Lemonade Stand, 9th Anniversary, and a Trip to the Mall

Someone like me with a VERY poor memory should not get behind on blog posts. Seriously, I am Dory from Finding Nemo. Scary. I am catching up on the last week of July.

We did our normal Monday routine: Gymboree, Top Golf, lunch, grocery shopping. Things were going oh-so-lovely till I locked my keys in the van in the Whole Foods parking lot. My husband was super nice to come and rescue me, even though it was crazy hot and he has no A/C in his truck. I couldn’t even do my shopping while we waited because I also locked my grocery list in the car. Since I’m Dory, there is no way I was going to remember my list. We feasted on the complimentary kids’ fruit and found a shady spot while we waited for Brian. I hate it when I do stuff like that!
WFsBrian and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary on July 29. Surely we did something amazing and very romantic.
9 anniversary
On Thursday, we met up with some sweet friends at the mall. My good friend, Leslie, is a fellow autism mama. She has a son that’s Camden’s age. Her daughter is a year younger than Carson, and they are pals. It’s so nice to have a great friend in a similar situation! Here’s a glimpse of their cuteness:CarsonPeytonMall
We switched up our routine a bit on Friday. Typically, the boys chill Friday morning while I do laundry. Then we do an early lunch, and head out for a water activity. I decided that I wanted to get Camden’s 7-year-old pictures made. Since waiting can be hard for Camden, I made sure to be first on the schedule with Picture People. Camden was a bit uneasy on the way to the mall. He hadn’t been to a mall in probably three years. The photographer was super sweet and patient. She tried to get Camden to do various poses, but it was tricky. All we needed was one pretty good picture. We actually got two. Woohoo!!
Camden 7YOAfter wrapping up the photos, Carson showed Camden the ropes at the mall. The quality of this picture is no bueno, but it’s super exciting to me! Camden struggles with gravitational insecurity where he doesn’t like the feeling of being unsteady like on an elevator, escalator or airplane. After his pictures, he saw the escalator and asked to go up it. I was totally surprised that he was requesting it completely on his own. We got to the escalator and he wanted me to hold him. I typically will pick him up in stressful situations, such as when we are at the airport and he’s already struggling with anxiety. But in this instance he was requesting so I told him if we were going on the escalator, he’d have to stand on his own. And he did!! You can see by the picture that he looks a little apprehensive, but we went up and down several times. Hurrah! Proud of that kid!
Camden EscalatorMy boys aren’t typically community play area kids. The crowds and the noise are a bit much. Never crossed my mind that Camden would want to check out the play area, but he did. He digs trains, so enjoyed following the tracks around.
Stonebriar Play AreaWe stopped at Build-A-Bear to wash some pets. Pretend play is a struggle, so I had to smile seeing Camden bathe the stuffed dog. Next stop was the Lego store…little brother’s fave.
Build A Bear and Lego StoreWe did a few laps on the carousel.
Stonebriar CarouselI was surprised by how much Camden enjoyed the mall. (*Hard not to feel like I’m 13, when I continue to refer to “the mall”.) Glad it was a good experience. After that we headed to meet up with my good friend and fellow autism mama, Lea, and her son. I typically take the boys to a community pool on Fridays, but since I wasn’t sure how the mall and picture-taking would go, I kept things simple. Lea has a neighborhood pool and she was super sweet to let us swim with them. We had a blast! Apparently, most of my pictures were horrible, but here’s one of Camden doing what he loves to do in the pool…float.
Camden FloatsThere’s a local non-profit organization called Especially Needed that puts on community events for special needs families. They do fall carnivals, pictures with Santa, Easter egg hunts, and such. They did a garage sale fundraiser in a church’s parking lot. We love and appreciate what Especially Needed does for families, and it gave us a chance to sell some of our Counting on Hope tees and some stuff we no longer needed. Carson has talked often about wanting to set up a lemonade stand, so I asked if he’d want to come along. He was pumped! I explained that we were going to wake up early, that it was going to be really hot, and that we were going to be there for six hours. He still insisted on coming. We got his lemonade all ready and brought his little cash register, and let me tell you something…the boy was so stinkin’ cute!!! My adorable friend and fellow autism mom, Heather, shared a spot with us. Made it even more fun to have a sweet friend, a cute kid, and Little Dog to pass the time. Carson purchased two monster trucks with his earnings.
Especially Needed Garage SaleThat evening, Brian helped the boys put together their Home Depot chalkboard project. They were both pretty excited about it.
Home Depot ChalkboardSo fun to remember these days and to goosh over their cuteness. And to be mindful of how far we’ve come.

