So where to begin? Let's see... we've spent a LOT of time in the water this summer. JD started off pretty hesitant, whereas his sister and brother went to the water like little fish. But after a few weekends in the pool JD finally came off the steps and swam in his "shoesie-shoesies" know by commoners as swimmies! Once he realized he wasn't going under, he was happy as a clam. For the first time in probably a decade I've been able to tan! It's the little things that make mommy happy. :)
Another big first for the Graham Fam - we went on an actual vacation! Now as smart autism parents, we didn't go anywhere where we couldn't come home if needed, so we stayed just stayed at the Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort over by Disney for a few days. I won't lie, it was totally stressful and JD had the hardest time the first night, crying himself to sleep to go home. But once he realized everything was going to be ok, everything got a little easier. I think the greatest lesson for Jason and me is not to attempt vacationing with three kids under the age of six without help. Next time I'm paying for Katie to come with us!
For the month of June, we took our first family trip to Gatorland to celebrate Father's Day. Now, as a native Floridian (growing up in Orlando), I can't tell you how many times I've sworn that I would never step foot in that "stupid tourist trap", but as I saw the kids eyes light up with excitement at the huge alligator mouth entrance, I had to laugh at the irony. I'll admit it, we actually had a good time. Only one massive meltdown during the trip over the train that goes around the park, but Jason and I handled it like pros!
Then for a little family fun with the cousins and neighbors! The Fourth of July holiday rolled around and my sister came over with my nephews Joey and Jacob. The kids had a blast - we spent the day in the pool and playing at the house. Back in the day we used to live five houses away from my sister, so it was so nice to get all the kids back together for some cousin fun. They really do love each other! Then to finish the long weekend with their neighborhood friends on the bounce house. We're gonna miss the summer nights hanging out outside with the popsicles!
Next stop? The beach! And not once, but twice! We met up with Jason's family for two days in Ft. Myers. This was the first time in almost three years since JD has been to the beach, so I wasn't sure how it would go over, especially with his sensory issues and the sand. But he LOVED it! He couldn't have been happier burying his Thomas trains in the "snow". The second trip he went into the ocean and loved that too! The beach is a good place for us!
Finally, the two biggest accomplishments for the summer. Drum roll please... JD moved into big boy undies! (We're trained for number 1, number 2 we're still working on). AND he moved into his big bed! Both have been very big changes for him and it's not been easy for anyone in the family, but I'm really proud. He's growing up right before my eyes and all of the little things that we take for granted are so much harder for him, but he is the sweetest, most loving little guy and I'm so blessed to have him in my life!