The art of the deal: special needs child version
4 hours ago
This week was filled with fun, fun, fun. We spent a few nights in Ocean City, NJ where we had gorgeous weather, lots of time relaxing near the water (beach and pool), thrills on the amusement rides and plenty of walks on the boardwalk.
Julia really amazed us with how much better she is at swimming now than she was two weeks ago. She has no problem jumping in the pool from the side either straight in or adding in a rotating twist jump. She is regularly putting her whole head under the water and staying there for a few moments at a time. She is swimming from one end of the pool to the other with a bit of flotation assistance in the way of water wings or swim noodles and she is doing this at a very FAST speed often beating me and Chris to the other side :-) It's so fun seeing her grow in confidence in her swimming ability and watching her push herself outside her comfort zone to achieve the next level. Emma continued her love affair with all things water and is starting to do even more kicking of her legs and pushing her feet off the pool walls and all this looks like she is starting to get the idea of how to swim so swim lessons could be in the plans for Emma come next year.
We also spent a couple of days on the beach where the girls managed to get sand wedged into almost every spot on their little bodies! They had a ball playing digging in the sand and jumping the waves in the ocean. True to form, Emma had no fear at all going in the ocean and playing in the water. Julia took a bit more time to warm up to the ocean but eventually had a blast jumping the waves with her cousin Brianna. Julia and I took a few walks along the beach to look for sea shells and she found some to bring home. Emma lounged in a seat that Chris dug for her in the sand and looked at all the people walking up and down the beach. While Chris and I both enjoy the beach, we were happy the hotel had a pool since taking both girls to the beach is a lot of work for us - the sand does not make it easy to transport people who are not mobile!
We would have thought all the water play would tire the girls out, but they had plenty of energy to hit the boardwalk every night. We went to two different amusement parks and went on nearly all the rides for their ages. The slide was Emma's favorite and she started laughing from the time we were climbing the stairs to get to the top and didn't stop until she was back in her wheelchair. Julia decided to go on the Tilt a Whirl more times than any other ride so that - along with nearly all the other rides! - could be her favorite. She didn't hesitate on any of the rides this year and is really growing into such a big girl. I can't believe how much she has grown from her first summer ride on the carousel at 6 months of age to the have-no-fear-take-no-prisoners ride goer that she is today!
One morning we rented a couple of bikes and rode the length of the boardwalk. Emma did great in the baby seat attached to Chris' bike - we weren't sure how she would do as it was her first time on a bike. I think we'll have to look into getting a bike seat for Emma for next year. I don't know if a seat or a trailer would work better so we'll have to investigate. Julia and I shared a bike that had me in front and Julia on a bike attached behind mine. It was a great set-up and made it so she didn't have to do all the work of pedaling along the boardwalk by herself so we were able to go a long distance in a short amount of time. The bike ride was a highlight of the vacation for me and was a great way for us to share some time together.
Our vacation overlapped with Chris' family and it was so nice to spend time together. We all went out for dinner one night and stopped at the bar for a drink while we waited for our table and Chris and I decided that we would definitely go back to that bar next visit to OCNJ. It was a great spot right on the water that has live music and great atmosphere.
We had a blast at the shore and we left talking about what we'll do when we go again next year. I couldn't help thinking to myself that maybe we'll get back again before next year. After all, life has taught me that you never know what might happen.......