Friday, March 21, 2014

Lessons Learned on Spring Break 2014

We took our Spring break a bit early this year. My husband's sister offered her timeshare to us for a few days. We needed to switch the location from her usual vacation place to one more convenient for us. We had a hard time finding an available timeshare to stay in on short notice. We ended up in a rural part of South Carolina. However, the place had an indoor pool and we really did need rest and relaxation. We decided to leave Goldilocks in respite for the four days we were gone. She does not do rest and relaxation well. Also, she is making it more and more clear that being part of our family is less than desirable to her. Reactive Attachment Disorder and the teenage years are a terrible combination. Timothy also decided to stay home and stick to his normal routine. A girlfriend of mine drove him back and forth to his day program each day and made sure he was getting all of his needs met. I love all of the things I learn about my kids when we get away for a while. Grandma came along on our trip.

It was strange, yet nice, having only the five of us. We really had an opportunity to see how much easier it was to take care of everyone without the chaos that Goldilocks brings to every single minute. It was also heart breaking. We are in such a quandary about how to protect the other children in our family from the constant chaos and drama that come with having a mentally ill child. Also, what on earth can we do next for Goldilocks? She told her respite care provider that she was ready to leave our family and try out another one (as if there are families just waiting around for an angry teenager with a low IQ). These are devastating words to hear after investing 11+ years into a child (even when taking into account that she probably doesn't fully comprehend what she is saying). Her respite care provider says she is just not able to function in a family setting at this time. The experts feel that she is being triggered by having a mother (any mother would trigger her) because her birth mother was so cruel to her in infancy. But I digress. For 3 1/2 days Goldilocks was happier in a group home setting, and we were resting as a calm family.

The kids and dh had hours of fun in the pool and hot tub. I think they could have stayed in it for even more hours than they did. Little Red Riding Hood is a much better swimmer than last year. She was very brave in the deep end and could swim back and forth across the pool with no problem.

The hot tub was so warm it that it created lots of steam.
We went to Babyland General Hospital to see where Cabbage Patch dolls come from. This was fun for Little Red Riding Hood. The rest of us were just along for the ride. However, I do remember my first Cabbage Patch doll. When the dolls first came out, my mother waited in a very long line and got one for me. I was about to go into the hospital and she wanted me to have something special. I loved that doll for a long time. Babyland is really just a glorified shopping experience. We did not buy a doll. We did let the kids pick out a few pieces of candy, which delighted them.  Little Red Riding Hood loved posing for the camera. I love this stage in kids.

We also went to Helen, Georgia, which is a town made over into a old fashioned German village.It was mostly a tourist trap, but the food was good and it tied in nicely with our studies of Europe and World War II. The kids loved our dessert picnic. We gave Tom Sawyer lots of supplements, but even so, he turned all splotchy in the face and became very hyper after so much grain. He thought it was worth it to have such a yummy picnic.

On another day, we went into one of the larger towns around the resort and went out to lunch at a 1930's restaurant. We had a lovely lunch and then went antiquing for a little while. I bought a pressed glass deviled egg dish. I have wanted one for a long time and the prices were very low in this antique mall. The kids behaved so well in the restaurant and the antique mall, so we surprised them with a movie! We saw The Lego Movie at full price. This is almost unheard of for our family. We had the entire movie theater to ourselves. The movie was great!

Our last adventure was a trip to the Duke World of Energy (nuclear station museum). We saw the nuclear plant from a short distance away and then toured the museum. It was free and interesting if you could get past the propaganda and self advertising that Duke Energy informed us of at every turn. The kids learned about electricity coming from water, coal and nuclear energy. It was hands on and worth the trip if you find yourself in this rural part of the country.

We really must work harder at having breaks from our daily grind. It was so nice to get away and to have a  break. It was a relief to see how well Tom Sawyer and Little Red Riding Hood behaved when they are apart from their sister. We must find a way to conquer the chaos. I am trying to get Goldilocks into a developmentally delayed day camp this summer. It looks like a good fit with a low adult/child ratio. She would be at camp away from the family for the daytime hours. It might just be the break we all need.

Blessings, Dawn


  1. Dawn, thank you for sharing your open heart with us regarding Goldilocks. I know that must be hard for you. I will pray for the situation!

    Glad you all had a nice, relaxing time. Lots of fun surrounding your time which is great to see!

  2. What a nice vacation for you all. I know how you feel about Goldilocks. We often have the same thing from our Alex. He wakes us up at 5:00 am and keeps us up late at night. We are all exhausted from the sheer lack of sleep. He makes very loud noises ALL DAY long, so that all of our nerves are on edge. It is so hard to keep things on a normal level with all of that going on. I will pray that your situation gets better. (hugs)

  3. It looks like you had a very nice vacation!

  4. What a wonderful trip! It is wonderful to enjoy and relax. I will continue to pray for Goldilocks and for the rest of your family. I pray that she will be able to get into that summer day program.

    Praying for a wonderful week for you!

  5. Sounds like a much needed vacation and down time! The nuclear museum sounds like lots of fun! My husband works for an electric company so he would certainly enjoy it. That hot tub definitely made me want to hop in!

  6. I wonder what lies in the future for you all? I'll be praying for peace, resolution and more peace. I'm sorry you are hurting at the moment.