Thursday, July 21, 2011

4th of July weekend!

Friday, after dropping Tyler off for his last day of boyscout camp, Jason and I drove to Jackson to go to the safari for the first time of the season. Jason loved the animals of course.

After the safari we went to Hurricane Harbor for the first time of the season. Jason was very leery to do anything, spending a lot of time looking a the water with a look of discontent. Poor baby. He eventually did get in and splash around a little, but next time I'll save myself the drive and just walk to the lake! Thank goodness for season passes. The day didnt' cost us anything, except gas.

Friday evening we dealt with a really stupid parking situation to attend closing ceremonies for boyscout camp. Thank goodness I at least had Subway dinner to entertain me.

That evening I decided to join Jeanne and Scott and their boys for a late-night swim. Glad i did because for one, we got to see mommy and baby duck up close. And, most importantly, Tyler learned to jump into the deep end. Those of you who know me well know what a struggle I've had with Tyler and swimming. It's been very, very slow progress. But he had asked to jump off the dock where he couldn't reach with his pool noodle, and did so for a while. Decided to take advantage of Jeanne and Scott being there to keep an eye on Jason while I went over and essentially bribed Tyler to try to jump in without the noodle. Well, finally, success. He spent the next hour or so jumping off the dock, swimming a short distance to the ladder, and doing it all over again. So, that lead me to the third benefit of a late night swim...tired boys who went to bed easily!

On Saturday Tyler (and Jason) had a party at Pump it Up to attend for his friend Adele. It was a superhero-themed party and all the guests got little capes. So cute. Tyler had a blast playing with all his friends and Jason did his slide routine. He finally deviated for a minute and come over to bounce on a little toy, fell backwards and hit his head. Needed some ice, but was okay. So now if you ask him about Pump it Up he only recalls that he hit his head. We seem to have a theme going on of head injuries at all places. Sigh. But the boys did have a great time and I have to say the cake was quite yummy!

As you can see, little superhero Jason was worn out. Fell asleep on the way from Pump it Up to Bob's house.

After Jason's little car nap we left for Bob's friends house, who conveniently lives adjacent to the local school where the 4th of July fireworks were to be set off. They had a nice BBQ and the Tyler kept busy with swimming in the pool (now that Tyler is a little fish!). They of course stuffed their faces, caught fireflies, and had just a good time. When it came time for the fireworks Jason had a total meltdown, apparently now petrified of fireworks. What was an impressively long fireworks display for spectators (24 minutes) was horrendously long for me, locked up inside with a screaming shaking child. Thank goodness we were at someone's house and not just on the field with our lawnchairs! It was nice though to be able to dodge the crazy crowds who had made their way to the school to see the fireworks. Front row seats without having to fight for them!

On Saturday it was a hot day and we spent some time at The Discovery Museum, followed by a trip to Friendly's.

On Monday, 4th of July itself, we went to a cook-out at Bob's friend Jeff's house. While Jason kept busy with blowing bubbles Tyler got a chance to go out on the boat with Jeff, Bob, and Jeff's nieces.

After our BBQ we went back to Bob's house for a little slip-n-slide play and roasting marshmallows...until Jason freaked out when neighbors set off some fireworks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

fifth (and final) week of June

On Monday we got up bright and early to get ready for boyscout camp. I was a volunteer helper for the day, with Jason in tow. I arrived and made sure Tyler and his friends Zachary and Connor got to their groups before Jason and I set off for the "tot lot" where he'd be hanging out and I'd be helping. I won't get into the details, but it was pretty poorly planned and made for a long, long day. Very frustrating. I'm glad Tyler had a good time, but I was very happy when the time had come for us to go home!

Tyler enjoyed another day at boyscout camp. This photo courtesy of Pam who was there helping out.

Meanwhile Jason and I enjoyed some lake time together, while he munched on the blueberries they had picked last week.

Thursday night we relaxed with a little evening swim.

With that, June comes to an end...

Friday, July 15, 2011

fourth week of June

On Monday I made arrangements for my grandparents to watch Jason for a couple of hours (for the first time ever) so I could attend Tyler's end-of-the-year party which I had helped to plan/organize. The kids had a blast with making visors, playing a pin-the-scoop-on-the-ice-cream game, and making a scrapbook for their teachers (my station) and then were surprised with a visit from Mister Softee for some ice cream! I was so glad I was able to be there with Tyler! And Jason did great at my grandparents house. There were supposedly only 2 things that they never could figure out what he was trying to say. He had a blast. Didn't' even pay any attention to me when i came in!

After karate, an evening bike ride and trip to the lake.

That evening, after the boys were in bed and my parents returned from Katy's 8th grade graduation, I met Beth and Dana at Ollie Gator's pub. It was nice to get out for a bit. And I got loaded fries (fries with melted cheese and bacon) which is yummy and dangerous!

On Tuesday we rode our bikes to school together for the last day of school, the last time I'd see him as a first grader!

After a short morning of speech and make-up OT Tyler returned from his final (half day) at school, now a proud second grader (with an awesome report card to prove it).

After Tyler got home from school he and my parents left for their long-awaited overnight trip to Atlantic City together. Jason and I had a less-glamorous task of sitting at Monroe while they changed my oil. Good times.

