Things hard to explain…

So have you ever been asked by your small child “Why?” And not know how to answer? Have you asked your teen “Why?” when they did something crazy dangerous or just plain stupid and they just look at you? Have you ever wondered why people act crazy on a full moon? Or why someone is in so much pain but nothing shows up wrong? Or why people are mean to nice people? Or why bullies just keep it up? Why do teachers treat kids mean? Why do mean people get their way?  I also don’t know how those people even sleep at night. But I will say this. Treat people with kindness and treat with respect, show love and care about others and sleep is a beautiful thing. That is if you also don’t have a DeafBlind family member awake all kinds of crazy hours. 

So two weeks ago my little guy woke up at 5:00 am on 10/29. He was wild, changing clothes constantly, giggling laughing and carrying on like crazy. It was around a full moon again. He went to school. He came home and when he got home was just as crazy wild… AND he never went to sleep. I was tired. I had to work. Kids had school. But so did Kodiak. He needed sleep but was awake and wild all night long. I was worried they would let him sleep at school.  

  I went to my last day on the job. I was exhausted but managed. I was told to use up my vacation and leave sooner. At this point I couldn’t agree more. I was burnt out to a point that I was excited for the new opportunities. But when I got home I had no idea as I walked in the door and told my family I was done at work that my Kodi was even wilder. Why? Child I NEED sleep. But he had other ideas. He at one point had all his clean PJ’s on and couldn’t move. He couldn’t find the one pair that he wants on. It was a battle of wills. I fought to stay awake. He fought to be even wilder. I tried rubbing back…  

  He finally crashed around 5:00 am.  

 Poor baby. I can’t tell you how exhausted I felt. My other two as well. But we decided life must continue. So we made him do things that day. Well he was a crab. But he finally slept. 

However, Monday Nov 2nd was a crazy day… Our internet glitched out. Again I as WHY? And Why on a night when kids need it for their homework? Why did it take 6 different people and hours on the phone and still no internet? But now I have internet TV?  I refused to hook it up I said so keep your equipment. But no instead they sent two very different things. I asked to speak to a manager. I got told by each and everyone of the 6… “Thank you so much for not yelling at me… Usually with this much trouble we have people screaming at us.” I said, “Do you ever wonder why? Like do you know how irritating it is?” They just offer me a survey. And more packages. Finally I was told a tech had to come out. Why? Then my kid tells, me about the rude comment his teacher made. Again… WHY?

So we drive to get supper and use the Internet. They they tell us they closed at 9:00 now. Again WHY? So off we were home. Now kids give up. But not Kodiak. He finds candy. And more candy. And even more…. That little stinker gobbled it upas fast as he even 

Don’t worry he got some sleep. But that night he slept good. 

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Posted by on November 20, 2015 in Kodiak My Little Grizzly


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Vacation – Part 6

Vacation – Part 6

Sorry that this is so long. It’s just there was so much that we got to do and see and enjoy. It was now Friday, October 23, and we needed got get on the road. I had another wonderful nights sleep in the best bed ever! I was up before the sun. I sat in the chairs facing the windows and just watched. All 3 kids sleeping soundly.  

It was So beautiful. The mist was so thick. There were huge birds from everywhere diving into the mist. I could not figure out why. With my iPhone I couldn’t seem to get them. The top left was one bird! But there were hundreds. I wondered why they were doing this? Shower? Catching some sort of bugs in the mist? Or drinking it? Whatever they were doing it was an amazing morning to watch. 

I began waking up the troops… But this next phase is what got them stirring! The sun!


It was bright, shining right into the room and warm. Again very beautiful. As they began waking up… “Mom, can we go to the falls again one more time?” “Mom, can we go to that gift shop that is by the falls? We never got to because it’s always closed?” “Mom, I’m hungry.” Then Kodi signing “more eat” So we texted the valet early because they actually do take longer than 10 – 20 minutes. But we understood why everyone ruses them and they are very busy. We got all packed up, watched the falls a few more minutes and began our decent from 11th floor to the lobby. We were happy to see our car was there parked and ready to go. We were filled with mixed emotions. All of us felt at home in Canada and would have loved to stay. We didn’t want to go home. We didn’t want our vacation to end.
We drove down and parked. Went in the gift shops and watched the falls from inside. It was really coming down and was like it was raining so it was nice to feel dry. We were in that gift shop and Kodi fell face first on the floor. The staff was very quick to get us ice. He kind of cried. Colt right away took him out to the car and began feeding Kodi more food and water. Symone and I were not far behind. We then headed into Canada further to cut across to Flint, MI. First though Colt begged to see what a Bass Pro Shop was along the way. He’d never been in one. It’s very much like our famous Cabelas with animals and fish. It was so cool to see. My favorite thing to see? This huge fireplace…. The top of the opening was taller than me. 

