We're back!! If you want the candy coated version of our trip see my other blog:) Here I will get into more detail about what we experienced bringing Lowell to a cabin in northern Minnesota for a week. All-in-all we felt he did pretty well. Joe brought him up a day early while the rest of us were still in Milwaukee at a wedding. That way they were able to settle in a bit and get somewhat acquainted with the surroundings. When we arrived we went out for a walk in the woods. Back at the cabin, Lowell was immediately immersed in plugging and unplugging fans and hanging out at all the outlets obsessing over what he could put in them. We were able to turn the main outlet that he was interested in off so at least there was no electricity running through it. Immediately we knew we were going to have to pick our battles. He wasn't interested in any of the regular "play" items that he has at home. Each morning at 6 am (yikes!) my dad took him out to the lake and around the cabins to walk around for an hour or so. This picture was taken at sunrise. He enjoyed throwing rocks into the water for a bit, but that was pretty short-lived. They found an open cabin and Lowell loved to figure out where all the outlets and light switches were. There also was a main lodge that he always wanted to go into to play with the switch for the ceiling fan. Each time we walked by was a big event (i.e. tantrum!) if we didn't let him in. There were many things like this throughout the week that we all just had to be patient and work with him on. It was very trying, but a good growth experience for him. In the morning sun we went swimming most days and we did have some productive play there. He kicked around, walked starting in fairly deep water all the way to the shore and one day had a wonderful game of throwing a big rock into the water and then finding it and picking it up and throwing again. There was also a big slide that he loved:)The sleeping arrangements worked out pretty well. He took his regular nap and slept through the night until 5 am, just as he does at home. Joe slept in the same room with Lowell and I slept in a different room with Chloe. On the very last day we offered him a juice box. He has never been able to drink through a straw before but he figured it out immediately!! We were all sitting around the table and cheered wildly and he LOVED it:)
Overall we think that he did a pretty good just in such a different environment. We could certainly see his self-soothing obsessions (outlets, Baby Einstein videos and a toy phone) come into play a lot more than at home, but that was to be expected. The happy ending to this vacation is that since we got home yesterday he has been doing fabulous. He was very happy to be home in comfortable surroundings. He read his entire Dinosaur Roar book cover to cover all on his own over and over. We were able to get it all on tape! He has been very verbal. It seems that the week with his cousins was a growth period for him and now we're watching him blossom. Very exciting!!!