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Old 11-14-2009, 12:47 PM   #31
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Can't wait for the next installment! I hope your vacation was wonderful.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:20 PM   #32
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Arrow A Halloween Adventure in Autism

Chapter Two: Why Even Bother Calling It the “Expressway?”


Friday, October 30, 2009


I left off as Billy and I were navigating our way home through the after-school traffic while listening to the Halloween Party CD. One of Billy’s favorite lyrics is, “Everybody SCREAM!” That’s because it gives him an opportunity to play one of his favorite games. I’ve dubbed it “The Old Switcheroo.” For some reason he thinks its uproariously funny to switch out words from certain phrases and have me say, “No, no, no!”

From the back seat he called out, “Everybody SING!” and began to rock back and forth. The laughs just bubbled out of him.

“No, no, no,” I answered with mock annoyance. “It’s everybody SCREAM!”

More belly laughing from behind me. “Everybody SING!” he shouted.

“No, no, Billy, you’re all mixed up! It’s everybody SCREAM!”

“Everybody SING… la-la-la-la-la!”

“No, no, no!” I begin. But, I know what’s coming next…

“Everybody scream for ICE CREAM!” His whole body shook as he laughed. I shook my head and rolled my eyes dramatically for his benefit.

“No, no, no. We scream for CANDY!”

“ICE CREAM in the bag!”

“No, no. Ice cream is messy. We want CANDY in our bags...” Well... you get the idea.



Autistic humor, you gotta love it. He could go on like this for an hour if I’d let him. Sometimes he does. Fortunately, we were home in twenty minutes. As much as I love to play with him, this game starts to get a bit old after a while, especially when I’ve got other things on my mind.

... Like getting on the road in fifteen minutes!


We burst into the house. Billy tore off his jacket and went straight for the home office off the living room so he could play on the computer. I gently steered him toward his aunt and cousin so he could say hello. But he was a man on a mission; after giving each one a quick kiss on the cheek, he made a beeline for the computer. “Its okay,” my sister said, “We know he’s got his routine.” That’s another reason why it would be so much better to take my niece instead of one of Tricia’s friends; Catie is already familiar with Billy’s quirky ways.


He had one more thing to do, however, before I would let him at the computer: he had to wash his hands. Even during non-flu season, I’m a stickler about making the kids wash their hands when they get home from school. Billy immediately went to wash up, not because he was particularly concerned about germs. He only knew that he would not get his snack until he did!


As he was de-germing his hands, Tricia arrived home. The two girls hugged and began talking excitedly. I took a moment to get Catie’s heart medication and a note from my sister allowing me to give permission for any emergency medical treatment. My niece was born with Marfan Syndrome. Its not very common, but I want you to know what’s happening when I talk about her meds and her brace, so I’ll bore you with some medical information now:



“Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects connective tissue, which is the material between cells of the body that gives the tissues form and strength. Connective tissue is found all over the body and multiple organ systems may be affected in individuals with Marfan syndrome. The heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular), skeletal, and eye (ocular) systems are most often affected. Major symptoms include overgrowth of the long bones of the arms and legs, abnormal side-to-side curvature of the spine (scoliosis), indentation or protrusion of the chest wall (pectus), dislocation of the lenses of the eyes (ectopia lentis), nearsightedness (myopia), widening (aneurysm) and degeneration of the main artery that carries blood away from the heart (aorta), floppiness of the mitral valve (mitral valve prolapse) and backward flow of blood through the aortic and mitral valves (aortic and mitral regurgitation). The specific symptoms and the severity of Marfan syndrome vary greatly from case to case.”



Because Catie is being treated for her heart condition, her cardiologist gave permission for her to go on all rides except the ones with high G-forces. This wasn’t going to be a problem; we never do Mission Space: Orange. It was, however, a major source of disappointment to Catie. She is a real thrill-junkie and always loved riding big coasters when she was younger, before she began exhibiting cardiac symptoms.


