Sunday, April 11, 2010

Busch Gardens

This past week was Spring Break. Since we have no plans to take a vacation this year, I thought I would try to make this week fun for the kids.

On Monday we went to the park.
On Tuesday we went to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News.
On Wednesday we went to the mall to let them play in the fountain.
On Thursday, Tom took the day off from work and we went to Busch Gardens.
On Friday, it was just me and the kids and we stayed inside and played all day.

I think it was a great week. Harlie only had two appointments (for her hearing aid and speech therapy) the rest were cancelled. So, it was a nice break to not have to worry about her busy schedule.

And, clearly, Busch Gardens was the highlight. It was a splurge, but so worth it. We got Fun Cards (same price as a one-day admission, but you get to use it all summer through September 6th). We figured we can get down there several times this summer if we play our cards right. We packed our lunch and some snacks, and headed down for a long, fun-filled day.

And the day went great. The weather was perfect - not too hot with a nice breeze all day. Getting back to the car for lunch was easy. Murphy was braver than expected and actually rode some big rides. No one needed back-up clothes the entire day. And Harlie didn't vomit while we were there. What more could you ask for?

Here's Murphy after his first roller coaster (in Sesame Street) experience. He liked it.

Here's Harlie and I - she was all smiles!

Murphy was so good. He rode the little rides with Harlie and Cooper with no complaints. I know that won't last forever.

It was the strangest feeling to put Harlie on a ride - and then back away. I know she was right there. And the likelihood that she would need immediate attention during the ride is slim. But it felt weird anyway. Unsettling is probably more accurate. Oh, how an artificial airway changes everything...

I can't remember the last time Harlie took a nap. Trust me, it has been a looooong time. Well, about 5pm, she turned sideways in her stroller and went to sleep. In the past, when she took a nap, she wouldn't go to sleep at night. But, I took her hearing aid out anyway, and let her get some z's. And she went to sleep just fine that night (around 8pm) and slept until 10:15 the next morning. Whew! She was tuckered out!

Cooper had a great day, too. He loved all the rides. When Tom and Murphy went to ride the log flume (I was a little worried about Murphy on that one since it had two steep hills - but he said he loved it) I sat with Harlie and Cooper in the shade. That's when she napped. And Cooper and I had some good one on one time. And he found some things.

Like his nostrils...

That kid cracks me up. He is ALL boy.

The only negative thing about the day was the Interactive Sesame Street Show. We were on our way to the car for lunch when we walked by it and a show was just starting. So, we ducked in real quick to see what it was.

As we went to sit down, I noticed that the seats were a little wet. And then I saw a sign - "water effects". Great. Well, it was just a little tiny squirt. I think the problem was that it surprised her. And she did NOT like it. At all! She had a duck fit. She sat on my lap - facing me - and every time she felt water, she went crazy. Luckily the show was not long. And then we went to eat lunch.

Once we were back in the park we went to Escape from Pompeii.

Side note: After the ride was over, Murphy said to Tom, "Daddy, there should be a sign that says No Murphy's Allowed. I am never riding that ride again"!

While Tom and Murphy went to ride it, I sat with Harlie and Cooper in the shade. Cooper was napping. Well, a few feet from where we were sitting there was a fine mist of water that sprayed every few minutes or so. It was so light that it didn't even feel like water. It just felt cool - temperature cool - not like totally awesome cool. Well, Harlie had another duck fit. She crawled in my lap and buried her head in my neck and would not stop crying. Every time that mist came on, she went crazy. And when the ride would splash at the bottom - even though we were no where near it - she would go nuts. It was terrible. After at least 15-20 minutes I realized she was not going to calm down - or get used to it. I was hoping she would realize that nothing was hurting her or going to hurt her, but no such luck. And she wouldn't even raise her head during the breaks between the sprays or splashes!

I would have moved a lot sooner, if it weren't for the fact that we brought two umbrella strollers. Darn it! But there was no question about it - we had to move. So, I put Harlie in her stroller and after a lot of time and concentration, I somehow navigated both strollers through the crowd (meaning I just kept as straight as possible and made everyone else move out of my way - steering two umbrella strollers - that are different sizes - is no small task). At one point, I know I looked completely ridiculous. Well, honestly, I probably looked ridiculous the whole time. But, at one point I would move one stroller up a few feet and then go back and get the other one, etc. We won't be taking two separate strollers again.

Anyway, she was much happier with the new location, let me tell you. But, for the rest of the day, every time we walked by any sort of water spray (like a fountain) she went crazy. It was terrible.

And evidently, so scarring was the experience, that she was showing signs of trauma on Saturday! We were all out in the front yard doing some yard work. Well, Tom and I were working, and the kids were playing. When our neighbor across the street started to hose off his driveway. Oh, geez! Harlie went nuts. She backed up to the house to get as far away as possible. I know it sounds terrible, but we couldn't help but laugh. She's just so darn funny.

The weird thing is that she loves water. She loves her baths. She loves the sink she got for Christmas. Which, speaking of the sink... I got that out and brought it in the front yard so she could play near us. It was a little dirty, so I got our hose out to spray it off and fill it with more water. She was right beside me - so excited to play. When I turned the water on, I looked around and she was gone. Gone! No where to be seen. I guess that proves it - she can move fast when she wants to! After I filled it, I went and found her in the garage. I told her the water was off and she could go play. She understood and went right to the sink to play.

I guess she's fine with water as long as it isn't spraying. She's known for a while that water isn't safe for her. I never told her. She just figured it out. And when she has a little control - like in the bath or sink - she's fine. But I guess the spray is too unpredictable for her. Or she just doesn't like the feel of it. Either way, this new phobia of hers is going to be interesting this summer.

Well, that's long enough for tonight. I have a lot of blogging to do. But tomorrow is another day...

Thanks for reading!


B-Mama said...

Sounds like it was a great trip! Totally worth the Harlie duck fits--lol! Every kid has his/her thing and I guess that's one of hers! She'll probably grow out of it in no time... Glad you all had a great bunch of days.

Christy said...

Christy ~ Hello. Our husbands were in the Navy together and they recently connected through facebook. Aaron told me about your blog so I've spent the last few days reading the entire blog. You have a beautiful family. Harlie is a beautiful little girl with so much strength. I feel like I've gotten to know her through your blog and looking at all of your pictures. She has been through so much in her short life, but seems like quite the trooper. Sometimes life seems quite unfair, but like you mentioned in some of your blogging you have to learn to se the glass half full. I am sorry for all Harlie has gone through and for the struggles she'll have in life, but I am so thankful that you get to see her smile. I'm glad for her that she has such wonderful parents who are helping her win her battle. Your boys are so cute, too! Best wishes to you all. You're family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Christy Newman

Susan said...

Ahh, what an awesome day full of memories. I love the picture of Harlie wiped out in the stroller and Cooper with both fingers up his nose. Hooray to you for letting Harlie go on the rides! What a great experience for her. Glad you had a nice spring break.

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