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The Beach

July 15, 2013

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The beach has always been a place where we recharge and regroup.  Its a place where there’s everything to do but nothing you have to do.  Where even sitting inside and looking out the window becomes special because right outside is the ocean.  Boats going by, dolphin fins peaking up through the waves, helicopter fly overs are all some of the excitement going on right outside our window. 

 

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The beach has marked many milestones with us. We went there when each baby was tiny.  Rett was only 6 months old when he made his first beach appearance.  We ran there after diagnosis.  We happened to have made a trip there after we won the scholarship and now after our final day of ABA, we went there again.  Regroup, recharge, redirect.  Get your shit together.   That was my main goal. Get my shit together.

 

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Rett has had mixed emotions about the beach through our many visits.  There were visits he loved it.  Visits he just wanted to leave the beach and play on the board walk. Visits where he was terrified of the ocean and wanted to stay far away.  This year was the absolute best.  They got close enough to the ocean to enjoy it but not scare Mommy too much.  They played in the sand.

 

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Look my kid stayed focused enough to collect seashells!  He even made me sand cupcakes and attempted sand castles. Ok so there was a lot of stimming on sand and some pacing as he was a little anxious.  After our trip to the lake where he was perfectly fine I think its either the wave noise or the vastness of the ocean that freaks him out. But its getting better.

 

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We lasted about 30 minutes everyday at the beach.  One day I think we almost lasted an hour. It was a far cry from the family next to us who was on the beach from sun up to sun down. But we’re a work in progress.

 

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Evie of course has always been in love with the beach and the ocean. This year she wasn’t trying to run mindlessly into the surf so that was huge.  She was happy to go out and tinker around on the beach for however long Rett wanted to. And equally happy to head to the pool.  She collected seashells with glee and showed us all her treasures.  As I saw her walking far down the beach in search of the perfect shell I admired her independence and determination.  Here is not a girl that wants to hide behind Mommy’s leg and be afraid of the world. She’s out there living it up.  And we’re enjoying the view watching her do that.

 

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And of course Baby T.  He loved it all.  What little he got to see in between naps.  He isn’t a big sand eater, thank goodness.  He had a few moments of just wanting to be OUT of there. He was either going to walk into the ocean or he was going to head to the pool. Over and over and over. And. Over.  Ok babies can be annoying at the beach.  We know next year will be awesome.

 

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I was so incredibly excited and overwhelmed to see them all playing ball together. I remember back when Rett was first diagnosed and I wondered if he would ever be able to have typical sibling relationships.  If he would play with them and make memories together.  And as I watched their little game of catch/golf/hockey I am so incredibly thankful and blessed to be watching the first of many memories they are building together.

 

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We were there one weekend and then Mom flew down from Oklahoma.  It hadn’t been too long since we had been together but long enough.  She stayed for 2 weeks. We all loved having her there to join in on the fun and help wrangle the children.  It was sad to see her off but easier to know that we’ll be together again at the first of September.

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We went out for ice cream.

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We ate a new restaurant and wore our beach apparel with pride.

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We celebrated the fourth of July at the beach for the first time. It was a mad house with every condo almost occupied but there was fun in the excitement. And we stayed so long after everyone left and it was more deserted than usual so maybe it balanced out.

 

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We set crab traps. We originally caught 10 but we left for them for one night to see if we could get more and one escaped! So 9 was the final count. We actually tried eating them this year. Big mistake. They are yummy but annoying and pretty gross to clean. Mom was definitely not impressed.  First and last time to do that I guess!

 

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We ate popsicles after every swim. Such a good lure to get them out of the pool.  The very first time we came in and headed to the balcony so Rett wouldn’t freeze inside he asked where they were. He remembered from last year.

 

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We played games with the children every night after bath and before bed time.  This Go Fish! game is super fun. And we played a little bit of memory.

 

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We made some new friends.

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We hung out at the pool.  Rett has made huge strides in gaining his confidence back since we have been doing swim lessons and he really took off in the pool. He was able to swim from the stairs to the wall unassisted and jump off from the wall and swim to the steps. He was proud of himself and we were so happy and relieved that he had his swim skills back. Evie went through phases of loving the water and being afraid I was going to put her under. I can’t swear I made any progress with her even after hours of working with her. I got her to stop clinging to my neck and actually row and kick. I’ll say that much. Thad was a natural fish. Kicking and rowing and blowing bubbles.  He was so happy and excited. Like he is about everything.

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We went to Peg Leg Pete’s and had some amazing fun and food. We attempted to go to a movie but because the weather was so rainy everyone had that idea and it was sold out.

 

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We visited the Naval Aviation Museum one day. One of Rett’s absolute favorite places to go. Crab traps and airplanes would top his beach memories  I’m sure.  He was excited the entire time we were there and loved getting into the planes.

 

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We painted some new signs for our rooms.

 

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We made memories.

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Watched fireworks.

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Puzzled.

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And now we’re counting the seconds till we can get back. 2 weeks is not enough.

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