We then asked the people where we could get food. They told us a food court around the corner. The kids went in… I should have them tell this story… I was not inside and wondered what was taking so long…. They ordered 4 cheese burgers and fries and water. Well, they got the hamburger (fresh) and formed the patties, then chopped the potatoes into wedges and cooked, sliced the cheese, onions and tomatoes, and on fresh daily made bread put it all together with fresh lettuce. When they brought it out I was in disbelief it took so long. Fast food was not very fast. Then they explained the process that happened right before their eyes just like a Chipolte or Subway. Yes it took longer. But I really have to say it was the best burger and fries I ever had from any resturaunt. Hands down we decided that would be worth moving to Canada. (Well it was that good!)

Now that we all ate, we got on the road. Programmed the GPS for Flint, MI.  

So going through Canada this way we got into some farm country. We passed wind farms, wetlands, cattle ranches, vinyards (greenbelt area) and some wildernes. The trip didn’t disappoint. It was still so beautiful. But we must have been antsy because we had to keep stoping at travel centers. Stretch legs, use the”washroom” as they call it in Canada, get gas, um and well get snacks. Kodiak enjoyed every bit of it.

We finally got to customs. The line was long. We were told to turn off all cellphones as they are not allowed. We thought this was odd as we finally all had cell coverage. But we tried to comply… Tried. people were calling and texting us….

It was finally our turn after about 30 minutes. The officer asked for our passports. I handed him all 4. He asked our names, where we were from, (all on the passports) then he wanted all of us to speak. He was wondering where Kodiak is and I explained he is backseat passenger side and is DeafBlind. He wanted Symone’s backseat window rolled down. Then he asked what all the stuff was in the way back. I explained we were on a long roadtrip and headed home and it’s was dirty clothes and blankets. He still kept asking questions. What were you doing out east? So the kids are missing a lot of school? Why did you go into Canada? When did you enter Canada? Was it busy? Did we like the falls? Did we take any tours? Did we have any fruit or weapons with us? Did we visit friends or just tour? Did we stay in a motel or with friends? Where are we headed now? I said “home.” And he said “Not all today yet right?” I explained “No, we are headed up to Mackinaw City to stay the night and then keep heading home?” Then as if we were not a threat to the country we are citizens and residents of he handed back our passports and said “Drive Safe.” After shutting all the windows and pulling away we passed several more police cars and Symone says from the back seat, “Wow! I’ve never felt so guilty for something and we didn’t even do anything wrong!” Deep breath! Welcome to Michigan! We kept heading east until we reached Flint. Then we headed north. But the sad part was it got dark as we entered the pretty mountains. So we saw nothing! We got to our motel. Checked in, unloaded only what was needed. And for the first time the whole trip we had food delivered to us. I ordered Pizza. We all stuffed ourselves. It was raining and we had a balcony with a door. Kodi was a pistol. He was going nuts and Mr. Pizza mouth was getting his face on everything. Since Symone was in the shower we didn’t have anything to wipe his mouth with…. Ugh! My dad said we have to go this way to cross the 4 1/2 mile long bridge… I hate bridges and we crossed hundreds already. We decided to book a ferry to Mackinaw Island for the next day.

 I didn’t sleep well. Partly the anticipation of the bridge, partly the beds, and partly the stress to make it in time for the ferry ride at 9:00 am. We needed to get back on for the return trip to mainland at the 11:00 am time and drive on home.

THE BRIDGE! I was so glad I didn’t tempt it the night before in the dark. The construction was a little confusing. The kids got this photo as we crossed. So happy to get on the other side. WECOME TO THE U.P.! We drove right to our spot, parked, and realized we really didn’t have warm enough clothes. It was threatening to downpour buckets on us. But once aboard the ferry we were inside and it was warm. The heaters blasting. The windows fogged up. The wind from the storms created huge waves. This presented an opportunity to sign again to Kodiak. “Boat water waves wind rocking” He was laughing and bouncing all over.

The guy that was talking to us was hilarious.  

 Once on the island we were told to get fudge. First things first. We needed Starbucks. Hot coffee for Symone and I. Hot cider and hot chocolate for the boys. Kids wanted to take the horse drawn buggie ride, but one of the guys driving them yelled at everyone to get on the sidewalks and off the streets. We were along the edge and decided he was to crabby to ask how much or how long the ride was. So we went looking for fudge. We got it to take home. Then we just went looking in shops. We found a shop that was custom sweatshirts and shirts. That lady was so nice. She wanted to do something for us plus they were closing down and had sales. She did a sweatshirt for us all. We were warm in there and it was dry. We tried to do a bear for Kodiak. So instead she gave us a bear shirt for him. But we all got a sweatshirt. Now we were warmer. LAYERS! We hurried back to find out the ferry we need doesn’t come until 11:30. It was pouring. The kids left me with Kodi to get more coffee. The line was too long so they came back. Kodiak was so cold he even had my jacket on and his Nordic hat.


He learned this pose from Nana or its in his genes. 😉

While the kids were running around another couple came and sat down across Kodiak and I. They told me they were on their 25th anniversary. I told them I would take their photo if they would take ours. They were so impressed with Kodiak.

It felt so good to get back on the boat. HEAT!!! I don’t like to be wet. Cold and wet I’m not a fan. It was pouring. But then Colt begged to go up on top. He did. I asked the guy who we talked to from the first ride if he is safe alone up there. His response was only funny. “I’ve never lost anyone overboard on accident. He is just fine. He won’t last up there though because it’s raining so hard.” I have to say I was still concerned. I asked Symone to just go by the stairs and watch. Just as she was about to go Colt came down. He was happy to get his photos he wanted.


Kodiak kept signing “more”. But we didn’t know what he wanted more of. It was an even rougher ride back. Once at the dock we had to rush to our car. Now we were really soaked. No place to dry off and no dry clothes to put on. Good grief. Crank the heat, crank the tunes and program the GPS to home. No more motels. Just a nice beautiful drive home. After a ways out of the town we came upon the north shore beaches of Lake Michagan. The kids just HAD to stop. Many other cars did as well. Some of the photos from the beaches. (It was raining so I stayed with Kodi in the car where it was mostly dry.  


The drive was soothing and beautiful. The colors were not as bright anymore but it was still beautiful. It was raining and windy and cold. Kodiak was so happy to be snuggled back in the car. He was in his blankie from my cousin, his woozy hat and he was happy.

The mountains proved to be amazing as we expected. As the sun began setting it was hard to see the deer. The first one we saw was a huge buck and he ran across the road right in front of us and he was running fast. He must have been camera shy… We saw many more. Then once it got dark we saw even more deer. But we were much closer to home. We arrived home about 8:30 pm. 


I hope you enjoyed our journey. It was way to much to post about but we all had a really good time. Kodiak was bathed and we got him ready for bed. He was both happy and confused. I think he was clingy and just wanted us nearby…


Goodnight Bear Cheeks! Sorry couldn’t resist!

Chow for now!

PS: I have found other photos, so I will be updating the other vacation parts with more photos…. I also want to thank the generous people that helped make this trip possible. Gifts, rental car and gas money, as well as those that donated to GOFUNDME on behalf of Kodiak. We are hoping now to get to some of the projects needed to help Kodiak learn. Thank you everyone that donates and continues to help in what ever capacity you do so. Even the encouraging comments help keep us going.This kid has so many that work with him hands on. It’s appreciated everyday you spend helping him learn. THANK YOU!

PLEASE feel free to send us a note if this inspired you, you know more details I can add or just encouraging comments or your own stories. We have a PO Box you can write to. 😉 


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Vacation – Part 5

What an amazing night of sleep. The Marriott Fallsview Hotel and Spa does not skimp on comfort. The beds you sunk down in like they were clouds. At times I jerked awake. But mostly because we had a big day planned and I didn’t want to miss it. 

The morning brought such wonderful views. 

As I woke up my kids, I kept wishing Kodiak could see this beauty. I found my heart aching for him. I can’t even communicate to him how we are in Canada, Niagara Falls, there is a beautiful view our our 11th floor falls view room. I sat reflecting Perkins and the assessment, our life, school, my job as a mom and what it should look like. I should still be at home with my kids. But instead I have to work. I feel like my kids have suffered more that me. I said a prayer, took a deep breath and got them rolling out the door. 

We headed to our morning destination. A tour.


We got there and waited briefly when someone else came in with family and saw Kodiak’s cane. She asked if Kodi was blind. I said “Yes, actually DeafBlind.” It looked like she was maybe going to cry. She began communicating with him. 

She told me how she has a DeafBlind friend she is helping. I could not have been more amazed. And then to find out she is visiting and from the U.S. as well. We exchanged info. Now we have a new friend. I felt blessed. We were running so late than planned that morning. Valet took longer than we thought,discovered we needed gas, got lost… Had we been earlier we would not have met her. We enjoyed our tour so much. My kids were amazed at the tour and the one giving it as well. Hearing his story encouraged them.

We then headed back to our motel. Changed into warmer and layered clothing. It was a jaunt but we headed down to the boat tour that takes you into the horseshoe of the falls.  

The line was long, the sun was warm, and Kodiak wanted to be carried. Colten gave him a piggy back ride. Once we got to the ticket window, the lady said “3 adults?” I said, “Well he’s little but he’s actually 13 (adult price) but he is also DeafBlind.” She said “3 adults then ok?” I was confused because then she left. She came back with a supervisor. They did something and then I paid for 3 adults. When she handed me the tickets she gave me 4 tickets but one was N/C on it. Meaning Kodi was free. I thanked her and she smiled. We began walking down the ramp. When we got close to the dock another lady took our tickets and gave us ponchos. We went and stood in line. We put our ponchos on. But Kodi fought it. Finally we got it on and he then ripped the front. Colten tried to tie it.  


Once on board… Well the deck was slippery, the boat rocky, and the bars wet. Kodiak was getting the feel of the place. Then we headed to the heart of the horseshoe of Niagara Falls.


A lady who did not speak any English actually understood we wanted to have our photo taken. My area was not long enough to and the boat was rocking. But with gestures she offered and took this great photo of us four.








This was so amazing. Kodi finally understood the reason for the poncho. We signed water fall, rain, boat. He understood. It was clear. We got back and he was so happy to take his poncho off. He was not too wet. It was a success. All 3 kids and myself included loved the experience.

We headed back. We needed some serious food. We ate at some little brick oven pizza place. I can’t explain the crusts. But very light like waffers? Like it crumbled? And we loved it. 

Then we headed back down by the falls. We walked in the park and gardens. It was warm and sunny. The trees amazing. It was so peaceful and calm even though people were all over town the park was calm. Animals and birds all over. Some trees losing their huge maple leaves. It was beautiful. At one point the kids left the trail and walked in the leaves with Kodiak. Showed him the leaves. After dealing them he smiled. He signed “leaf” he also signed “tree” at one point.

I captured his smile, signing and the falls in the background. 


And more moments – a little humor here. Every time we walked by this place with all the fountains and lights the fountains would stop. I was beginning to take it personally. I heard another lady complain about the same thing to her family. The kids and I laughed. We actually got this one right before it went completely down. Grr! They were so pretty too. The colors changed from green, blue, red, pink and maybe more. But just as we would try to take a photo they would stop.


Photo Symone took of Colt, Kodi and I walking.

Kodi and I walking.


We probably walked 15 miles this day. We headed back to our room. Kodi began protesting. Notice he picked up his legs? Luke Bryan’s songs Kick the Dust Up and To the Moon and Back were playing in my head.

Everything we saw was beautiful. It was so amazing! That day my dad was texting requesting we change our plans for the next day. This meant cancel our motel in Sault Sainte Marie, ON Canada to Macinaw City, MI. I think he was worried we would be in the rural part of Canada and he can’t enter Canada without a passport to help.  😉

More adventures to come!


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Vacation – Part 4

Where were we? Oh! Yes! Watertown, MA. By this time we were finding it hard to believe we were on vacation now for a week. Studies have been shown that it takes a few days on vacation to unwind. Usually, by the time your week is almost up you have to think about returning and so never fully get a break. But this day I realized it had been a week and I was more than relaxed. I was thoroughly enjoying being with just my kids. But this morning I was tired. I was also wondering what this day, that we have looked so forward to, would look like. First, I woke kiddos up. We had to check out, load up and get breakfast and be at Perkins School for the Blind by 8:30 am. On this day, of all days, Kodiak woke up moody, mad, agitated and unwilling to cooperate and put clothes on. This is not the usual Kodiak in the mornings. I said to the other two…”Do you think he knows today is a big day?” We tried putting him in the car and he refused to put his feet in so we could close the car door. Oh! Boy! Our strategy? One kid opens other back door leans in and tries with two arms to grab all four of his limbs and keep them in the center of the car. Boy he is tricky. Finally, in a split second it works and I get the door safely shut without getting any fingers or toes. 

Once all in, we programmed the GPS and begin our journey. Did I mention that the streets in Boston area don’t make sense? There are reasons for it… It’s actually an excellent historical research project that I won’t list but feel free to click on the link we looked up… Did you know out east there are a ton of Panera Bread shops? We grabbed breakfast and then Starbucks coffee. We made it to the school with 30 minutes to spare. With Kodiak’s mood only slightly improved we walked up to the entrance for the DeafBlind building. It was such a beautiful walk full of beautiful mature trees in full fall colors mixed with beautiful evergreens. It was sunny and cool. Kodiak actually began to calm down.

We met and discussed the day. Then Symone and Colten headed off to a lounge to work on homework of their own. I went and met the team of amazing people that began to work with Kodiak. It’s like they instantly understood him and that he understood them. They had various tasks available to see what he knows and how he explores. It was clear he likes active activities and likes to stand more than sit. Seeing him settled I went and met with an audiologist. I got some good tips… One big one is get that sedated hearing test done and the bone conduction hearing aide so that he can be taught sounds that mean danger. He could also enjoy soothing sounds or music. The thing is a child learns language the first 5 years of life. Kodiak had not heard enough speech to ever speak or understand spoken language. So this option would not help him with this. Asside from this he also needs a sedated MRI to determine if he has his olfactory nerves that would tell us if he can smell. We also learned that all these kids in some form or another want to spin, hang upside down etc. So we need to also have his semi-circular canals checked to see if they are deformed or working correctly. You know… I have researched these guys before. The cool experiment we did at one DeafBlind conference is blindfolded and with ear plugs in we had to quickly shake our head with an exaggerated  yes several times, shake it with an exaggerated no several times and then alternating move right ear towards right shoulder and then left ear towards left shoulder. Then stand up. I was so dizzy and off balance I thought I was going to lose my breakfast. I quickly took off my blindfold and earplugs and it didn’t help. At least not right away. After my eyes focused and my head stopped spinning I began to feel better. I had a brand new sense of understanding of my sweet little boy. So when asked these questions I realized I knew this about my little boy all along. No I don’t know if they are missing or deformed… But I know he is affected by the fullmoon, weather – namely barometer, and if he has sinus issues or different things that it can make a person off balance. My little guy has been always seeking his balance. 

As they learned quickly he also depends on others like leaning on them for balance if he is touching them. But forcing him to stand on his own he does just fine. Except up or down stairs… THAT needs major work. Kodiak also seeks communication. If he doesn’t understand or doesn’t want to do something he says “No” by shaking head “No” or hitting his head or says “Ugh! Ugh!” All things we as a family know but can’t always communicate. Only cause we have learned Kodiak’s language but we can’t always interpretate it to others. It’s like we just know but it depends of what is going on at the time when he does it. Some are more out of anger, frustration, kidding, asking a question or confused. 

We got to lunch and ate at the DeafBlind residence building kitchen. Those kids are so sweet. Some very social some more quiet. But Kodiak was my big eater. Then he went for a walk around the grounds with the motility teacher. We had a tour and saw all the things those kids do. Like the chores and meaningful things they are taught to and make to sell. They even get to go into the community and have jobs. I felt they give these kids meaningful things to learn and do. It gives them a purpose. Not just live and be entertained but made to feel like they have value in their special gifts. Their keen sense of touch that the rest of the world doesn’t really pay much attention to because they can see and hear is being used in a full way to the fullest potential possible.

I could go on and on about this day. But, it’s so hard to process it all let alone put it all into words. I will say everyone was so sweet to Kodiak. He was treated with dignity, respect and with a gentle touch. He was also laughing responding and performing. By 2:30 pm though he was tired. Coming back from a walk he felt his big brother and he put his head on him and began to cry. I know that cry. It’s one of his “I’m done. I’m tired and I need to rest and process all of this information.” Kodiak I understand. I felt the same way. I needed time. I needed space and I needed to get in the car and drive. He did so good. New school, new environment, new people, new things to do and explore but now he needs a break. As we walked outside and got closer to the car he realized between his two older siblings that he was ok, safe and we were leaving. He willingly got into the car. 

This photo was the end of a big day at Perkins. It’s full of memories, love and knowledge.

We programmed the GPS and headed off to our next destination. We headed to New Heartford, NY near Utica. The drive was beautiful, peaceful and full of conversations at different times related to the day we just had. Many “what ifs?” were asked. We stopped and got a good supper at the same time we got gas. We also needed Starbucks again because we still had a drive. I wish I knew the town we were in (we think this was at Albany, NY.) but it was in mountains and was amazing I think along this area is where we saw two dear on the rocky side by the highway and one began to fall but at the last second it caught its footing. Both Colt and I were in shock. It would have fallen to to its death and onto the highway and us had it not caught its footing. In all things we see like this I try to point out life lessons to my kids. Like, had the deer been on safe ground the risk would not have been there. Don’t risk your life for fun. It’s never worth it. It doesn’t mean you don’t try things it just means don’t put your life or the lives of others at risk it worked out this time for that deer, but next time it might not. The rest of the way got dark. The roads winding and when we got to our room, in short order was when Kodiak made a mess of the bed.

You will notice part of this is repeated. But I wanted to fill in some gaps that I left out in my last post, unintentionally, because that day had so much to process. I couldn’t find all the words. 

The next morning, Thursday, I went to check out and told the front desk lady how beautiful it was here when we woke up. 


She told us “if you think this is cool you need to drive through the Adirondack mountain and park areas. We seriously discussed it. But we needed to visit friends near Rochester and get to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls before dark. After looking it up and seeing how large of an area it covers, and seeing how beautiful it is, we decided it’s a must see in the future and not this trip. 
We headed on to Rochester area. We stopped and saw some old friends and met their kids. Cute little boy and new baby girl. We stayed longer than we intended. However, it was good times. 
We were ready for the remaining drive to the border. So many bridges. We began counting them and then gave up. Crossing rainbow bridge and now at customs I handed over our passports. That lady was so welcoming and even told us what we had to see and told the kids to enjoy the falls since it was their first time. They were getting excited now. When we got to the falls we drove by. The mist was so much we needed the wipers on. They were excited to get to our room so we could walk down by the falls. We got to the motel. It is right on the falls and on 11th floor with a spectacular view. We were in awe of the room. Kodiak just found a bed and collapsed face down on it.  


 We regrouped after. Taking photos. We were very hungry. So we got supper across the street at an Outback  Steakhouse. I realized I had my favorite people with me in a different country for the first time. The only adult and we did it. It was ok. We were safe. It hit me then just sitting the looking at all 3 and seeing them smile and giggle like they were.  


Content, happy, excited, peaceful…. I mean just look at the faces and the smiles reached their eyes. It was not just this place. It was the whole trip up to this point. I think the 4 of us quite possibly could just roadtrip all the time if money, school and time was never an issue. Clearly we all were having so much fun. After we were done eating we stopped at a gift shop. Then we decided to head down to the falls. It was dark, it was a steep walk down the hills. But Kodiak wanted to run down them. The closer we got the more mist we felt. I realized I was not dressed warm enough. But the lights were amazing.   


My little monster was practically running up the hill on the way back. The kids were having so much fun with him and giggling all the way. We got to the top and stopped in a little shop to get some bottled water and a snack. The kids discovered the maple syrup suckers. Some shaped like maple leaves and some like moose. Back in our room we got Kodiak ready for bed and then sat with the lights off looking out the window at the falls. Exhausted we went to bed and slept well. 

Stay tuned for the next adventure… It was not over yet…😉


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Vacation – Part 3 

On Monday October 19th it was a good day. We packed up our belongings, loaded our rental car yet again and met my cousin at a Starbucks north of Boston. Symone road with her as the boys and I followed her to downtown Boston. We got out and took photos of the harbor, looked around, shopped and ate at Joe’s. It was so amazing. Slightly a little too cold as we didn’t have the winter gear along but the sun was bright and warm.  This area provided textures everywhere. 



Love this girl. 😉

We had the sweetest time with her. She had to get back to her little guy. We headed to a the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA. I’m so thankful we had GPS. I was so confused because of all the tunnels and twists and turns and none of the streets made any kind of sense and seemed to go in so many different directions. 

Upon arrival we were so surprised at the historic feel as well as the beauty of the school. Since its for those visually impaired or totally Blind I found it unique. Also I felt thankful again that I had my vision to see such beauty.  

This is a bell tower and its unique inside. Echoes are amazing inside it. The student needs to make a choice to go one of 4 directions.

Once inside I notice the architecture right away as unique. The ceilings are done in such a way to have excellent acoustics. Tiles, bricks, stones and cement all done in such a way to communicate to a blind or DeafBlind person where to walk, by touch, feeling airflow and sounds. It was the most well thought out place I have ever seen. The floors, walls and ceilings were beautiful to look at but mostly amazing to feel and hear as well. It all has meaning to guide you in the direction you needed to go. I watched as students successfully used their canes and clicking sounds or other sounds to walk the halls successfully. Sometimes having to correct their direction but doing so unguided by a dog or person. I just can’t describe the atmosphere.


Our guide told us the story about the young lady before Helen Keller. I did know about her before but never saw the archives of the things she made and how her and Helen met and the story of her learning. It was so amazing! Laura Bridgman. Do a little research on her and how Samuel Gridley Howe changed Laura’s life. The history was amazing. The people amazing. Two photos I failed to get were of the two gym’s. How a blind person like Kodi could walk or run laps and be safe. The bar that never ended because allowed a person to hold on and never have to stop. Both gyms were side by side and two levels. The one floor lower level designed so a blind person could roller skate safely. The boards turned on each en in a way that let them know as their wheels rolled over the wood floor that it was time to turn. I was so caught up in Kodi doing laps that I forgot to take photos. Symone did get one gym and Kodi doing laps.


Kodiak here is on the walking track. Below is one gym for sports like basketball. The hoop wired with a bell when they make a basket. Blind kids can play basketball. To Kodiak’s left is another gym. It is the running track and below the wood floors are designed for rollerskating blind. Wish I had that photo.
The science area impressed me. Kodiak was introduced to a bear, shark, swan, turtle shell and other things.  I love the smile he made touching the bear as we also signed “bear” to him.


The guide kept Kodiak from touching the Sharks sharp teeth. 


Enemies s is not a real giraffe, Kodiak seemed to think it was funny to start at the head and go all the way down to the giraffe’s hoof. So can we say he needs to touch a real one? I think he would like it. Maybe a baby one.

Symone took the photo of this tactile art. So intricate and beautiful to see as well.
I was also impressed that every door has a bell so a blind person would know it was open or opening. Also every stairway had a gate to easily open. So no one accidentally fell down them but that if they lost location and bumped into it they would be safe and could choose to open and go down them. It made me feel better knowing we felt it necessary to have a gate on our stairs as well.  


Also to know they used raised letters for 40 years after Braille was developed because they wanted kids to read letters. But they saw the need to change. Looking at the maps and how they made small replicas for kids to learn locations and directions. Seeing the gradual change from typeset letters to Braille was amazing. Then there was the globe. Where Helen Keller once touched the globe herself  Kodi was also feeling it too. 


Symone’s angle…


The original globe. Some feel should be behind glass to preserve it. But the decision was made to keep it as is. Make needed repairs when needed but let kids feel the globe. It used to spin but they stopped that because it became a bit of a game to spin it too much. So they made it stationary. Very cool to see. All those wood pieces put together and in such a way to have the tactile and Braille. 

We left feeling very good about what the next day would bring. Kodiak’s assessment. So off we went in search of our motel. We arrived and found the front desk people very sweet. One has a brother in England who has Downs Syndrome. She was amazed at Kodiak. Both the front desk ladies were so sweet. We gave them the blog information. I hope they read this. Thank you for the milk, the sweet comments, and kindness. You were so amazing! 

In our room Kodi couldn’t wait to crawl on the bed. He was getting good at finding the beds and flopping face down on them. The little guy did a ton of walking. Probably why on the days we drove longer he was just fine and even enjoyed himself in his little corner of the car.

The next day we were up early. Kodiak was CRABBY. He was not in a mood to wake up and would not cooperate either. I was like “No way! Does he know this is a big day?” We got breakfast and coffee. The kids got their homework and we headed off to the school. Kodi wouldn’t eat. He wouldn’t walk. He was in a mood. But when we got into the school he perked up a bit. 

We met in a room and then off to his first assessment. I met with an audiologist briefly, got a tour, watched some of the assessments, and well it was a busy day. We ate in the kitchen where some DeafBlind kids live. Kodiak ate a lot. It was a busy day. It was exhausting for me too. Lots of info, lots of questions etc. Right at the very end Kodi broke down and began to cry. My brave tenacious fighter was exhausted. We reassured everyone that sometimes happens after school or very busy days. He is processing and will be fine once in the car. And he was. The crabbies were gone right away that morning once he began to be challenged. And my happy little boy was back once we got back ing the car.  

We drove to New Hartford, NY and I was exhausted. We got up to our room and in 90 seconds Kodi turned the bed upside down. 

My happy boy was back… We slept so good that night. But our trip was not over yet… Much more to come…… 


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Vacation – Part 2

Have I said on here I really love fall? Our view out our motel window was so beautiful in Newburgh, NY.  

You can’t see all the fall colors. But it was amazing. We left Saturday am and headed off to Westford, MA near Chelmsford, north of Boston.  The whole way up the trees and views blew us away. We noticed the areas of the rock walls, narrow roads and how the area was so full of trees. 

At one point I needed gas and we drove through a town that we didn’t realize was a town and we never found a gas station. We were laughing cause had it been back home we would have seen about 10 of them as well as that many banks. Finally we headed a different direction and found one. But there were no bathrooms. So back we went and found one at a stop that was like a market. They sold apples and maple syrup and all kinds of other things. We finally reached our motel. When we got there we loved our view. The room was amazing and more like a studio. It had a living room feel with a big window. We talked to my cousin and made plans. I got a shower. The kids worked on homework. We chilled out and Kodiak explored the room.  He loved it.

