February Fun: Medieval Times, Texas Legends, Date Night

It’s been a fun February, despite the boys’ disappointment over not having snow.

I shared recently that my uber-talented friend, Emily, took pictures for our newest Autism Awareness tee. You can see more them here.
Brian Candace Green Tee

Thanks to the folks from the nonPareil Institute (who received complimentary tickets from the Texas Legends), we attended our first Legends Basketball game. We SO appreciated the opportunity to give this a try. We didn’t know how Camden would do, but since it didn’t cost us anything, it was certainly worth a shot! We were allowed to bring in snacks for Camden that fit his dietary restrictions. Of course, being a sporting event, it was loud. He did great with his headphones and seemed to enjoy himself. Before the game, this small blimp thing was flying around throwing out coupons. The boys got a kick out of it! Looking at my pics, you probably wouldn’t know that we were at a basketball game unless I told you. You can see where my focus and heart are! =) On the way in, we passed the hockey arena. The boys were super interested, so we’ll have to keep that in mind for another time.
ice hockey
Before the game:
pre game pic
Mesmerized by the blimp thing:
Daddy and Carson and Little Dog:
Dad Carson Legends
Carson and I went down to check out the kid area. They had a big blow up slide, climbing wall, baseball toss, and basketball throw. It was crowded and there was lots of cutting and such, which makes me slightly cray cray.
Legends Kid Area
He rocked the baseball throw. The tee-ball coach last year had the boys point to where they intended to throw the ball. Carson does so every single time. =)
We sat near some families whose adult children attend the nonPareil Institute. Autism parents are kind of a fraternity of sorts. We connect almost instantly, and it was good to hear stories from those who are farther down the road than us. Here’s the mission of nonPareil in case you aren’t familiar with the organization: “nonPareil Institute is dedicated to providing technical training, employment and housing to individuals who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We hope to one day be partially self-sustaining from the products our Crew build and market.”

Camden continues to school himself by using the closed caption feature on his iPad. Here he is learning to spell the names of the characters on Blaze and the Monster Machines.
Blaze closed caption


The little guy has loved Face-Timing with his cousin, Kaila, on Monday evenings! Here he is with helmet-head reading to her. So special! Kaila is so patient. They talk about everything under the sun! And yes, that is a bathroom right next to where we eat. Odd, I know.

Carson Face-Timing Kaila

Valentine’s was nice. I received a beautiful bouquet of roses from a super special Baba. Brian spoke to my love language of chocolate-covered strawberries…YUM! The boys made Valetine crafts at school that I so LOVE! One of the couples in Carson’s class made them for the craft at the party. I was practically drooling over them. Super cute and something I’d proudly display every year. They had extras and were so kind to let me take four of them for Camden’s class. I think it’s a great craft for all abilities.
Valetine goodies

Brian picked up the Home Depot workshop Valentine kits for the boys to complete at home. It gets noisy with all the hammering, and since Camden doesn’t need to breathing in all the fertilizer and chemicals, it’s just easier to complete the projects at home.
Home Depot Valentine Project

The Fitness Pal app has been my side-kick this month. Things had gotten pretty out of hand with my health, so the accountability has been helpful.

Since the kids were out of school for Presidents’ Day, we made good use of the nice weather: Top Golf, In & Out Burger, weekly grocery shopping trip, and since I had my groceries on ice in my insulated bags, we were able to stop by a local park to ride bikes. It was pretty busy at the park, and Carson’s chain broke off about half-way around the trail. I was pushing his bike while he was helping Camden up the hills. I’m pushing Carson’s bike and trying to keep up while Camden is heading down a hill kamikaze-style. I raised my voice at Carson that I really needed his help and he wasn’t being very helpful. He was, actually. I was just a grouch. I apologized later for raising my voice and being unkind. Now, when I get remotely ugly, Carson will gently comment, “Mom, remember the hill.” =) Indeed. Here’s a collage of some of the events from the day:
PresDay Collage
That picture on the top left of Carson walking beside Camden while he rides his bike gets me. Sweetness. Two weeks ago, my Facebook “On This Day” feature brought up these memories:

