Thursday, October 13, 2011

Days Out And About

Some days it's easier than others to find the motivation to get out the house and explore the beautiful island we live in. Whether it's a back yard exploration, a day at the beach or just fun at the park Marley is happy no matter where it is that we go or don't go. Now when I say some days it's easier to go out it is only because of my fear that has always kept us from getting crazy and adventuring every day. I've never been one to enjoy and embrace the outdoors; I'm what you would probably call a homebody. However since Marley just started walking it has indeed helped in our outings with just her and me. When she was younger I had extreme fears of germs or of Marley getting ill or hurt so in a sense I bubbled her a bit and never really tried to go outside of my own comfort zone. It was also a bit of a struggle because as she got older she wasn't completely mobile and parks especially aren't really very accessible for children with special needs so the amount of activities were always very limited to mainly the bucket swing. She has always enjoyed swinging as we used to do it all the time in the Lycra material provided by the therapist so even when going to the park that is one of the main spots we hit.

Going out on our own is a bit of a task it involves a lot of support and without the help of another adult it tends to be somewhat stressful. Marley still needs a lot of help and support when doing things and at times she wants to do things that I cannot help her do alone. Going down the slide for example is one, it can be done alone of course but with the help of another body it allows one person to guide her down and one to wait at the bottom just in case, there isn't much climbing of things like the jungle gym just yet those skills have not been formed just yet, and walking around is still a supported kind of thing depending on the surface.

Our favorite park we like to visit

While there it is hard to get pictures or recordings alone because I have to constantly be with her every step of the way (not complaining) some things would just be great to get captured. A back pack is handy instead of a diaper bag; I can fit more than just diapers and an extra set of cloths. In the backpack I carry extra activities just in case Marley gets bored we can pull out a blanket and sit down color, read, or practice signing. I also carry snacks or her lunch depending on how long we plan on being out. Her stroller can help with the storing of some of these things but it is also an extra accessory that turns into a hassle and being the only one there (not that anyone would steal it) you somewhat have to worry about your property and the things you may be carrying, because I'm following Marley so closely everything in my backpack becomes vulnerable. You may be thinking, "why don't you just wear it" and I do mostly but getting into the structures or following her around gets a little tiresome with a bag full of goodies and the sun out on blast. A lot of this may sound like excuses or complaints but like I mentioned before I'm a homebody so things like this require some mental preparation on my behalf to get out.

The beach is another task in its own Marley is a daredevil and will throw herself into the deepest parts of the ocean if you let her so being there solo can be a little hard as well when she gets a little wild in the water and try's to push herself off and away from you. This girl has incredible strength that at times makes her over power my little no muscle having self and walking on the sandy beach isn't the easiest thing in the world to do with her, yes it helps her build those leg muscles but with it being so hot and flip flops being a little different to maneuver I revert to just carrying her to make it easier for her and so she won't burn her little feet. Our outings always turn into a great experience after passing my own stresses but this is just me venting. I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that, I guess I just had to admit to myself that it all really isn't that bad I just need to "man up"! :-)

When traveling I have to be well prepared Marley does not like being in the car. She gets fussy rather quick so in order to make our trips out I have to make sure I pack books or toys that she can play with or else she will cry the whole way there and back. My saving grace has been the portable DVD player which has kept her content ever since I started taking it with us. It may be a little sad to admit that Finding Nemo saves my life every time but I'm just glad something can help entertain her while we go out and about. Another thing I have to keep in mind while anywhere is her schedule. Marley has always been on a fixed schedule so anything we ever do revolves around that because like most people with DS they are used to that routine and schedule and when diverting from the schedule it causes irritation for the rest of the day, well at least for Marley it does.

The backyard is by far the easiest for me of course it being here and not having to travel anywhere. With the help of the OFF clip to keep the mosquitos from eating me alive our time in the backyard has become a fun activity  She loves the feel of the grass underneath her toes and tearing up the leaves and throwing them all around, this girl doesn't need any toys she makes her fun out of nature. She is also pretty cool to watch.

It is extremely cool to see Marley become more interested in kids her age and want to interact with them so going out to any place is fun to watch her learn and explore and as her skills increase it has definitely become easier to want to go out and do things and enjoy our time away from home. I'm practicing a little more and more each day to step out of my comfort zone because I know it isn't good for either of us to be inside most of the day and Marley truly does benefit in going out. It is wonderful stimulation for her to go out and see people and interact with others as much as possible. I've been learning from Marley since day one, she makes me a better person each and everyday and so in becoming a better me I know what I need to do, not just for me but for her and it's a beautiful thing to get out of the house experience and live life, so with that said GET OUT!!! :-)

Marley & Bella (her bff)

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