I still can't believe summer is over! It went by so darn fast. I think I say the same thing every year, but this year it really did seem to fly by. I always have good intentions of doing fun and exciting things with the kiddos, but I will admit a lot of that didn't happen. It's just soooo hot here! It's hard to do a lot of things outside when it's 105 degrees. We did the usual things like museums, water parks, zoos and parks. I tried to keep Carter entertained the best I could. If we weren't doing something that day, he wasted no time in telling me how bored he was. It didn't matter that we just went to the zoo the day before, the kid had to be constantly entertained. By the time August came around, I was ready for him to go back to school just so he had something to do!
We always try to take a summer vacation every year and this time we went to California. We spent half the time in the southern part of the state and the rest up in San Francisco. As excited as I was about this trip, I was terrified of the plane ride there. I've always been scared of flying. It makes me sick to my stomach, and I usually end up crying on the plane. It's ugly. I really don't have an explanation for it. Having the kids was a nice distraction because I was constantly having to take care of them and it let me take my mind off my fears. I didn't cry, but I still felt sick. It was the first time for the boys to fly and I must say they did great. Carter only had issues during the descent which caused his ears to hurt. I thought I was Super Mom and that I had it all under control, but everything I tried didn't help. He cried for 30 minutes and all I could do was try to distract him. This has made him scared of planes now, and he says he's never flying again. Sigh.
We spent a lot of the time hanging out around Long Beach. We didn't want to pack our days full of something to do because we actually wanted it to be a relaxing vacation. Downtown Long Beach has a really great area by the bay and there's restaurants, shops, an aquarium, and a boardwalk that you can walk on to get to everything. The weather was lovely. It was in the 70's pretty much every day. The aquarium was one of the first things we did because a certain 5 year old insisted on it. Carter has a love for sharks, whales and fish. Camden enjoyed it, but I think he would have been happy no matter where we were.
We spent a couple of the evenings just hanging out on the boardwalk. We would eat dinner and then go for a walk. We checked out the cute little shops and tried on some fun hats. We also took a boat tour and I think that was one of Carter's favorite activities. He got so tickled seeing the sea lions lounging on the buoy.
We were only 30 minutes from Disneyland, so that was a must! This would be the first trip to a Disney park for the boys, and we were so excited for them. Camden loves everything Mickey Mouse and he was beyond excited to see Mickey in person! Carter was excited to ride all the rides, but we only made it on a few of them. I didn't realize how crowded it gets there! It was also their 60th anniversary, so it was even more crowded than usual. Camden was not a fan of the heat and even though we tried our hardest to keep him cool, it wasn't helping. He became very cranky toward the end of the day and we had to cut the visit a little short. Camden did love the rides though, and he would just laugh and smile the entire time.
We decided to do a hop-on and hop-off tour from Santa Monica to Hollywood. It was rainy that day, so we didn't get to do much. We did walk around a bit and saw the stars on the Walk of Fame, the hand prints and footprints at the Chinese Theater, and the Hollywood sign. The rain did not stop the tourists. The streets were packed, and after about an hour we were ready to go. We ran into Bumblebee and a Jedi Knight during our stroll!
We drove up to San Francisco for the second half of the trip. Richard and I had been there before with his older two boys, and we really loved it. I also have some good friends and Rockin' Moms that lived up that way, so we thought it would be fun to stay there for a few days. I'm disappointed in myself for not getting more pictures in San Francisco. I'm not the best picture taker. We spent a day hanging out at Pier 39 which was a lot of fun. There are street performers, restaurants, shops, sea lions, and much more. We also spent a day meeting up with some beautiful mamas and their littles!
I've known these Rockin' Moms for over 2 years now, but it was the first time I would get to meet them in person. I always feel so lucky when I get to hug them in real life! We were also able to have a mom's only dinner that evening and it was a great way to end the last evening of our trip!
The boys and I went to Austin the week after we got back from vacation to meet up with more Rockin' Moms and littles. There are so many of us that live in Texas and we were finally able to plan a meet up. Some families I have met before, and some it was the first time. It was fun to just hang out all weekend and visit. If it weren't for Camden, I would have never known all these amazing women. They have truly been a blessing to me!
School started this week and Carter is loving it! He's been counting down the days for a couple of weeks now. He's in Kindergarten this year and he is most excited about not having to take a nap. I was a bad mom and didn't take any pictures. By the time someone reminded me, I tried to snap one and it came out all blurry. I'm telling ya, I'm terrible about taking photos!
We have decided to take a break from doing Neurodevelopmental therapy with Camden. I wasn't committing the time I should have been, and it just got exhausting. I was really torn with the decision because I felt like he was doing really well on the program. They said we could pick right back up if or when we are ready. I didn't want to go back to ECI, so I decided to start private therapy. He will get physical, occupational and speech therapy every week. Even though we are still doing some type of therapy almost every day, it's not just me doing it. It's nice to have someone else there now to help. Once he turns 3 years old he can start PPCD (preschool program for children with disabilities.) We have already met with the coordinators and therapists just to see how things work. They will do an evaluation in a month to come up with an IEP (individualized education program.) This will tell us what Camden's needs are, the services he will receive and how his progress will be measured. I can't even wrap my brain around the fact that Camden can start school in November. They said he could ride the bus to and from school and that just blew my mind! He's still so tiny and I have a hard time being at ease with him on a bus. They do have an aide and proper seat restraints which is a little more comforting. The school is 25 minutes away. I get anxious just thinking about it. We could drive him, but then Carter would have to go to school 45 minutes early every day. I don't know what the right decision is. A few of our friends have already started this process and some of their kids ride the bus. They seem to do just fine, so maybe it's something that I need to get over. We have not decided for sure if Camden will go to PPCD. A part of me wants to try it and see how he does. I feel like he needs the social interaction and that maybe he would do good in a structured class setting. Homeschooling is always an option for us, and if we need to do it, we will. My ultimate goal is to have him in an inclusive classroom setting for kindergarten. I want him to be able to go to school with his brother. Carter is in a great school. It's a small school though, and they don't have special education classes. If Camden has to go to a separate school half an hour away for all of his school years, I will probably homeschool him. Again, our goal is to have him in school with his brother in an inclusive setting. I know we have a couple of years, but the next couple of years are so important in getting him ready.
Camden is still not walking and I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me. I don't shed tears over it, but it still gets to me. I know he will do it. I get that. But when? A few people have told me that they know of a child with Ds who didn't walk until they were 4. I can't imaging going another year waiting for him to walk! I'm glad he doesn't weigh much because carrying him around everywhere gets so tiring. He will walk pushing a walking toy. He will walk when holding my hand. So, I feel like it's close, but yet it seems like it's so far away. Sigh. He did start getting into a standing position on his own and he does it for longer periods of time now. He has taken one step, but that's it. I will continue to wait patiently.
I have thought about giving up on this blog. I can't seem to keep up with it, and when I try I always get distracted. I have decided to continue to share our lives with you and I hope I can be more consistent in keeping it updated frequently. Thanks for stopping by!