Kind of like a vacation - but not. We have had a busy year, with fundraising, therapies, appointments, screenings, and diagnosis we have had a very busy but productive school year. As we enter July, Owen will enter SK come September and the leaps and bounds this child has made while being in JK has been amazing. On his report card alone, he has increased his verbal communication, even attempting to speak louder to be understood, he has begun to participate in class, complete his own crafts - maneuver a computer mouse and iPad like no one's business: just honestly, amazing.
What I have learned being in the field I have been in, is that success can only be achieved through structure and routine, to keep their minds and bodies active, to keep consistency. Not only with children with Autism, but is all kinds of children - to keep them learning throughout the summer, reading, going to camps..so this will be Owen's summer:
Therapy at Brick By Brick - 2 mornings a week
Swimming Lessons - 2 mornings a week
Soccer - 1 morning a week
Last 2 weeks of August - Brock ASD Movement Camp
Not bad eh? which he will be joined by his siblings, except for the movement camp.
Maddie also will move on September, join her brother, as she graduated from her preschool this past June. She was amazing, and can not wait to be at the, "big school, on the big bus, with friends".
Ben will be joining his brother in therapy and swimming lessons, and he will be attending preschool for 3 mornings a week, and therapy for 2 mornings. Ben also graduated this June from the Children's Centre from their SteppingStones program. It was a rough beginining, and all I could think to myself was how much he compared to his brother, and of course had to chuckle to myself at the things no one else there could understand.. or try to.
So many new beginnings - and we are keeping them busy all summer to prepare for the craziness come September, which brings us back to our, "stay-cation". Every summer, we plan 1 week to get the kids away.. away from the appointments, therapies.. you know the rest, to have a chance to just be kids and to escape. Not so much this year - we have them involved in so much, so instead we will be taking them on little day trips, and a small trip to see Ryans grandmother in Marmora for a couple of days.. no more, no less. Not that I don't think they will need a break, because they will - but I also value the success of the structure and routine, especially for Ben who is entering a whole new world of school come September. We are instead this summer, going to venture out and explore the sites close to home mostly, we have already attended 2 local carnivals over the holiday weekend, and hope to be going to more as the kids love going on the rides, and have seasons passes to Marineland, which will be used a lot this summer as well! :)
I have also made a returning commitment for the summer, to keep me at my best - I have chosen to go back to the gym. I took a couple of months off, thinking foolishly I could be one of those people that can make it on my own - without the dedication of being at the gym, the effect I felt on my body and my mind - I haven't felt like the same person since giving it up. I realized I cannot do it on my own, myfitnesspal.com by itself is it the only answer for me, so I have started going back to the gym for my stress. Just being there the past 2 days, has made me feel better, cleared my mind - I need to do that for me, and I apparently will be one of, "those"people that will always have to keep the gym close to my routine for my own sense of sanity, and I am okay with that. I think everyone develops a way to deal with the stress in their lives, shopping, smoking, drinking, eating.. really anything to either get our mind off of what is happening, or just the oppostite like myself - facing it head on, and I work out to get through it... actually,clears my mind.. and explains for myself anyways, why taking 2 months off can not be an option for my body or sanity. I have also found, which makes perfect sense, when I am happy - Ryan is happy. We are at our best when we are both feeling physically healthy and clear, as the past couple of months I foun myself short tempered, moody, taking my stress and frustrations out on him for no reason. I am not that type of person, and I did not enjoy being like that, especially to someone who I love and did nothing to deserve that treatment. I was down on myself, and wanted him to feel what I was feeling - but after a wonderful evening out for our 3 year Anniversary fora beutiful yummy dinner, I decided I missed the person I worked so hard to be - and made my mind up that night that I miss her, and I missed being the person for Ryan that I normally am. So, Tuesday this week I signed up at the YMCA, as for me it is cheaper than Goodlife and I need the childcare provided for the kids when I am there, and honestly- since Tuesday I have gone 4 times, and I am feeleing like myself again.
I have not napped, I have been a happier person - and thank goodness for muscle memory, I can tell you the truth - 2 months of not working out takes a toll on your body, but now - 3 days into the gym, I am feeling better than ever, which makes me a better wife and mom.
So between the therapy, swimming, soccer, camps and daily gym visits, I foresee our summer of 2012 flying by, and I am praying that the structure and routine that I am trying so hard to keep during the lax months of summer pays of for the kids - and for my stress level :)