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Friday, November 14, 2014

Korban's Pumpkin Patch Trip

The Monday after we got back from our weekend trip to Chattanooga Korban's second grade class went to the pumpkin patch. Korban LOVES a pumpkin patch. He asks about it literally all year long and will tell you "The pumpkin patch is in October!"  (Because trust me, that has been explained to him many, many times;)

They were headed to the Buffalo Park in Tupelo. They do a really cute pumpkin patch every year. When Korban was in kindergarten his class went there on a field trip, and I took him and my mom and Selah came too. That trip did not end well. Korban got really upset at the end and beat me up pretty good and screamed most of the way home. (It's an hour's drive--and I cried most of the way too!) Nothing in particular happened--his classmates were fine and his teachers were more than nice to us. That was just when his behavior was SO rough and it was worse than usual because there were more people there to witness it.  I say all that not to dwell on the past, but to look at how far we have come. We still struggle in many ways, but thankfully things are better now than then. Especially in terms of his aggression, which has always been one of our chief concerns. 

This time I let my mom pick Selah up from school so that both kids could get some one-on-one time. Selah's school was headed to a different pumpkin patch the next day, so I knew her turn was coming up. So Selah enjoyed her time with Nana and Korban and I had a really good time! 

This is the first picture I've ever taken of Korban with his regular education class. And he posed so well for it. Look at that grin! (He's looking at me, everyone else was looking at their teacher.)


Here he is with a buffalo-am I the only one who thinks he looks like he's wondering what a buffalo burger tastes like?


Riding on the tour...this was his favorite part I think. 

Here's the deal--we love Mrs. Misty. Mrs. Misty loves the Bulldogs. Korban agreed to pose with her and this MSU football but notice he's pointing at her as if to say "Look Dad, I swear this was all her idea."

There, that's better...

Here's Korban with his sweet friend Jonathan. Korban met Jonathan when they were in kindergarten together and Jonathan has always been very understanding of Korban and eager to reach out to him, which we all appreciate.
 
Korban loves to play pretty much any game that involves a ball. :)

Here's another friend--his name is Patrick. He and Korban have known each other since they were babies. Korban loved sliding and Patrick was helping him off at the end. Very sweet! 

Smiling at each other. 

Picking out a pumpkin...

Happy smiles! 

This was very funny to me--some of the kids had climbed in that tube thing and some other kids were on the outside trying to push it with no success. Korban was walking by and noticed...
So he started pushing too and it started to roll!  Ladies and gentleman, my son, The Hulk. 
Gaining momentum! 

We had a full day, and I could tell he was getting tired at the end. He wasn't wanting to go, and I was trying to ease him into it in hopes of avoiding a meltdown. Once he finally understood that his classmates were about to get back on the bus and go home, he was ready to go. We went to tell his teacher good-bye, and right as we got close one of the other teachers blew her whistle to call the students to line up. Korban hates sudden loud noises, and whistles are pretty close to the top of his "Sounds I Hate The Most" List. So she blew the whistle and Korban clamped his hands over his ears and shouted "WHAT THE FREAKIN' HECK?!?" I was mortified but all the teachers completely lost it. I was SO glad they saw the humor in it. Because really, compared to 2 years ago, that really was a minor thing, even if I would prefer he didn't shout out things like that. The teacher with the whistle apologized to him (she didn't see him coming, we were at her back) and I don't really think any of the other kids heard him. So even though I was initially embarrassed, if that's the worst thing that happened I will take it and be grateful!  

Korban and I each got a pumpkin and he was very eager to take one to Selah. They couldn't wait to carve them, so when Daddy got home, they got to work on them. 


They both like scooping the "guts" out but it makes Korban shake, which is why his face is blurred in this picture. Ha! 

Here's what his pumpkin looked like. Hotty Toddy! 






Sunday, November 9, 2014

Fall Fun in Chattanooga Part 2

After a good night's sleep, we got up Saturday morning ready to roll. We had breakfast at our hotel, loaded up, and headed out. Our first stop was at a place called Audobon Acres. It's a nature center, with lots of trails for hiking. The weather was fantastic, and I love fall. So  many pretty colors!  Always makes me think of my dad. This was his favorite time of year. My first vacation was going to the Smoky Mountains with my parents and my Uncle Jude. We always went during the fall to see the foliage. 

Loved, loved, loved this picture of the kids. 




We set out walking on one of the trails...

They had a swinging bridge!  It was even fenced in. Tishomingo State Park needs to take note. I could walk across this one without hyperventilating and holding my kids in a chokehold. ;)

See, I don't even have my hands on him! 


Taking a rest 

This was called Resurrection Rock. 

They loved throwing rocks in the water. 

Selah's a Daddy's girl. Can you tell? 

This little dude is pretty fond of Daddy too. 

Korban got frustrated while we were at the water. He took a band-aid off his finger and tossed it into the water. Selah fished it out and for some reason that made him furious. So she was running with it and he was chasing her, so I intervened. Then he hit me. Not cool, but thankfully that was the only time all weekend he was aggressive. We made him sit down for awhile, and he was crying and screaming. I was worried someone would hear all the screaming coming from out in the woods and come running, thinking there was some sort of emergency. That didn't happen, which was a relief. When he calmed down, we hiked our way out of the woods and left. 