Also, because of her scoliosis, she would need to wear her back brace as much as possible... definitely during the night while she slept. Obviously, she wouldn’t be able to wear it while on the rides, so Eileen wanted her to wear it as much as possible, even on the plane. She decided that it would be better for her to carry it through security, however, and put it on once we got on the plane. (It has a few metal parts.)


While the four females were gabbing and Billy munched on his Goldfish crackers, Ed began taking our bags out to the van. I took the hint, shoved a few more items into mine and zipped it closed so it could go out with the others. I would come to regret my hurriedness later. Ed was pacing like a caged tiger; it was a quarter to four and we were supposed to have picked his brother, John, up at 3:30. You may recall that we ditched our customary towncar service to save money. Ed’s brother would accompany us to Kennedy Airport, then bring back our van. Luckily, he lives only a few minutes away.


By the time everyone had used the bathroom one last time, hugged and kissed their Mom/Aunt/Sister goodbye, and settled into their respective seats it was almost four. I sat in the second seat with Billy and the giggling girls took the back. We picked John up and he rode shotgun with Ed up front. I was so glad... with John there I wouldn’t be getting scolded all the way into the city! (Any time we are late to go anywhere, the guilt is always assigned to me by default.) Of course, that's usually justified!


The men plotted their course... there are a number of different routes one can take to the airport. Ed and John grew up in Elizabeth, NJ, so they chose the one they were most comfortable with: the Goethels Bridge to Staten Island, the Verazzano Bridge to Brooklyn, and then the Belt Parkway into Queens. The shortest route is actually through Manhattan, but they figured it would be way too congested at this hour.

Perhaps they should have taken that chance.

Traffic was heavy-but-moving in Jersey but once we had crossed the bridge into Staten Island it ground to a near halt on the Staten Island Expressway. We inched along painfully as the minutes dragged into an hour, plus. An accident, a disabled car, and finally road construction all conspired together to eat up our precious travel time. Ed was stressing, big-time, about missing the plane. I was concerned, of course, but I figured that we wouldn’t be the first people to ever miss a flight and we certainly weren’t going to be the last. I focused my energy on thinking positively. I didn’t want Billy to get caught up in the stress, so I asked John to pop in a DVD so those of us in the back could all watch. Billy chose the History Channel’s Modern Marvels: Walt Disney World. It turned out to be a good choice. It even helped to keep the guys’ minds off the situation for short periods of time.


I called Delta to find out what terminal we needed and to see if our flight was on time. There was rain in the local forecast...perhaps we would be a little delayed.


Our flight was listed as on-time. I began to add prayer to the positive thinking.


It soon became evident that we were not going to be able to grab dinner at the airport as we had planned. The kids began to fidgit and Billy, who is always hungry, began asking for another snack. Fortunately I had filled a zip-lock bag with cookies, thinking we could munch on them on the plane, and stashed them in my carry-on bag. They wound up being our dinner! Yup, the vacation diet had begun already!


Once we made it over the Verazzano Bridge and into Brooklyn, traffic picked up, although we were technically still in rush hour. Our flight was at 7:30. We had hoped to be at the airport by 5:30; it was now close to 6:30 and we still had to make it to Queens. We couldn’t do curbside check-in, either, because they’ve got us on that stupid no-fly list.


We passed Coney Island. I drew the girls’ attention to the ghost of the Parachute Jump that was still visible in the distance. I told them about how their grandparents rode it, as well as the world-famous wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone, when they were young. Tricia and Catie could not imagine their Grandma (“the chicken”) on those kinds of rides and the thought of her terrified screams made them laugh hysterically. If you knew my mother, you’d laugh too! Even Ed, as anxious as he was, cracked a smile at the thought of his MIL freaking out on the Cyclone.


