Friday, August 17, 2012

Weekly Catch Up

We have had a long week. Raul and our foster child both have bad colds, and both had to see their doctors. At the beginning of the week Raul was still adjusting to his new itch medicine, so was very tired too. Raul has been a bit naughty since his foster sister arrived (taking her toys, smearing aquaphor on the tv table, etc.), but is starting to get used to not being the only child. I think preschool will be good for him to help him get used to other kids too! M seems to really like him though, despite his toy stealing; she cries if we take him out separately.

Sleepy boy

Smiling in his sea of toys

Raul got his "I refuse" EB awareness shirt in the mail today!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Adventures with Raul and Miss M

Well last night I gave M her first bath in our house. It was hard to wash her hair (and then to style it) since she is heavy and can't hold her head up. It was a little too hot at first, but then she seemed not to mind the bath. She liked getting her lotion, especially on her face and neck! I had plans for other hair styles, but ended up just doing two poofs as it was so hard to sit her up. This will be good though because she won't have anything behind her head to hurt when she is lying down. I am guessing she will pull them out quickly though, as she likes to do that (that's what happened to her braids earlier).

M and Raul both slept pretty well again last night! Raul was up once, and up early, but M slept through the night almost until 10:30 in the morning! Then we got ready and went downstairs to the showing of The Lorax. I thought it started at 11, but apparently it started at 10, so we only made it for the last part. The kids seemed interested though, so I will have to rent it another day! Then my dad came and we all went to the grocery store. Raul LOVES the store, and M seemed to like it to, especially if I wiggled the stroller. It was a successful trip, and easy for having two kids with us!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Well I bought this shirt with our initial parameters in mind, but in fact Raul is now a LITTLE brother! We are getting our first foster care placement today! I can't give any details, but she is 3 and also has special needs. I can't post her picture, but below is a picture of her sweet little hand from when we visited her last night!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Florida Part 1: Disney

Well I will start with Disney since we did our first trip to Disney before the start of the conference! Raul did AMAZING on the plane trip down to FL Sunday. He seemed to love it and spent time reading, playing with toys, and watching TV (we were on JetBlue). He decided that he loves NASCAR, so we spent a lot of time watching that with him pointing out all the cars and saying his version of "car". We arrived Sunday evening to the hotel, and had an early dinner since Raul hadn't napped on the plane. We ate at a yummy Mediterranean buffet, then walked around the hotel. We ran into a few of the Madagascar characters that were around for photos, and it was hard to tell what Raul thought of them! We checked out the pool too, but it was still way too hot out and we were tired so we went back to our room.

The next morning we had a quick breakfast then caught the second shuttle over to The Magic Kingdom. Raul loved the bus ride, and may have been happy just riding the bus around all day! When we got there it was already HOT and there were some long lines to get the monorail and get tickets, but once we got in we got a handicap pass so that we would not have to wait in many lines, and not at all in lines in the sun. Raul wore his cooling vest most of the time too, and we were wishing we all had them! We spent that day in Fantasyland going on Small World (a few times), Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, and Peter Pan. Raul quietly took it in for most of the time, but in Small World he waved to some of the animals and made a few animal sounds. We took a water break and he started pulling my arm to keep going, so we decided then that he liked it!

While waiting for Dumbo Raul spotted the Speedway, and was SO excited! So after riding Dumbo we headed over there. At first we just watched it, but then we decided to to give it a try. He didn't seem to like riding it as much as just watching all the cars, and it was really hot out in the sun, so we stuck to watching! Then we ventured to Buzz Lightyear. We waited in line (inside) for a while, but then they came and announced that the ride was temporarily broken, so we got out of line as Raul was getting a bit restless and it was close to time to head home. We went back to the bus lot, and Raul fell asleep on the ride home after his busy day.

We went back to Disney on Thursday. We had a slightly later start, so it was even hotter while we were there. We had to switch out the freezer packs in Raul's cooling vest multiple times, but luckily the Disney staff gave us ice to fill our cooler so that the sets would re-freeze. We bought a spray fan, which Raul found hilarious for some reason. It was sweltering heat, but definitely worth it!

When we arrived they were having a "street party" parade, so we stood and watched that. A bunch of the dancers came and said hi to Raul, which he liked. We saw some of his favorites, like Mickey, on floats too. It was a fun way to start the morning. This time we started in Adventureland with the Jungle Cruise. Raul wasn't too sure about that one, but he did smile at a few animals. After that we headed to the Tikki Room (mainly for the air conditioning), but Raul really liked the bird show! Now if you sing the Tikki Room song to him he starts laughing. We wanted to head to Fantasyland and Tomorrowland from there, but ended up stopping in Liberty Square at the Hall of Presidents. We had heard they had good air conditioning, and it didn't disappoint! We stayed through part of the show, but Raul started to fall asleep, and since we were cooled off we headed back out.

When we got to Fantasyland we rode Small World again, but didn't do Peter Pan again as the lines were too crazy, even with a handicap pass. We ran into another EB family in the Small World line so talked to them for a few minutes. Raul seemed to remember the ride, and was much more vocal this time, mostly making animal noises and waving.

Then it was back to Tomorrowland to try Buzz Lightyear again. This time the line was out of control, and they don't have a wheelchair line, so we went to another attraction we had never been to: The Carousel of Progress. Very cheesy, but sort of cool, and Raul liked that there was a dog in each scene! After that we went back to Buzz and there was almost no line, so we finally got to ride it! Raul seemed to like it, which was good, because we were a little worried about the noise and lights. We got Raul his souveneir then, a light up character from Cars that has lights that spin if you push a button. He loves it!

At that point it was close to parade time so we headed to the handicap seating area. I am not sure I have ever been so hot in my life! We waited about 20 minutes, then watched the parade. Almost every character that was on foot came and said hi to Raul and the boy next to us. Raul waved to the characters on the floats, and even blew a kiss back to Cinderella! It was fun for Raul to see characters he recognized, and he seemed to like seeing the others just as much! Then we made our way to a store to cool off, as even Raul had sweat pouring down his face, and then it was back to the hotel! Overall I think Raul really liked Disney!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Trip Home

Handsome boy (photo courtesy of Laurie Sterner)

Raul and Christie Zink (photo courtesy of Laurie Sterner)

Last night in Florida

Raul fell asleep with his Disney map in his hand :)

Giant Spongebob at an airport store!

Raul was so excited! He LOVES Spongebob!

Playing in the store

Dr. Seuss "Thing 1" wig

Watching airplanes at the airport while we waited for our plane

Home! Playing with his butterfly from National Rehab

Hotel/Conference Event Photos

Main Atrium

Conference lunch

"Crack-a-lakin Pool Party" with the characters of Madagascar. This happened every night at 8 and was followed by a Dreamworks movie on the big screen.

This year the conference field trip was to Cirque du Soleil with dinner first at Planet Hollywood. We went to the dinner, but skipped the show as we didn't think Raul would do well with it.

Key West Atrium

Pool and kids waterpark at the hotel


Key West Atrium and restaurant

Friday, August 3, 2012

Raul's New Friends

Here are the pictures I took of the kids during the conference. I didn't post them while we were there as I was waiting to get permission from their parents. They are all so sweet, and we loved meeting and playing with them! In the next few days I will post more about the conference!