After our "date" at Monroe Jason and I got to enjoy some rare evening quality time together. We blew bubbles, went for a walk, looked for ducks, picked "flowers", played basketball, etc.

Meanwhile it appears that Tyler very much enjoyed his quality time with his grandparents!

On Wednesday I had tickets to bring 2 friends for free to Great Adventure, so as soon as my mom came home with Tyler we packed up to go for the day. We brought along Beth and Mackenzie (and Olivia who is still young enough to be free). We knew the forecast was very iffy, but figured we'd take our chances. Even if we only managed to fit in a few things we figured it would be worth it. Well we managed to do quite a bit and it wasn't too terribly crowded (probably due to the forecast) and we put in a decent amount of time before we heard that rumble of thunder. Managed to make it back to the car and into the restaurant for dinner just before the rain hit. A nice day! But poor Jason, too short (by less than an inch) for some of the rides that even Olivia could go on, so I had to sit out with him for a few. And he was tall enough for the log flume but the experience totally traumatized him (that's the picture with he and I where it looks like he's seen a ghost).But all in all, a good first day of summer vacation!

On Thursday we had our long awaited (9 months!!) appointment with the developmental pediatrician team at CHOP for Jason. I again had to make arrangements for someone to watch Tyler, this time my grandparents (who had just watched Jason just 2 days prior...big week for them!). My dad and I brought Jason to the appointment. It ended up being way more involved than I expected, over 3 hours in duration. In the end they ended up diagnosing him with "developmental delay" and "sensory modulation dysfunction". They absolutely do not think he's autistic but they do however feel he might benefit from seeing a genetic counselor. So, they advised that we run that by his neurologist. The recommended continued OT and ST services as well as another PT evaluation (which we just had). We don't need to see the developmental pediatrician for another 6 months.

That afternoon, not long after picking Tyler up from his grandparents, I had to ask my friend Beth to watch the boys while I went to my gynecologist appointment that I had previously cancelled 2 times. I rarely leave the boys with anyone and yet managed to do so 3 separate times in one week!

On Friday Beth had invited the boys and myself to join them at the Camden Aquarium. She had been informed that it was a special event and that Dora would be there to meet the kids. So we ate lunch outside and then saw some things before we got in line to meet Dora (which Jason loved). Afterwards we had tickets to the Dora&Diego 4D movie (a 3D movie with added effects like the chairs moving, water spraying, etc). Jason refused to wear his glasses but did okay until the water sprayed him (lightly) out of nowhere. Thank goodness it was a short movie, cause he wanted nothing to do with it! We saw the rest of the aquarium, which was nice, but the day just seemed to drag on and on. LOL.

Since it was in fact the longest day in history, Beth and I both agreed that there was no way we could bring the kids home and survive until bedtime. So we stopped for lunch at Friendly's. We then debated going to the playground, and then it started raining, but we waited it out a few minutes and then let the kids play on the wet playground in the blazing hot humidity. At least we were all tired out by bedtime (us moreso than the kids of course)!

On Saturday, after a quick trip to the farmer's market and rare weekend karate session, the boys and I went to Great Adventure. David Cook (from American Idol season 7 winner) was performing. I must say, I was shocked that there was such a low audience level in attendance, especially considering the concert was free with paid admission to the park (or in our case, with our season passes). But the boys enjoyed the atmosphere and I guess the music. From there we went over to see the animal section. The bear is really growing! And the seals are so cool how they come right to the edge of the tank. And from there it was off to the little water section. Tyler of course got started immediately with the slide and water fountains and such. Jason was much more leery but eventually made his way into the area. He had a great time...that was until he slipped and fell on some algea-like coating on the wet flooring and hit his head on the ground. It seemed as if everyone stopped and stared at us, many offering to get me help, etc. We made our way to the first aid station where we eventually determined he was okay (I'm definity more cautious now after this whole neurology/neurosurgery saga). After an ice pack, incident report, and freeze pops for both boys we got on our way back home.

We did stop to grab a bit to eat at the McDonald's outside of the park, because Jason was seeming to fall asleep and I wanted to make sure he was okay before I let him do that. So we went over to the outlets and I finally managed to find a pair of shoes for Jason that are a little more summery than sneakers (he can't walk in sandals and even his crocs are too narrow on his chubbo feet). Thank goodness for StrideRite!

After a lazy sunday morning the boys enjoyed lunch on the porch.

We then left for "check-in" at Tyler's boy scout camp he'd be attending. Had a little drama during the swim test portion. They were expected to jump in the deep end and swim the length of the dock. Tyler jumped in, came up for air, but apparently looked so traumatized (which he was) that they put in the pole for him to grab and get out of the water. He was devastated. Maybe next year. But he got his camp shirts and bag and was a "happy camper" (I crack myself up).

Sunday evening we had a birthday party to attend for Tyler's friend Ava. It was a party at her house, which was very impressive. Great set-up with their pool and patios. Great food, adorable popcorn-themed cake, large inflatable movie screen for a movie, etc. They kids had a blast playing in the pool (Tyler was way more confident in the rafts and such than he was with swimming, but he did enjoy himeself). They did sand art (even Jason did), a pinata, etc. We ended up having to leave before the movie started (it was already after 8...had been there since 4 or 5) but both boys had a blast!

I was under the impression that summer was supposed to be more relaxing than the school year????