8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: June 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vacation Part 1 - Face Painting

Last Saturday, the 7th, we headed out to Branson, Missouri for our first non-visit to family, family vacation since May of 2003, when Caleb was 15 months old. That vacation was when we first started seeing Caleb's rapid mood swings, which later his pediatrician would tell me was just him entering the terrible twos early.

This was a very much needed vacation and very long overdue. We had planned on going to Branson in March of 2007; however, three weeks before we were supposed to leave Caleb had to be hospitalized at the psychiatric hospital. He was in a very bad spot and he was not safe to himself or anyone else in the family. It turned out that one of his medicines apparently had stopped working and when they switched him to a different med, things were much better. With Caleb being in the hospital and not knowing what the next days, let alone few weeks, would entail, we made the decision to cancel our trip. We were able to cancel our reservations, without penalty because of the circumstances surrounding our need to cancel - they even refunded our reservation fee without question!

We were all very much looking forward to this vacation; however, Tony & I were also very nervous about how Caleb would do. Caleb needs routine and structure and as is normal, there is not a whole of lot of sturcture on vacation. We kept things very low key and hung out at our resort quite a bit. We made sure the kids had their naps every day.

Cassidy's foster sister, Margaret just graduated from high school and we invited her to come with us as her graduation present. It was fun having her with us. Cassidy and Caleb enjoyed spending so much time with Margaret. They would fight over who got to sit next to her. Cassidy did wonderfully the first few days. Then she started being extremely defiant, disrespectful, argumentative and the list goes on. It's very tiring!

Monday night the resort that we stayed at had a dinner and entertainment, which turned out to be a big infomercial for a lot of the shows that were in Branson. The food was very good. There was a clown there that was doing face painting. Cassidy wanted to go up and Caleb followed. With Caleb's sensory and anxiety issues, I was very surprised that he wanted something done. I went up as the clown was getting started and was in awe seeing Caleb sitting still letting a stranger hold his arm and paint on it.

Here is a picture of the clown working on Caleb's arm. I'm sorry it's not a better picture. Caleb asked her to do a purple dinosaur.

Cassidy wanted Spider Man. Margaret said that she kept changing her mind. First she wanted Spider Man and then she wanted a bunny and then she wanted a flower and finally went back to Spider Man. Here's a couple of pictures of Cassidy getting her face painted:

The resort had some prizes that they were giving away and we ended up winning a basket that contained two tickets to a show, a coffee mug, a disposable camera and a canvas bag.

Well, I think I'm going to go ahead and get this posted for tonight. I'm exhausted and need to get some sleep. I'll post more in the next few days, especially when I can get the pictures that Tony took!