Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fun(ish) Outings

Some friends and I decided to brave the heat and humidity (and three kids with fragile temperaments) and take our first trip to Carowinds last Friday.  To say I was less than thrilled at the prospect of this trip is an understatement.  I was very hesitant (actually dreading) to go not knowing how Haley would handle it.  Haley has been doing fairly well with her sensory processing issues until just recently.  I’m not sure if it is just typical toddler skepticism about new things but she is rejecting things that she once enjoyed, such as the water, our pool, having her hair washed, some foods, certain toys etc.  And if you have been to Carowinds, you know that this is a place that will send you into sensory overload. 

The day started out pretty good.  I got Haley a new pair of shades, more just for decoration :) than anything, but she really took to them and wore them the ENTIRE day!!!

DSC01524Our plan was to hit the kiddie rides first while waiting for the water park to open.  I thought we could start off with a seemingly harmless ride…the carousel.  Ummm, not so harmless in Haley’s eyes.  She wouldn’t even think about riding the horses and once the ride started all heck broke loose.  Once the ride was over she clapped and smiled as if to say “thank God its over”.  So then we tried riding the train.  Same thing, super traumatic experience, no amounts of singing “The Wheels on the Bus” calmed her. 

So then we venture over to the water park.  Haley was quite skeptical at first but then decided it was ok to wade into the water, and she proceeded to walk me all over the entire splash park several time.  There were several little water spout, splash type things that Haley wanted to watch, but didn’t want to play with.  Just observing them was enough entertainment for her.  And watching the other kids slide down the slide was hilarious to her.  She just squealed with excitement with each kid kerplunking into the pool.  

Once we had had enough of the water we decided to go back out the the kiddie rides.  Most of the rides I knew Haley would not tolerate so we just watched the other kids ride.  She was perfectly content just watching, and the other big roller coaster were near us and she got a kick out of watching them zoom by. 

Then I thought I would try one last time to get her to ride a ride.  Wish I hadn’t even tried, it was just more than she or I could take.  It was a dinky little boat ride, but it was a total disaster.  Notice Haley screaming her head off in the picture, we are in the boat behind the “happy” people

DSC01543She was so upset that we got off the ride before it even started… OVER!!!!  We were all hot, exhausted and had had enough, so we packed up and went home. 

The next day Will and I took Haley to the Schiele Museum.  Its a local science and nature museum.  We thought she would enjoy seeing the animal exhibits.  For the most part she did enjoy this excursion.  There were a few exhibits she did not appreciate like the giant T-Rex in the foyer or the a life size elephant display.  She really enjoyed the monkeys. 

  DSC01549 DSC01555

There was also a random pirate exhibit which she was very cautious about (rightfully so, it was pirates after all LOL).  She would shy away from all the pirate mannequins and was perfectly content to head back to the look at the dead stuffed animals again. 

Nice depiction of hanging dead man:


Yo ho ho and and a bottle of rum milk


So lessoned learned from our few outings last weekend…..

  1. STOP trying to push things on Haley that other “normal” kids are doing, she just isn’t ready for some things. 
  2. But at the same time, don’t NOT do things for fear she will freak out.  Fear of failure has held me back most of my adult life, I don’t want to pass this attribute on to Haley. 
  3. Figure out the fine balance between trying new things and pushing new things.  And face the fact that I will not always get this right.  
  4. Haley will let us know in her own way what she can and can not handle and don’t be disappointed when she can’t handle things, and just be overjoyed when she can. 
  5. Have FUN, enjoy this fleeting moment, she will not be a child forever. 

Monday, June 7, 2010



Yes, I know…..I have totally been MIA. It has been crazy town here at the Buchanan household for the last few months. Still, NO excuse not to write a quick blog post or post some uber cute pictures of Haley. So what has been going on that has kept me from blogging about Haley you ask???? Well, we finally finished phase 3 of project “Backyard Oasis” It has been a pain in my neck labor of love for over 1 year now. The construction of a new retaining wall, patio extension and fireplace began just before Haley’s first birthday…..yeah, she is now almost 2 1/2!!!!! As always, nothing is as easy as it seems, but look at it now (except envision it with nice plush furniture, haven't gotten a picture since we got the furniture). Its such a nice place to sit back and relax, roast marshmallows and dry off by the fire. Even on a warm summers evening, a fire is nice (oxymoron, I know!!!)

