Monday, August 4, 2014

3 Little Words.........

Do you remember the first time your child told you,
"I love you?"
I do.
I remember where I was and what I was doing the first time Samuel turned to me and told me those 3 little words.
It was long after most children utter those words.
Every day I told Samuel that I loved him.
It wasn't just these 3 words that failed to come from Sam's mouth, but words of any kind.......silence.
Samuel had been on schedule with words.
Mum, Mum, Mum.
Dad, Dad, Dad.
Ball, drink, hot, cold.
Then, gradually, they went away.
Occasionally, he would still say a word or two.
But.......tears, anger and frustration would often occur when our sweet little boy tried to make his needs known.
 With the help of wonderful therapists and teachers.....the words started to come.
With good friends bending down and telling Samuel, "Hello," week after week....the words started to come.
Telling Samuel every day, "I love you".....the words started to come.
The day that Samuel told me, "I love you," I cried.
Sometimes I still do when he tells me.
Samuel tells me nearly every day that he loves baby Tristan very much.
It isn't all sunshine and roses however.
Along with all the words that a mother loves to hear, there are many that I don't!!
Now Samuel can express his feelings more, there is less frustration.  Less meltdowns.
There are a lot of bad jokes that are hilarious to an 8-year old.
There is joy.
This has all been on my mind since Sunday.
Samuel asked a friend at church how come they were so tall.
The reply was, "Because I eat all my vegetables."
Later on that day, I heard Samuel asking someone, "Why are you short?"  "Are you a little adult?"
It just struck me how wonderful it was that Samuel was instigating conversations.
It struck me just how grateful and blessed I feel.
This morning, Samuel came up to me, kissed me on the cheek, and said, "I love you."
Sunday night......Sam ate all his vegetables!!!
 
Sally-Ann


Saturday, August 2, 2014

Beach Girl at Heart.........

Unexpected mini vacation in the middle of the week.
Jim had to go to Florida City to check out one of the stores we need to do work on.
Being the wonderful hubby he is, he dropped Sam and I off at Sanibel Island, went and took care of the store and then drove back to the hotel in the middle of a dark and stormy night.  Well, it wasn't really a dark and stormy night, but Mother Nature was really putting on a light show across the gulf.
We stayed at The Seaside Inn.  It was a little older, but well kept and the rooms were very comfortable.  We were upgraded to a ocean front room.  We had a screened porch that had a beautiful view of the beach.  They dropped off a breakfast basket.  Great for a short stay.
Before Jim headed off to work, we had dinner at The Blue Giraffe.
Samuel was very impressed.
It was in a shopping plaza and there was a playground and lots of stairs for him to climb.
Unfortunately.........no escalators.
So, while Sam and I were spending time at the pool and beach. 
  Hanging out in our room, eating Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, sipping Diet Dr. Peppers and juice boxes.........

Jim headed off to work.

The next morning, Sam and I woke up bright and early and headed off to the beach again.
Sam had a bad case of "bed head" going on.
  Jim joined us for one last swim.
That is him.
I have no idea where Sam is.
I thought I had them both in the photo.
It looks like Jim has eyes on him........
It was The Island Cow for lunch.
We decided to stick with the animal theme for our choice of restaurants.
 They didn't serve rolls for you to munch on while you waited.
They served confetti cup cupcakes.
So, with full tummies, we headed back to Tampa.
Great one night get-away.
It was an udderly  moovelous time........
I love the beach.

Sally-Ann
 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

We Had The Slime of Our Lives.........

This weekend we went to Nickelodeon Suites Resort.
By looking at this picture, can you guess we spent most of our time??
L
 If you answered, "Waterslides." 
 You would be correct!!
This is a map of the complex - it is huge.  We were in building 10, which was convenient because Sam wanted to stay in the Lagoon Pool area the entire time.
Check-in was at 4pm.  We arrived a little early, so did everyone else!!!  It seemed that hardly any of the rooms were ready.  We had to wait 2 hours for our room.  Wasn't where we were originally told it was, but it was good.  Building 10, 5th floor.  We were high enough that we didn't get as much crowd noise, but we could still see what was going on.  This was handy when the water areas were closed because of weather, we could see when they were open again, rush down and snag a spot.  Seating, especially under the umbrellas, was tough to come by.  They had tons of seating, but there were tons of people!!!  
Our room was themed with "The Fairly Odd Parents" theme.  Samuel was excited to have bunk beds.  He slept on the top the first night and the bottom on the second.