Finally, FINALLY, we made it to the terminal. It was almost seven. We jumped out of the van, grabbed our bags, thanked John and hot-footed it inside. We’re not familiar with this airport... I put my glasses on so I could read the signage. Ed pulled three large duffel bags on our portable carrier, I dragged a rolling bag with one hand and Billy with the other. Catie pulled her rolling bag and Tricia held her cousin’s back brace and my carry-on. She and Billy wore backpacks as well. We lugged all of our stuff to the Delta check-in line. Well, at least there’s one advantage to being late... there was only one other person in line ahead of us, so we walked right up to the counter. Ed and I produced our identification.

“Do you have luggage?” asked the customer service rep.

Ed and I looked at each other in disbelief. What did she think all these bags were?

Then she lowered the boom. “I’m sorry, but its too late to check your bags.”


To Be Continued...


Kathy

Last edited by KathyRN137; 11-14-2009 at 09:50 PM.
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Old 11-14-2009, 06:35 PM   #33
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oh my oh my, the staten island expressway has traffic at 2 in the morning , let alone at rush hour. you poor thing, next time i'll give you my cell and give you a personal tour thru the streets of staten island to beat the traffic.
too late to check luggage. oh no
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:07 PM   #34
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ohhhh no! Too Late to check? oh my.

Waiting on tenderhooks here!
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:18 PM   #35
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Oh No!

Well, you've started right off with the cliff hangers! I'm not sure I can take it!

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Old 11-14-2009, 07:33 PM   #36
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Arrow Props

I know that some of you posted on the PTR... I read everything!


Quote:
Originally Posted by IluvXU View Post
Great start. I love to read your writing style. I think time gets away from us all.... even when we are short on it and have been waiting a long time for the big trip!
Thanks, I feel better!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamer & Wisher View Post
I found my way over here from the pre-trippie. I don't want to miss a moment of this one.
You're sweet!


Quote:
Originally Posted by annnewjerz View Post
::wipes brow::

Thank goodness I found my way over to your new official TR. I'm anxiously awaiting another installment.
Hope it doesn't take me too long!


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Originally Posted by Poolrat View Post
I made it too.


Hey this still has that "new trip report smell "too.
That's funny!


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Old 11-14-2009, 07:41 PM   #37
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Hi! I was following your PTR, but got a little distracted!
I am so glad to have found your TR! I'd hoped that you would start one soon. I am enjoying it immensely (darn those cliffhangers!).
My DS (3) also plays switcheroo! His favorite version now is Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator"- he is obsessed with spiders/webs so it is "Spider in an elevator spinning a web while its going down."
Can't wait to read more! I really like the style you're using.
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Old 11-14-2009, 07:46 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparop View Post
Woo hoo! I found you. I too love reading your TRs and this has the makings of another great adventure!
Hi "Mop!"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Goofydiane View Post
Looking forward to reading another adventure with you and your family.
Glad you're here!


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreggersmom View Post
Yeah! Can't wait to hear all about it!!
Hopefully I'll be able to keep up a good pace!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mebbradley View Post
Subscribingggggg I'm so excited to read more.
Glad to have you along!


Quote:
Originally Posted by faerieprincess View Post
i'm here too. i'll try not to just lurk this time!

You're off to a great start - you are a wonderful writer.
Thanks and to the report!


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Old 11-14-2009, 07:53 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irish dancer View Post
Can't wait to hear all the details!!
I'll try to remember all of them!


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Originally Posted by All7OfUs View Post
Hi Kathy!

Already commented on the first chapter over on the PTR board, but wanted to add my hello over here too. So looking forward to hearing about all your adventures. Wanna know a secret?? Yours was the first PTR I was at from beginning its very climactic end, so it's extra special for me to follow you along on this Halloween Adventure!
That's so sweet, Liesa!


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Originally Posted by jordanyosh View Post
I think I got in on the first page......

I hope traffic wasn't bad...
You just squeeked in... last reply on page one!


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Page one?? (guess not...)

Welcome Back Kathy & Family!

Now I'll go back and read!
Aww, just missed it!


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Woohoo! You're back!! I am so on board for this TR, I love reading about your trips. I feel like I just picked up a great book from the library that I can't wait to read!!

