Well we head back home tomorrow! We are picking up one of our sons in Atlanta then Texas here we come. This vacation has been very relaxing and I did get a lot accomplished kind of. I have been watching YouTube all week for hours on hours. My goal was to learn how to help other parents and friends of children and adults with special needs. I also got to see my cousin for the first time in probably 30 years. It felt like one days. We did a lot of catching up.
On this trip we have been in Texas(like duh), Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. We have driven through at least 2-3 national parks, visited a distillery, picked up new magnets for the fridge and a shot glass for dad and have done lots and lots of porch sitting.
So the question is how did we survive two 17 year old boys who act like they are 6-7 years old? Did I mention the whining? 1. I got noise canceling earbuds. I know it sounds funny, but they do help. 2. I reserved this location a year in advance. 3. I packed food and snacks that I knew they would like. Please just make sure they can’t reach them!! I missed that part. 4. Try to follow your regular schedule. For meals, bedtime, bathing, etc. Most of our kids find comfort in normal. 5. Don’t forget that there are “stupid” people out there. Most just smile as they move out of the way or say something like “Are they twins?” I’m still working on that one. Finally how to pick where to stay?!?!
For our family travel has evolved over time. When the boys were little we needed to stay near Children’s Hospital in Dallas. Later our trips were primarily to visit family. However, in 2002 we did go to Florida with the help of Make-A-Wish and stayed at Give Kids the world. It was the first time in years our family felt normal!! Which is great and scary at the same time. But you might ask how do you do it now? So once again I will explain how it works for Our Family. 1. I bought a time share condo off of a popular auction site for around $250. Before the purchase I looked at their maintenance fees and what the trading power would be. 2. I started a savings account that I put $100 into a month. With that money I could pay they annual fee and I could then use a Listing company to switch it for something else and pay that fee. So here are the locations we have been to with the boys. Pigeon Forge, TN; Ruidoso, NM; Orlando, FL; Dillard, GA; Next year we go to Gautier, MS.
So yes it can be done and on a budget. Tomorrow I will give you more details on how to eat well, have fun and enjoy yourself.
Sorry its been so long since I last wrote on my blog, but I promise it will not be happening again. I wanted to give you a bit of an update on what I am doing and then I would like to know what you are doing.
I have changed jobs and will now be working 5 minutes from home! That is quite a change from my 45 min to 1 hour 30 minute drive. Paul and Alex will be Juniors this year so I really want to be closer to them. Michael will graduate next spring.
My goal with all of this is to eventually be available to the boys when they need me. We did go and look at a facility in Friendswood, Texas that is wonderful called Hope Village. They offer a day program as well as residential. It is a great option, just not sure about letting the boys go.
When we started this journey, we had no idea what we were getting into or the things we would learn. Next month we have to begin the process of getting Guardianship of the boys so we can take care of them. HIPPA does not allow parents to continue as the spokes person for our kids after 18! Who knew?
So now my question: What do you do for work or income?
Let me know and if you are interested, I will put you in my blog!
Like so many parents of special needs children, I have spent many hours and days with doctors. So today, while we were cleaning the boys room, I tripped and fell. In the process I broke my big toe! Like any good parent I blew it off and just raised it for a little bit knowing I would be fine. Unfortunately my toe had other ideas. So my daughter took me to Urgent Care and after x-rays it seems I chipped the bone at the joint. So I am now wearing a shoe that is extremely stylish and will be using it for the next 4-6 weeks. Of course my kids don’t care and I am suppose to do the normal stuff. However, I have had a shot in my tush and am feeling ok right now. So Tomorrow I will share the joys and excitement of having identical twins with Down’s Syndrome and a deaf Autistic grandson running in the house. Night all! Mom