After all our hiking, they were ready for a little snack. We stopped by a cupcake shop before heading onto our next thing. 

Selah wanted something with a cherry on top. 



Korban just wanted chocolate ice cream. 

We had bought a Groupon quite awhile back to ride the Chattanooga Ducks, and we finally had our chance to redeem it. The Ducks are amphibious vehicles from WWII that they use for sight-seeing tours in land and water. 

This is the one we got to ride in, the General Bradley. We thought the name was cool!  Brad's full name is Bradley, which is his mother's maiden name. 

Korban was so excited to get to ride. I love that sweet smile! 

He was amazed when we drove out into the water. 

Selah thought it was pretty awesome too. :)

After we finished our Chattanooga Ducks tour, we headed to the Chattanooga Zoo for their Boo at the Zoo event. They had lots of games and trick-or-treating. 



Selah found a pretty mermaid. 

She got to ride a pony...

And a frog!

I didn't get many more pics because it got dark and it was also extremely crowded so we were trying to manage that. The kids did well overall and weren't in any hurry to leave but we had to head home. 

It was an exciting weekend!

(And also a little bit tiring!) 

Thankful for the happy memories! 

Fall Fun In Chattanooga

We had so much fun this weekend!  Korban's infusion was Friday. He did so well this time. I was really thankful. They called the vein specialist and she's very good. We didn't even have to hold him down, Brad and I just helped keep his arm steady. Korban whined some but didn't even work up any real tears. He slept for awhile, but woke up towards the end and was in a good mood. Selah sat on the bed and played with him. 

They are playing with a magnetic dinosaur game. Korban looks like he's reading the instructions. 

Selah was very festive!  She got a painting on each arm. 

After Korban was finished, we loaded up and headed to Chattanooga. We have memberships to several fun places there, and there were lots of fun things going on this weekend, so we decided to put those memberships to good use. 

We checked in at our hotel and started getting ready to head out again. Friday night the Tennesee Aquarium hosted a family-friendly party called Aquascarium. It was SO much fun. They decorated the aquarium, had numerous trick-or-treat booths set up, animal encounters, and (my favorite!) costumed divers in the tanks with the fish. 

Selah went as Tiana, complete with matching Tiana doll and a stuffed frog around her neck. Korban will dress up now but he's still kind of picky about costumes. Not that I blame him--I don't like wearing masks either! He liked this skeleton outfit because he likes looking at the skeletons at the science museum and because it was battery powered and lights up. He thought the lights were really cool! 

My frog princess searching for butterflies in the butterfly garden. 

She found one!  And I think this is my most favorite picture of her ever. Everything about it is perfect. :)

Queen Elsa was there! 

When we got Korban up there for the picture, Elsa put her arm around him and he pulled away really fast. In perfect character she's said "Oh it's ok!  I won't touch you. You must be worried I would turn you to ice." Gotta love an Ice Queen who can roll with an autism issue. :)


We got to see the sharks a lot. 


The spider crabs had a big pumpkin decorating their cage. Plus, two munchkins who got to get a good look at them. 

There were several animal encounters--the stingrays and sturgeon both have touch tanks, meaning you can pet them carefully and they also had several staff members holding snakes for people to see and touch. We all petted them, even me. My kids are making me be brave, because in the past I wouldn't have even walked past them. 

You may not be able to tell from this picture, but that big lump in the cage is a toad. Biggest one I'd ever seen!  Naturally Selah loved it. She could've put a leash on this one I think. 

Here's Selah with another snake. 







This screen makes different frog sounds and Korban absolutely loves it. He tries to imitate the sounds. 

Trick or treat!  We are working really hard with Korban so that he will just say "Thank you!" Instead of asking for another piece or a specific kind of candy. We are practicing a lot but it's still a work in progress. That being said, please be patient with your Trick or Treaters!  They may not do everything "right" but that doesn't mean that they aren't putting a lot of effort into being there. 

Here's a "mad scientist" doing an experiment. This guy was a hoot! 

The kids loved the decorations inside the tanks. They said the fish were going trick or treating. 

Korban putting his hand up to the glass to interact with a costumed diver. Selah said this one was dressed as a zebra. He was actually a convict. Ha! 






 
This was my favorite part. If you hear my kids referring to "dipsy divers" they are actually saying "deep sea divers" and they think they are really cool. 

They even had a dance party with a big Frog Princess. 

They had apple cider and kettle corn outside, and some entertainment. Selah loved the juggler. He saw me about to snap his picture and waved at me as he contined juggling. Now that's talent!  

We had so much fun and were tired when we got back to the hotel. Selah had to settle a few things first though. Here's Tiana with some of Selah's candy stash. 

She put her lizards to sleep on the lamp...

...and fixed Oscar up as our guard dog. 
She even bought him rubber bones to snack on--look in the windowsill. 

It was an excellent day and the start of a very enjoyable weekend. :)