I also just completed my first half MARATHON this past weekend. For those non-runners out there, that is 13.1 miles (or half the distance of a full marathon duh!!!) Why did I run 13.1 miles you ask??? Well, just to see if I could really, and although I’m not actively raising money for Jog for Joubert Syndrome, I’m still blogging about my training and doing a lot of “awareness raising” for JS which is equally important. I am toying with the idea of running a full marathon in October, I’m stoooopid, I know!!! If you are interested in reading my race report read {this} post on my training blog.


So, what has been going on with Haley???? I don’t really realize how much she is changing and accomplishing on a day-to-day basis. I get caught up in the daily grind and a few weeks pass and I turn around a realize how much she has changed right in front of my eyes. I really need to stop and take it all in!!! I don’t even know where to begin. Its the simple little things that really amaze me. She is saying a few “words” the funniest of which is “poop”. She learned the sign for it and will say “poop” and do the sign if you ask her if she has pooped. I thought it would be a great functional word when learning to potty train but she thinks it the most hilarious thing and says it whether she has to poop or not! She apparently loves potty humor. She also says “car” “Clyde” and “clock”. The letter of the week must have been “C'” last week. Grandma taught her how to sign “I love you” that is really cute!

She is also cruising a little bit along the furniture, getting braver and braver with that. She can pull herself up on to a low couch or chair, can get in and out of the pool (that she just started yesterday!) and has even taken several steps unassisted. She still looks like she is a drunken sailor and quite wobbly on her own, but she is sooooo close!!!! She doesn’t spend much time in her “go-go” which is her toy walker, because she gets very frustrated about not being able to get into small spaces. She also is getting very frustrated with her “real” walker because it won’t go backwards. We are really trying to encourage her to walk only holding one of our hands but she doesn’t like it. She will do it against her will at times

IMG_3952Speaking of frustration…..ughh, she is developing that classic “terrible twos” attitude. She wants what she wants NOW, and actually 5 minutes ago wouldn’t have been soon enough. She can turn that hissy fit off and on so quickly its scary!!!! There are times when she just lays on the floor on her belly and whines for 15 minutes or so……just because. I imagine a lot of her frustrations come from her poor communication (or our poor interpreting skills) I can’t begin to understand how frustrating it would be to live in a world where no one understood you.

She is also developing the palate of a two year old. Where she used to eat anything you put in front of her has now turned to ugly faces and lots of pushing plates and forks away and many uneaten meals. I try to resist the urge to offer different things until she finally gives approval to the 30th thing (which would probably be a cookie) I present to her. I try to stick firm to the belief that “you eat what we eat, if you don’t like it….I guess you won’t eat”. It may sound cruel, but kids will eventually eat when they are hungry even if its not the junk food they really want.

This year Haley does not seem to be very interested in the pool. So far she will only sit on the top step. She cries and shakes like a little leaf if you take her any farther. We have a Carowinds water park trip planned for this Friday and I’m just hoping that we don’t go and just sit under the umbrellas and watch everyone else play in the water because she is too overwhelmed to play. It is hard for me to go places like this with her because if we go and she is miserable it only reminds me that much more of how “different” she is. Its always a stab in the heart to watch kids do the things that she should be able to do if she didn’t have JS. But on the other hand, I can’t NOT try to do “normal” activities for fear that she won’t have a good time or she would never be exposed to anything. Its a catch 22. It just sucks that I have to risk spending a ton of money to just see if she will enjoy it.


Haley amazes us everyday with the things she just seems to know. She has a book that has unique animals in it and we hadn’t read that book in a while. I don’t even recall ever naming the animals for her like “koala” “iguana” “shark” but when I asked her to point those animals out she could….weird!!! She can also look at some of her number flash cards and see the number 3, for instance, and hold up the appropriate number of fingers. She is getting better at shapes, she will make a triangle with her fingers if you ask her what a triangle is. She points to her body parts and then points to the corresponding one on you, and even on some of her stuffed animals when asked. She is doing a lot of “pretend” play. She puts her babies in bed, covers them up, tries to dress them, gives them bottles. I’ve seen her on several occasions put the faces of two figurines together and make a kissing noise (adorable!!!) She is so smart, I can only imagine the things she could tell us if she could speak.

Well, I hadn’t intended for this to be a crazy long post, that's what I get for having such a time lapse in posting. Sorry about that. Take care!!!