Friday, June 13, 2014

How Did We Leave For 2 Weeks?

Our Life is a lot about how we live with Fragile X Syndrome affecting Our Life everyday.

Many of you who have children with special needs, especially those who thrive on routine, may wonder how we were able to leave for 2 weeks.

Well, I thought I'd show you what I did in case you need some ideas.

First of all, though, you have to have an amazing and incredibly loving caregiver who basically manages everything else in your stead as a parent. Then you work out a schedule.

I only have respite care for Sister and Baby, so the calendar schedules are for their respite caregivers. Brother has another arrangement but still need to have his schedule for the caregivers' sakes.

So, here's how it went.

This took a lot of preparation. It was something that couldn't be done the night before we left. I made these calendars a month in advance, revised them and then gave final prints to the caregivers a week before we left.

I gave my caregivers each on of the calendars below and I emailed it to my sisters and my mom and parents in-law. I emailed the schedules out so if grandparents or family wanted to visit or help out they would know what days would work best.

I then took this same schedule and added pictures of each caregiver, Easter Holiday and school days so the kids could have picture prompts so that they knew exactly who to expect or what to expect. I put one of these in each of their rooms where they could see them and one on the fridge in the kitchen.

Then, using sections from the above picture calendar I printed off each day on a 3.5 paper.

I had 4 photo frame magnets that these would fit into. One frame was used to hang the calendar day, another for who current caregiver, the third for the next caregiver who was going to be in the line-up, and the last one was to be used for what was happening that day i.e., weekend with Jessie, school day or Mom and Dad home day.

These larger pictures were just a way of separating each thing to break it down simpler instead of in a big calendar.

Then I had a broken down schedule specifically for the caregivers so they knew the exact times and schedules of school, meds, bedtimes, etc. (And yes, I didn't spell "Baby" right... she's "BbY" today...)

I prepared 2 weeks worth of meals either ready to warm up, or ready to be put together quickly to make sure that there was little planning on Lindsey's part and gave her a list of all the meals available and where they were located. And I left Lindsey with cash for other things she would need to restock (like the supplement drinks Baby and Sister have 6 of a day).

Then, we left.

For 2 weeks.

Longest we have ever been away from our kids.


It won't be last though.

It went so well that we feel safe to take another trip.

I did a lot of preparation, but the success of it all really was because of all the friends and family who took care of our kids. It was really neat to come home and see that life was going to go on as normal. I think between a mapped schedule and people our children are comfortable with and love we had no aftermath from being gone... well, at least not as bad as we have witnessed in the past.

So, does this mean that I am all done documenting our trip to Europe?

Heaven's no!

Let me show you a couple pictures from April 24th in Salzburg that I'll be talking about soon:

Pretzels the size of my head!

Breathtaking scenery

And what it's like hanging out with these two guys for the next few days!

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