Monday, June 29, 2009

JAX part 2

I decided that we should get some lunch, even though I had zero appetite. There was a Sbarro next to an airy seating area so we ate pizza while watching a construction demo of a terminal take place. Nikko was interested and it was better than watching a construction DVD. After he ate his fill Nikko got comfy on the floor while watching plane activity. I didn't finish my pizza. Blechhh. We waited for Denis to pick us up in the Southwest Departures terminal. Nikko was running behind some chairs and there was just enough room for me to run alongside him. He put his hands forward like the roller coaster song from Hi-5 so I did the same and started a chase game with him. He giggled happily and I was only too eager to tire him out. Denis came, got a car seat for the rental, and we checked into our hotel at the Courtyard Marriott. We had a quick dinner at Panera, offering Nikko some grilled cheese which he tasted but didn't finish. He did, however, drink his chocolate milk. Before heading back to our room we took Nikko to the dark beach and took a walk in the waves. Nikko couldn't see well (neither could I) and he was curious about the water, not scared. He took a second to bend down and touch the sand. I was excited to see how he would react to being on the beach the next day!

Saturday we went to a place called Marineland to look at some dolphins. It was a huge dolphin habitat that seemed promising, but only if you paid more money to pet/swim/feed the dolphins. Nikko wasn't impressed with the dolphins. Instead, he found a set of four benches and ran back and forth along the edges. He didn't want to stop and protested really loudly when we dragged him back to the car. He fell asleep in the car and didn't wake up until we got to a place called Al's Pizza for lunch. He started tantruming when he woke up and was probably a scary sight to our waitress, who seemed to hesitate before approaching our table. It took a while for him to calm down, but he finally did. It wasn't until much later in the evening that I noticed a blood blister on one of Nikko's fingers and I wondered if that was what set him off in the afternoon. We survived lunch, rested in the hotel room for a bit, and then headed down to the beach. Yea!

Nikko loved the beach and I loved it for him. He wasn't afraid to go into the water and he learned quickly how to stand against each wave to prevent being pushed over. Denis was by his side the whole time. Nikko put his hands over his ears, possibly because the roar of the waves was loud, but I think it was to amplify the sounds. [SIDENOTE: Nikko has a tendency to put his hands over his ears as if to imply that something is too loud for him. I have seen him do this, however, when there are no loud sounds in the room at all. I think, as stated before, that he may be doing this to amplify the current sounds, the opposite of what one would normally do.] Nikko ran around the beach for a while, then plopped down next to a wet mound of sand, started taking handfuls of it and throwing it aside. I think his beach experience went very well, considering he's been looking at it from our balcony for a whole day.

We rinsed off and went into the hotel swimming pool where the water was considerably warmer than the ocean. We stayed on the shallow end where there were three steps that led down into the pool. Nikko would walk down the steps and on the final one we'd have to hold him up because it was deeper than his head. He seemed content on the stair when Denis remarked something about our room. I looked up toward our room and counted up four floors. Each balcony looked the same. I turned back and saw Nikko's head submerged and his fingers over his head, barely above the water. I gasped and made a move for Nikko, and Denis turned quickly to scoop Nikko up by his armpits. Nikko didn't cough up water or anything, but I wiped the water from his face and held him really tight anyway, fighting off my tears. Denis and I both looked at each other, shaken. I took my eyes off of Nikko for maybe three seconds to look at the building, but I think Nikko was under for perhaps two seconds. He probably didn't inhale any water because nothing came out of his nose and he wasn't coughing, and he probably wasn't holding his breath because he doesn't know how to do that, but in any case it scared the hell out of me. Never, never again am I going to take my eyes off Nikko when he's in any water that's over his head.

We get cleaned up and go to dinner at a Beachfront restaurant that had two girls that reminded me of Sookie Stackhouse and her best friend Tara (to any True Blood watchers out there). The food took a long time coming, and I'm glad I brought the DVD player to entertain Nikko. I watched him watching the DVD and for the first time since he signed Eat, I saw him copying some signs: Bread, Cookie and Cracker. WOW!!! He did it really well, too! The signs might not have any meaning to him yet, but the fact that he picked it up from the DVD shows me that he's coming along. Great imitation!

Sunday morning was an early one straight to the airport. We had to catch a 9:55 flight via standby so there were no morning activities with Denis. This leg back was rougher. Nikko didn't want to sit still and the flight attendants weren't as accommodating to let him sit in my lap, especially in Philadelphia. Booooo! The DVD helped keep him occupied, and it was the Signing Time DVDs that carried us through. I was feeling sick on our descent into Chicago, but I tried to stay positive for Nikko as I have been throughout this entire trip. We went to Mom's house where there was a fish fry in honor of her upcoming birthday. I thanked her profusely for taking care of Ronin and Audrey, and I thanked Atz as well for helping Mom out. I could tell over the phone it was rough taking care of Audrey because she wouldn't go nicely with anyone. Ronin was better at socializing with the others, I'm sure. I gave the kids a bath at Mom's, then took them all home.

Today I tried to get us back on schedule, but Audrey woke up at 6:30a and that caused everyone to wake up soon after. Nikko woke up early, didn't nap all day, and ended up crashing around 8pm. I tried to wake him up for a bath but gave up and put him in his bed instead. Since he didn't spring up the minute I put him down, I figured that he's really zonked and left him sleeping. Ronin's not having the easiest night, having swallowed some bath water that probably irritated his throat. He's woken up already, crying, and I anticipate it might happen again tonight. I've got lots of dishes to wash and a house to straighten tonight after blogging. My day was difficult because I went back from having one kid for a few days to having all three. I got frustrated quite a few times by the crying and whining. Audrey is increasingly more difficult to calculate and her crying adds fuel to my anxiety. I think I have to recall my image of the anxious bubble again. I took the kids outside for an hour around 5pm so they could enjoy the weather, and it was indeed beautifully cool. A mosquito kept bothering me so I got some bug spray and put some on the kids as well. Nikko did this over our trip, but I think he has shaken off the Fruit Snack habit. On Saturday he wasn't placated by any FS to calm him down, and this rang true on Sunday as well. Unfortunately he's turned his attention back to the vitamins in the cabinet and he gave me a battle of wills today. I had already given him two earlier this morning, but after dinner he kept pulling me over to the cabinet for more. I gave him one more and a big warning that there was NO MORE so don't ask me for any. True to his word, he started pulling me back after I gave him the third gummi-vite. I said No firmly, and then ignored him. I went about my business in the kitchen, and it hurt me to have him try to drag me, pull off my fingers and to bury his head in my side, but I was not going to give him anything. I told him we'd go turn on the TV and he went with me, still crying. I dried his tears and put on a Signing Time DVD. This tired him all out and he fell asleep before 8pm. I really wanted to give him a bath to wash off the bug spray from earlier, but I'll just bathe him tomorrow and throw the sheets in the wash.

Tomorrow Denis is coming home! Ronin and Audrey haven't seen him in over a week. I'm going to be glad because it's really lonely here without him at night. He's a big help in putting Nikko to bed, too, but without him here for our night time routine feels very empty. Nikko was still able to connect with Denis even though he hadn't seen him in a few days, which was a good sign for me. While it was a good experience for Nikko to travel and see different people and places, I don't think we are going to travel via plane for a LONG time. At least I don't want to! Many thanks to Eric for giving us the two buddy passes to make our trip possible, and for being our guardian flight angel. :)

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