Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Best Summer Ever!

Naomi is having the best summer ever!  She has been swimming nearly every day that it has not been cold or raining, and is currently on a 16 days and counting swimming streak.  She loves swimming.  She laughs and squeals with delight the whole time.  She loves getting her hair wet.  She loves floating on her back in someone's arms.  She loves splashing, with her hands and especially with her feet.  She loves being in her raft and is really good at making it go by kicking.  She's very proud of herself for this new skill.  We're thinking maybe we should put canals in our house so she can be mobile at home too.  It would be easier if she'd just learn to use her walker, but she resists it greatly.  If you know Naomi, you know she is extremely opinionated and stubborn and that it is VERY hard to change her mind.  

Naomi completed her three week summer school session two weeks ago.  Most children probably consider summer school to be a terrible injustice, but Naomi loves school and she loved going to summer school.  Riding in her van, seeing her teachers and her friends.  She had a great time.  

Naomi also loves amusement parks.  She's a real wild woman.  She has been to DelGrosso's in Tipton, PA, about a 20 minute drive from where we live, three times already this summer.  DelGrosso's is a great little family friendly amusement park.  They also have water slides and a pool.  It is small and compact, but has a good selection of rides and really good food.  Young children really do well there.   We want to take her back at night when all of the rides are lit up, too.  Naomi loves lights, especially if they are flashing lights.  She has since she was a little baby.  Yesterday we took her to Idlewild in Ligonier, PA.  Objectively, it has to be one the of the best amusement parks around for children.  It's not too big and is nicely shaded with a lot of trees. It has rides, many of which are antique and really charming, a section called Storey Book Forrest which has little houses and figures and such that bring lots of Mother Goose rhymes to life (I loved Storey Book Forrest as a child.  We only went to Idlewild once when I was a child, around age 4 or 5, but I thought about Storey Book Forrest for the rest of my childhood, and beyond, if I am honest.  It was great seeing it again, especially since I was able to suspend disbelief and see it with the same eyes I had as a child.)  There is also a water park section with water slides and a wave pool.  Naomi had a great time at Idlewild.  I talked to her about it with her cards afterwards and she said she liked it and wants to go back.  She also said she likes DelGrosso's better, which was good to hear since it is so much closer.  

Here's a little picture show of our day.

Naomi and Daddy are on the first ride, The Balloons.  This was her favorite ride.  There was extensive laughing, screaming with joy and delight and making her legs very stiff  (one of Naomi's signs of happiness and excitement.)  Daddy got a little dizzy on the ride, but he loves his girl so he rode it twice in a row with her since she was having such a good time on it.  See below for pictures of Naomi laughing, stiffening and squealing with delight on the Balloons.  She is so cute, and when she is having fun like this it just makes our hearts soar.  

After the Balloons we rode the train through Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.  Naomi also loved this ride.  I was uncertain, because the ride stops every 30 feet or so for a conversation/message from all of the characters in Make Believe and I thought she might get upset at all the interruptions, but she loved it.  Laughing and squealing again, joining in with the crowd.  It was wonderful to see her interacting with her environment that way.  After Mr. Rogers it was time for lunch.  Naomi had her bubba and Daddy and I had park food.  We were pretty quick.  Naomi seemed subdued after she finished her bubba, but we figured she'd get wound up again when we put her on another ride.  She'd been happy and having fun all morning.  So after lunch she rode the boats.  And immediately fell asleep.  At 12:45.  Fell asleep!  On an amusement park ride!  Seriously, who does that?  It is even more outrageous when you consider that Naomi is trying to drop her naps and only naps about half the time now.  And when she does nap, it's usually late, late, late in the afternoon.  Except for yesterday, and last Saturday, when she fell asleep during her weekly Saturday morning therapeutic horseback riding session.  We'll need to post soon about horseback riding, too.  That's another activity that is making this the best summer ever.  

Here are some pictures of Naomi SLEEPING on the boats.  

After the boats, and while Naomi napped for 45 minutes, we walked through Storey Book Forrest.  Naomi did not participate due to her apparent extreme fatigue, but we did get her picture in front of some of the vignettes.  Note that she is catching flies, that's how deeply asleep she is.  Again, outrageous.  

Naomi and Daddy in front of Mother's Goose's giant storey book.

Naomi and Daddy in front of the Crooked Man's Crooked house.

Naomi and Daddy in front of the sign for the Three Bear's cottage.

After Naomi finally woke up and refreshed and rehydrated with some juice bubba, she rode the cars on the little race track...

and then the cars that go around in a circle, and then a few more othe rides.  She was having so much fun.  Just being delightful.  Very patient waiting for rides to start, even having fun strolling in her wheelchair from one attraction to the next.  She's such a good girl.   

Here's a little video of Naomi being patient waiting for the ride to start.  She and I have been working on her patience all summer.  And she's making some real progress!  This means there is a lot less screaming when things don't happen as quickly as she wants them to, which is instanteously.  

After we did all of the kiddie rides Naomi could do, we decided to try some of the bigger rides.  Idlewild has a lot of antique rides that could not accomodate her little brown chair she rides in, (it's called a Special Tomato chair and it is wonderful) which was too bad, but she still had a great day.  I have to say, the staff at Idlewild was excellent.  They were all very nice and very accomodating.  They even have a special policy for disabled kids where they go to the front of the line and can ride twice in a row.  This was so helpful, as it is difficult getting her and her chair on and off the rides, and she tends to have less stamina than other children, so it is nice to be able to pack in as much fun as we can in a shorter amount of time.  Anyway, the first big ride we did was the egg scrambler.  This ride made Daddy very sick.  Naomi liked it at first until it got up to full speed and she couldn't keep her head up.  So she cried during the middle part of the ride, but stopped crying and started smiling again as soon as it started to slow down.  I'd try her again on it.  The last ride we did was The Whip and she was all smiles for that.  At this point, it was nearly 4pm, the sun was blazing and the temperature was in to the 90s and Mommy and Daddy were beat.  Daddy wanted to take her to the wave pool, but I resisted because I was ready to go home.  I felt guilty about this later that evening, because she probably would have really liked it, but we did stop at Grandma and Papa's on the way home and she had a good swim with lots of laughing and happiness, so all was good in Naomi's world.  

Below are pictures of Naomi and Daddy on the Scrambler.  

Daddy is getting sick!


  1. Really cute pictures! Can't believe she fell asleep!