Welcome back, hope you had a great trip, and I would imagine at some point we'll hear about the next one in the works .
Hmmm, that may be a difficult wish to grant...


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Old 11-14-2009, 07:58 PM   #40
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The queen of the cliffhangers is back in her usual style. I wondered what you hurried and missed at home. Now no dinner and now baggage check problems.
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:00 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisMomAmy View Post
Great start!! I'm excited for you guys.
Not so excited to be home, but I am excited to share our trip with you!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnkrbelle565 View Post
Made it over safely!
Hi Kristine! We really made good use of the CD you burned for us... thanks again!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey_Mom View Post
Hi Kathy! I'm fiercely holding back tears reading Billy's excitement. Cannot wait to read more!
More excitement to come, I promise!


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Originally Posted by praisehisname View Post
Great start! I love reading your reports!!!
Thanks so much!


Quote:
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I love going on vacation with you and your family! Thanks for bringing us along!

I wish we could all go together, for real!
Oh wait... that's Jordan's birthday trip!


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Old 11-14-2009, 08:02 PM   #42
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Yikes!!!!
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:05 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joy13 View Post
I'm here!
So glad!


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Sign me UP!!!!!!!! Welcome Back!
Thanks! BTW, Dad is fine!


Quote:
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Hi Kathy.

I've "seen" you around the boards on other TR's. How ever did I miss all your other TR's?

Billy's enthusiasm is just a joy to read and just brings a smile to my face! I can't wait to read all about your family's adventure!
Glad to "see" you, too!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytothreeboys View Post
Hi Kathy! My goodness your days sound like mine....where DOES the time go??

I'm so excited to join in your adventures this trip! Let's GO!
Its crazy, isn't it? And after all our planning, too!


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Saving my place. Can't wait to hear all about the trip!
Hi there, Honeymooner!


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I'm in!!!!
It wouldn't be the same without you, Scrappie!


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Old 11-14-2009, 08:05 PM   #44
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Accck! A cliffhanger - I don't know if I can take it!
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Old 11-14-2009, 08:12 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRYPPNS View Post
Your writting seem to be a bit more polished up this time Must be practicing for that book

Looking forward to more!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by princesskelz View Post
whoo hoo! So excited to hear about your night at MNSSHP!
We started off with a real bang this trip!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ2Boardwalk View Post
Can't wait for the next installment! I hope your vacation was wonderful.
It was, thanks! But it was not without its hills and valleys...


Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmylaj View Post
oh my oh my, the staten island expressway has traffic at 2 in the morning , let alone at rush hour. you poor thing, next time i'll give you my cell and give you a personal tour thru the streets of staten island to beat the traffic.
too late to check luggage. oh no
I have to admit that I was skeptical when the fellas decided to go that route, but I wasn't doing the driving, so I kept mum.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mebbradley View Post
ohhhh no! Too Late to check? oh my.

Waiting on tenderhooks here!
Hopefully not for too long!


Quote:
Originally Posted by preschoolmom View Post
Oh No!

Well, you've started right off with the cliff hangers! I'm not sure I can take it!

Yeah, and we haven't even reached Disney yet!


Quote:
Originally Posted by familyblackout View Post
Hi! I was following your PTR, but got a little distracted!
I am so glad to have found your TR! I'd hoped that you would start one soon. I am enjoying it immensely (darn those cliffhangers!).
My DS (3) also plays switcheroo! His favorite version now is Aerosmith's "Love in an Elevator"- he is obsessed with spiders/webs so it is "Spider in an elevator spinning a web while its going down."
Can't wait to read more! I really like the style you're using.
The switcheroo game is fun... for perhaps the first twenty switches. Then it does get a little tedious. But, if it makes them laugh...


Quote:
Originally Posted by IluvXU View Post
The queen of the cliffhangers is back in her usual style. I wondered what you hurried and missed at home. Now no dinner and now baggage check problems.
"...and that's the way it was!"


Kathy
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