Much to Samuel's disappointment, we missed the 4:45pm mass sliming because we had just gotten our room key.  But, because of Sam's persuasive powers, we were soon changed and down at the water park.

We met up with 2 other families from Samuel's dance class.  They also played soccer and baseball together.  Sam had been in Kindermusik with Kayla as well.

We all went to TGI Fridays for dinner that evening.  It made for a late night, but the food was great!  The only down side, except for check-in, was that the people in the room on the other side of Sam's room were letting their kids........well, I'm not quite sure what they were letting their kids do........it sounded like a roller derby on steroids.  So, after trying to solve the issue by a polite knock on the door, hey would you please quieten you kids down scenario,  we had to call the front desk.  I understand excited kids......on vacation........blah, blah, blah......
but, it was midnight.
 The next morning was breakfast with Sponge Bob and the rest of the crew from Bikini Bottom.
 Sam with the man himself......
 Kylee, Sam, Kayla and Sponge Bob.
 Sam......and my arm
 Sam loved Sandy Cheeks.
 He was very concerned that she didn't speak.
 He was also concerned about her attire........
  I had to step in before things got a little awkward
 Sam joining in on the cast dance.
 Mmmhh......not sure why I took this.  Great shot of the back of Sponge Bob and Patrick.
 Sam asking Dad, "So, what was it with  Sandy Cheek's outfit??"
 Squidward had a bit of fun with Sam.
 Honestly, who came up with these names??
Squidward Tentacles.
I
It was a good start to the day!!!

We rushed back to the room to get changed so we would be in time for the first sliming for the day.
The lagoon area was wall to wall people.  A nice family took pity on us and gave-up one of their saved lounge chairs to us so we would have somewhere to leave our stuff and have a place to sit and have a break.
Everyone is gathere in anticipation!!
 The alarm is sounding!!!
The slime crew is singing and dancing......
 HERE IT COMES!!!!
 YOU'VE BEEN SLIMED!!!!!
Doesn't show up very well, but, take my word for it......
Sam was slimed.......
so was Dad.......
so was I.......
Sam was slimed a total of 3 times.  He missed 2.
We nearly miss Saturday's 4:45pm sliming because the pool had been shut down because of weather.  I was watching out the window and saw the water start back up again and workers heading to the slime area with their neon slime jackets.  Sam and I took off.  Sam flinging his shirt and shoes at me as he bolted to the slime zone.  
Thank heavens we made it just in time!!!!! 
 Jim and Sam exiting one of the water slides.  
I think  you can still see some slime residue.
 Sam hasn't experienced a 3D movie before, let-alone a 4D one!
We went to 4 different 4D movies.  They were short, but a lot of fun.
Each time we went, Sam relaxed more and more.
He really had fun at the last one.
 Waiting for pizza.
 Sam and his echo machine.
 Sam eating his pizza.
 How many slices of cheese and mushroom pizza can Sam eat??
 What was left in the box.
Just so you know, I had a little personal pan pizza.  Sam had a whole pizza

So, in review, it was a fantastic weekend.
Yes, it was a good time,
but it was more than that.

Samuel stood in line and waited his turn.
He only had to be reminded once. 
The noise, the crowds, the craziness, it didn't bother him that much.
It bothered Jim and I more!!!
Sam has a tough time tolerating wrist bands.  It is the feel of them on his wrist and he also cannot tolerate the writing on them.  He kept his wrist band on the entire time with no complaint.  When he was eating, he did wrap a napkin around them.  Sam also doesn't like the writing on condiment items such as ketchup, salad dressings.  Writing on soda cups, writing on t shirts.......I think you get the idea.  When we ate out as a group, it was difficult to control things like that.  Sam didn't make a fuss or compulsively try and turn everything around.  It bothers him the most when he is actually eating his food.  Sam took care of it by closing his eyes as he ate his food.
Transitions were no problem at all. 
Sam talked to people, he asked them questions, he introduced himself.
 
There are many more subtle little things that reminded us of how far Samuel has come.
It is one of the most calm, carefree trips that we have had for an extremely long time.
 
Samuel wants to move to Nickelodeon Suites.
I wouldn't go that far.
But, to see the joy on Sam's face as he took part in everything this high octane place had to offer, made me want to come back.
 
Sally-Ann