Camden Turns 7, Frisco Aquatic Center, and My Thoughts on Bonham State Park

We enjoyed a typical summer Monday. Just three more of these till school starts back. Could not be more thankful for the summer we’ve had thus far.
Monday Week 7 CollageI was happy to get a picture of my boys with Mr. Bruce after we ate lunch. Up until this year, Carson referred to In & Out Burger as “Mr. Bruce’s.” He genuinely thought that was the restaurant’s name. Mr. Bruce is a very kind and hard-working man. He has been calling us (and many of his customers) by name for years. Such a nice guy!Mr. Bruce'sCamden had ABA therapy Tues/Wed/Thurs. He’s continuing to make such great progress. Most of his IEP goals are mastered and we’ve added several new ones. Carson had a dental appointment on Tuesday. Amazes me how much he enjoys going to the dentist. Our dentist has four boys of his own. Here’s Carson during his appointment.
Carson DentistOur sweet Camden turned seven on Wednesday. He is such a gift! Here are a few pictures from this year.
Camden Turns 7We went to Texas Roadhouse for his birthday dinner. He digs their prime rib. We opened a few gifts at home. He shows a good amount of interest in his little brother’s scooter, so I’ve been researching scooters for him. Went with a three-wheeled one, but it’s still a bit tricky since you steer it with your whole body instead of just turning the front wheels. We’ll see how it goes. Camden 7YO CollageOn Friday afternoon, Camden and I ventured off to the Frisco Aquatic Center and water park. We typically do a water activity on Fridays, and I was glad I only had one kiddo with me on this occasion. The place was pretty packed and it’s impossible (at least it would be for me) to keep an eye on multiple kids. Camden loves a lazy river, which is what we did for about three hours. He played in the indoor water playground for about 30 minutes. We had a great time and I was happy to have the one-on-one time with him to play in the water and just soak in his preciousness.
Frisco Aquatic CollageWe left the Frisco Aquatic Center and went to Mardel’s close by. Camden has shown great interest in one of Carson’s t-shirts. It says “Jesus is my Superhero” on the front. When I saw a similar tee at Mardel’s recently, I ordered one in Camden’s size. We went to customer service to pick it up, and I showed it to Camden. He read it and then ran off laughing and said, “I’m so happy!” To my knowledge, that is the only time I recall him spontaneously saying anything about emotions. It was so sweet!!
Jesus is my SuperheroCamden has been loving the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom lately. I took this video of him reading it. So so cute! I’ve watched it no fewer than fifty times. Makes me smile and chuckle. =) Our favorite part is at 1:19. It takes almost 3 minutes to watch the entire clip. He’s in no rush. Plenty of breaks for tickle requests and Mommy’s hair.

We celebrated Camden’s birthday when we were in PA, and we went out to dinner and opened gifts on his actual birthday. On Saturday, my brother and sister-in-law and our twin nephews met us at Bonham State Park for more Camden celebration. We had considered camping at Bonham before so I’ll share some pics and my thoughts in case you are interested in camping (or just visiting) there as well. When we drove into the park and saw the lake, we assumed that there had to be more to it. We pulled out the map and drove around the entire park. There are biking and hiking trails that we didn’t explore. We essentially just looked at the campsites and the lake. We have friends who love this park. It’s nice that it’s close to us (under and hour), and due to the flooding we had in May, it is one of the few local state parks whose sandy beach area is open right now. That was nice. But in our opinion, the camp sites were extremely close together, the sandy beach was lacking (perhaps due to all the recent flooding?), and the lake pretty underwhelming. I sound like a jerk. Goodness. Perhaps it’s just in comparison to the other parks we’ve visited (Cooper Lake, Eisenhower, and Ray Roberts). Here’s a panoramic of the lake. And FYI, this panoramic shows the entire lake. You can see the camping area to the left by the trees. They also have a different area for group camping. The dock to the right is where you can fish and rent paddle boats. You can see the wood structure I am standing under. There was lots of shade and plenty of tables under the pavilion. More good points. =)
Bonham panoramicTo give you and idea of what the sandy beach looked like at the time of our visit, here’s a picture of Carson playing in the mud. The area probably does look different when we haven’t had flooding. When we visited, there just wasn’t much beachy area. It was nice that there was plenty of shallow water for the boys to play in. Carson in the mudHere’s Camden sitting in the pavilion. It’s big.
Bonham PavillionThis shot shows you the size of the swimming area. There were people swimming in the middle of the lake. There were no buoys marking it off, so I guess swimming was allowed anywhere. Perhaps.
Bonham swim areaWe swam for about an hour, and then decided to give the paddle boats a whirl. Camden had been requesting to ride in them, so we thought it would be a genius idea to pay $11 to ride in a paddle boat in the middle of the afternoon in triple digits for an hour. Or maybe we didn’t. But we did it any way. They had life jackets that we borrowed.
Bonham Boat DockI told Brian that we should take a family picture before he got hot and tired and grouchy. =) So we did. I spent the entire time pouring water over everyone and the boat to keep us from passing out. Good news…no one passed out.
Family Paddle BoatThe boys enjoyed floating and playing around in the water. Though a lot of the water was shallow, I did have Carson wear his floaties while he was playing catch in the deeper area.

Bonham Swimming

No matter what I thought of the lake, my little guys had a great time and they weren’t ready to leave. That’s always a good sign to me. Three hours was enough though.  We packed up and all headed to Whitewright for bbq. Nom nom.