Those were tough days. Camden was a very fussy little guy. Cried a lot. Slept very little. GI issues. Carson was fussy, clingy, and was showing a lot of red flags for developmental delays. We had therapists in our home for hours each day. My biggest migraine trigger is sleep deprivation, and my oh my how the trigger was pulled. I remember several times when I’d be nursing Carson while I was holding a vomit bucket for myself. I was a hot mess. I tried to treasure the moments, and laugh, and enjoy my boys. I remember holding them a lot and swaying to You’re Gonna Miss This, and willing myself to stop and soak in the here and now. Long hard days. I’m so thankful for pictures that I can look back on now and smile. Brian’s Aunt Lynn shared a thought on my post that has really stuck with me: “It does go by fast. Be grateful for the years when a hug, kiss, or a Band-Aid could make it all better.” Wow! While the baby/toddler days are long and hard, she’s right. A lot of the tears can be dried up by a hug. It won’t always be that way.
That day at the park Carson also conquered something he’s been working on for over a year…the monkey bars. I didn’t get the whole thing on video b/c I didn’t know he was gonna nail it. My favorite part is his excitement at the end. =)

Sorry, but I have to repost to capture the joy!! 😍

A video posted by Candace (@countingonhope) on Feb 15, 2016 at 2:18pm PST

Thanks to the peeps at Hunter’s Autism Specials, we procured some tickets to Medieval Times for a reasonable price. The show was on a Thursday and didn’t start until 7:30. We are typically winding down at 7:30PM, so I suspected Camden might have some struggles. Most days we sit down for dinner between 5-5:30. Camden isn’t a big fan of car rides. We had some obstacles, but I really thought and hoped that once the show started, it’d all be worth it. We headed out, and he wasn’t thrilled about the hour car ride in traffic. Since he hadn’t been before, I didn’t really know how to prepare him. I just kept telling him that we were looking for the castle and I’d update him on time and distance. We went through the line and were each crowned so that we knew where to sit and which knight to cheer for.
Medieval Times crowning
Then they took our picture, which they’d later try to sell to us for $20. We were ushered in to a large, crowded, dark area with the booze and over-priced toys and such. The boys were less than impressed with the evening at this point. Here they are yawning and not thrilled:
Medieval Times Unimpressed
Medieval Times hooked us up with preferred seating, so we didn’t wait long. Here’s some of our group before we went in:
group peeps
And here is what the arena looked like:
Group Shot
A shot of my guys getting ready to cheer on the black and white knight:
3 guys at Medieval Times
Once everyone came into the arena, the noise level was high. We couldn’t really understand what our server was saying and could only hear the person right next to us. Camden wore his headphones the whole time and was fine. I made sure they had gfcf options for Camden before we signed up for the event. I told our server twice about dietary restrictions, so we are hoping that was well received. The non gfcf members of our family ate garlic bread, tomato veggie soup, 1/2 a baked chicken, 1/2 of an herb-roasted baked potato, and a “dragon turd” (chocolate and vanilla swirled treat) for dessert. Camden had the chicken and potato. They don’t offer eating utensils, so we brought our own for Camden. We were allowed to bring in a drink and fruit and such for Camden. Only stinky thing about the dining was the seating. Your seat and your table are far from one another. The seat is low and the table is high. Not the end of the world. Just awkward, uncomfy, and not ideal for kids trying to eat and see the entertainment. This picture gives you a little idea of the seating situation:
Medieval Times seating
The entertainment revolves around these various knights completing various equestrian events and duals to see who is crowned the best. As soon as the first horse came out, Camden rotated between a HUGE grin plastered all over his face to a jaw-dropping wow face. IMG_3689 Medieval Times big smile

The entertainment included equestrian relay-type races, falconry (super cool), some skits and story line, sword fighting (which won over my youngest), etc. I had been twice before, but seeing my boys so excited was THE BEST! Here’s Carson all giddy about the fighting:
Carson Fighting Medieval Times
When they came around at the end to show us our photos, I really liked both of them but just couldn’t justify spending $40 on a high-glass 8X10. On our way out the door, we had a guy snap a family picture for us. Not quite as fancy, but it captures a special memory:
Medieval Times Family Shot
The boys had their 6-month checkup at the dentist this month. Carson loves going. Camden is making strides each time we go.

Carson LOVES going to see Dr. Schaack and his crew! Despite Camden's racing heart and shakiness, he did great!! I so appreciate how McKinney Pediatric Dentistry cares for my boys!

Posted by Counting on Hope on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Brian and I were thrilled to end the month with a date night. Our church has a respite ministry for special needs families. They provide free childcare once a month for three hours. We went to a yummy burger joint that has grass-fed beef. It was so good! Then we shopped some sales for clothes for our guys, because we’re romantic like that. 😉

Date night thanks to our church's respite ministry!! ❤️

Posted by Counting on Hope on Friday, February 26, 2016

We’ve got family coming in town this weekend, Spring Break just around the corner, and my little guy will be turning SIX. WAAAHHH!!! Here’s to an awesome March!


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