlineComment