Autism parenting,  Autism Spectrum Disorder,  Family fun,  Inspiration,  Uncategorized

The Family Goes to Cambria, California

I first started writing this post on March 9th, before we got Ethan’s official ASD diagnosis, and finished the post on April 17. It’s been a busy couple of months. We’re finally in the middle of the process of getting Ethan assessed to get authorization for his ABA therapy hours, and hope to start ABA in 2-4 weeks.

We left for Cambria, California on Saturday, March 9th, meaning to have a much needed vacation. But as luck would strike, little Ethan started developing a cough! He was up every hour in all the three nights that we were there. It was exhausting for Steve and I, so most of the mornings were spent sleeping in and catching up. The first day was just a day of rest, and the next day was spent having lunch at the Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill and wine tasting at Moonstone Cellars. The great thing about little buddy is that he is easy to take places, and is generally happy when he watches his favorite show, Dave and Ava on my IPhone. (I know, I know, screen time limits). While Mommy and Daddy took sips of their favorite red and white wines, Ethan was busy getting his nursery rhyme on. Sometimes, this is the only way we can do things, to let him watch videos on my phone, but I am in the process of putting together a restaurant bag, as I learned in my positive parenting class in HRC, so that he can diversify his activities when we are out. A restaurant bag is any bag filled with items that he would be able to use and play with while out in the restaurant.

Moonstone beach was as beautiful and pristine as usual. Just looking at the ocean, hearing the waves smashing against the rocks, seeing the birds in flight in the azure sky gives me an tremendous sense of peace. We had scheduled this vacation in December but it coincidentally came before his feedback meeting on March 14, when we got his official diagnosis. Ethan enjoyed touching the lamps, headboard, cabinets and drawers in our room, and would push the sliding door open so he could explore the closet. For the first time since he was born, he actually hung out with us in bed. He would usually try to clown around in bed and climb on top of us, or try to get off the bed and endlessly pace the room and touch objects. It felt nice to have him just laying on the bed peacefully, although it wasn’t nice that he felt so weak, he wasn’t his normal, active self.

We stayed there for three nights. After the second day, Ethan’s energy started picking up. The first night we had to take out fine food and eat it in our room, but the next day we were able to go to the local art gallery, Artifacts, where we bought our first A. Zilys art. We walked in Downtown Cambria and had a simple but satisfying fish and chips lunch. Ethan doesn’t always eat, but this time, he willingly took little bits and pieces of the flaky fish. We went wine tasting in our favorite wine tasting room, Moonstone Cellars. We strolled on the boardwalk along Moonstone Beach, a walk that Ethan had taken several times on his short, 28-month life. The air felt fresh and calming, as if preparing us for receiving his first official diagnosis.

Although we were exhausted from traveling with a sick Ethan, we still cherished the little getaway we had. Cambria has a special place in our hearts, and it will always be a place of wonder and joy for us. In May, we will be traveling to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea California to visit a dobie pup breeder. If everything goes well, we plan to make a deposit on a doberman pinscher, and welcome a new member of our family by the end of the year.

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