My cousin, her husband and little boy Jack got there. They gave Kodi an awesome blanket. He loves that blanket. Such a cutie. Jack was so funny. He had his Legos and played. Such a social little guy. We went and got supper at Chipotle. It was crazy busy but good food. It was getting late and they went home and we went to our room. My kids decided to check out the pool. Kodiak was so excited and happy to go swimming. The pool was so warm, and they were having so much fun and ended swimming 2 1/2 hours. It was good actually since the driving and walking we did they needed to burn off energy. I personally was exhausted. Some photos…

I can’t post the video of him laughing… But will add the link… He was so cute and kept making a new noise and laughing the whole time. I was getting other things done. VIDEO.

We all slept so good that night. The motel was so quiet and we got such a great night of sleep. The next morning the breakfast was amazing. Full breakfast included with the room. We got up and met my cousin at a meeting. Then we went to her house for lunch. She has a cute house. We ate pizza and Kodi exploring her house as much as we let him. We then went to a little orchard. My cousin introduced us to apple cinnamon donuts and we got hot apple cider. It was a cold day. It had even snowed. 

The kids ran around on top of hay bails with Jack. Jack (3 years old) was the leader. So cute. He road a little tractor and fed a goat.


We had fun. Kodiak wore Symone’s windbreaker and his layers of clothes. Then we headed back to the motel. The kids decided they wanted to swim again. So they took Kodiak another hour and a half of swimming. 

It was so awesome seeing family and meeting friends. We had another good day. I forgot to post the cute photo of Kodi snuggled in his new blanket.  

This is a smile… What a cutie!

The next day is a big day…. Stay tuned. It needs a post totally of its own… 


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Vacation – Part 1

Rental Car – check


Packed – check

Kids – check (nice face Colt)

You get the point. We were all set to leave after the boys got home from school.

 That Tuesday was amazing. I was so tired though and had a long drive ahead of me…. COFFEE and our roadtrip toons we could sing to were important.
Before we got to Chicago I was thankful for the huge spotlights all along that interstate for miles and miles. Helped me stay awake. Then we hit road construction in Chicago. Cool buildings in Chicago…


 I drove until about 5:30 am Wednesday morning, to just a little ways from the Ohio and Pensylvania border. We slept for an hour at a travel center. Got breakfast at a Panaea Bread and Starbucks coffee at the travel center and enjoyed driving through the state of Pensylvania. The mountains and colors of the trees kept me awake. It was so amazing.  Our iPhones wouldn’t pick up the intense colors from the distance. Beautiful. 


The colors were brighter and more intense than this bottom left photo. (Above)

My sleepy head. Symone was up most of the night with me and now sleeping through Pennsylvania. 

(Again the face Colt.)
We thought Kodiak did so well. He was so happy. We got to New York City. Symone video taped Taylor Swift singing “Welcome to New York” while we were driving into NYC! It was funny. We got to our motel about 5:30 pm. Kodi was so happy to get out of the car. But Kodiak was somewhat agitated. I think scared.

My two older ones became pros at directing me safely through Chicago and New York City. I could not have done it without them.

That night I didn’t sleep well. I kept jumping up startled. The noises in NYC kept waking me up. The city that never sleeps. I’m so happy I don’t live there… 

The next morning, Thursday, we drove to a parking ramp to meet up with my cousin for some tours in Brooklyn and lunch. I didn’t realize that to park means you hand over your keys. So my poor baby was still in his PJ’s and we had to quick grab his food and clothes to bring with. He had to walk through Brooklyn in his PJ’s until we could get on location to get him dressed. 

We had an amazing time. He did so well walking up stairs and everywhere.  

We headed to another part of New York that afternoon. We got to our motel in Newburgh, NY. We got supper and enjoyed the views.

The next morning we headed out and went on tours. Braille for Kodiak.

Kodi got to experience Braille books, and we did a whole lot more walking. And more and more beautiful trees. It was endless. I prayed a prayer of thanks that I was able to see al the beautiful colors, had the brain to process it and that the variety existed and was created for our enjoyment. Then I felt sad my little DeafBlind guy lost that ability when he went totally blind. I felt sad. But my hope is strong that Isaiah 35:5,6 says. 

We spent that night sleeping so well. We all just woke up the next day around 8:00 am on a Saturday all rested…. Kodiak was the best little traveler. We headed up to Northern Boston area. We got to our motel and called another cousin…. 

More on that in my next post…. Stay tuned…


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