Monday, July 16, 2012

Independence Day

If you ask me to pick my favorite holiday, I couldn't give you an answer. I love them all. I get excited for each & every one! Just like the four seasons...I love them all! One of the reasons why I love living in the mid-west is so I can experience all of the seasons. However, if you asked me which holiday makes me the most nervous for Ethan???? It would be the 4th of July, for sure. The typical cook-out food....he doesn't eat. The loud fireworks & pushes him to the brink. And talk about a day off of a typical schedule! do we still get to enjoy our Independence Day? Here's how we did it this year....

First, after a bad experience last year, we decided to keep it pretty low key. Me? I want to do it all, see it all, fit it all in! But, wanting to have my family enjoy this day as much as me, I have to adjust. So, we tried to make it as close to a Saturday-type schedule as much as possible. Plus, now that Ethan is really using his picture schedule, we were able to prep him for the day ahead. We spent most of the morning & early afternoon at home. We swam, had a cookout (Ethan ate his chicken nuggets, but outside with us), and Corey bought non-noisy firecrackers such as sparklers & growing black snakes.

Then, late afternoon, we went to my brother-in-law's grandparents house to swim with their family. They have a "real" pool, and Ethan had so much fun going down a small slide into the pool. Over & over & over again. We were even able to get him further along in his swimming skills though he still can't swim yet.

After that, we went home for a quick dinner & got ready to head out to the fireworks. This is the dreaded part. Last year, during the fireworks display, we changed our viewing location to as far away as possible so the noise wouldn't be as loud for our noise sensitive kiddo. However, Ethan was still so afraid of the sound, that he literally peed through his diaper & onto Corey (even though Ethan had ear plugs in). So, we were a bit worried. It had been a year ago, and Ethan is able to handle noise so much better would he do this year? Should we even attempt it? Should we stay home & watch it on tv? Hum??????

Well, we decided to go & if we needed to leave early, we would. Plus, we were meeting some friends & my sister's family there, so Ethan could at least play with some other kiddos before the fireworks started...even if he didn't make it through the display. It was SOOO hot, but here is how it went......

Ethan is trying out his headphones & wearing one of his favorite light up toys. I think he looks a bit like an air traffic controller!
Aunt Rachel brought more glow toys! Say cheese!
As we waited for it to get dark, Uncle Scott was playing catch with the kids. Without being told, Ethan went over & lined up with the other children....see him on the far left?

Here, you can see Ethan is now watching what is going on....

And eventually, he got IN the line & was playing catch too!!! Unfortunately, I took this picture just as a practice firework went off, and Ethan is covering his ears. But he was playing catch with the other kids & WITHOUT being told to do so!!!

The fireworks have started!

This year, we have Ethan sound-proofing headphones, and he did GREAT!!!! In fact, he was laughing at them!!!

The city does a ground show that you can see if you get in the arena, but we could still see a lot of it from where we were sitting. These are the ones that Ethan really liked.

Ethan watching the ground show.

When the fireworks would go off up in the sky, Ethan would cover his eyes & peek through them....kind of like watching a scary part in a movie. But he never cried or got upset! He just kept laughing!
I brought this pop up tent for the kids to use as a bathroom, so we didn't have to walk to one.

However, Ethan & his cousin (who also doesn't like loud noises), climbed in here to watch some of the fireworks. It seems that "hiding" either in a tent or behind sunglasses/hands eases the loudness of the noises. Glad we brought it!!!

Part of our group watching the fireworks!

Ethan & I watching the fireworks. I was so happy that we didn't have to leave early!

What a great Independence Day!!!


  1. Awesome! Where did you get your sound-proofing headphones? I'd like to try those with my little guy(Baylor)next year. He totally panicked and was running around looking for an escape like a crazy man when the fireworks went off! Poor fella. It made me smile that Ethan was laughing at the fireworks and that he was able to enjoy parts of the firework show there. That would be awesome if next year Baylor could enjoy the fireworks some too! Id love to still go see them next year so the headphones could be a great thing for sure!

    1. If your little guy is in Early Intervention, you should be able to get them provided through the program if you ask your OT for the adaptive equipment. You are eligible for all sort of stuff they need if he has a diagnosis..balls, swings, headphones ect.

    2. Thanks for the advice, I will have to check into that for sure. We should have a diagnosis within the next week or so but I will go head and ask anyway.
      Thanks, Jen

  2. We bought our headphones off of amazon. Here is a link...

    We love them & use them a LOT! Ethan even knows where we keep them, and he is even getting them out of the closet all by himself lately. I know they are a bit "obvious", but I don't care....they work!!! These sound like they would be great for Baylor! And look around because I think they have different sizes too!

    1. Thanks for the link, I will be checking it out for sure! Thanks for all of your other ideas as well, Baylor loves his water beads and other sensory items thanks to following your blog!


    2. Awwwwwww....that warms my heart!!! I'm thrilled to know that about Baylor! Thank you for telling me!!!

  3. That is the cutest air traffic control guy I have ever seen. Glad he enjoyed the day!

  4. Aww! I love that he got to enjoy the fireworks this year!