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"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you have to overcome the rain."

  Yesterday started like any other Saturday, we fed the kids breakfast, got ready for the day and checked FB. Mr. Holland had a busy week and he wanted to go do something. It was a surprise on where we were going. Normally everyone is ok with this type of road trip, but with Tink med free, we didn't know what to expect. 

  We got in the van as Mr. Holland followed us in his car to Horsey's house, Hulk & Doc were going to spend the day with her so we could spend some needed time with Mr. Magnificent & Tink. We said our goodbye's and joined Mr. Holland in the car. Tink was full of questions, "When will we be there?", "Why do we have to go?" I know that she has a hard time with transitioning and other new situations, so I reassured her that everything was ok and asked her what she saw out her window. The anticipation was driving her nuts, the car ride was too long and the stims were taking over.

 When we finally got there I was very excited - I had never been to an Ikea before! What was waiting for us inside would wind up being too overwhelming for some. For those who have never been, you start of by grabbing a bag, a pencil and a shopping list. Then you ride the escalator to the show rooms. Here is where Tink's anxiety (and mine) kicked into overdrive....people were everywhere!  Neither of us knew what to expect next, so we walked quickly to the next room, which was not any better.  As an adult, I am able to control how I look on the outside, but still feel overwhelmed and unable to focus on the inside (I found myself picking my fingers which I hadn't done since our diet change).  As for Tink... It was another story. She began to jump & chew on her sleeve and fingers. This behavior was definitely one to put in the book of firsts. Not knowing what to do or how to help her with coping in this situation, we just linked arms and moved on. Ten minutes in, I was much better and was able to shop a bit...Tink was still having a tough time.  The stims continued throughout the store. I have no idea if anyone was staring, but at that point I didn't care!  With lunchtime upon us, Tink made it known she was hungry and needed a break to eat. 

 After we ate, I wanted to start from the beginning again to see what we missed the first time through. Checking out the showrooms was much better.  Tink and I made it through with linked arms, a few giggles and a jump here and there!

  The lower part of Ikea is where you can buy the little things - lamps, plants, and cooking utensil. The next area is the warehouse where you pick up your large items.....another visual stimulating place!  Large ceiling fans, highly stacked boxes and people going in all different directions.  As I stopped to take a random picture of one of ceiling fans, a man walking by chuckled at me.....yes, I'm a tourist! 

  After we had checked out, we headed to the parking lot still linked arm in arm as buddies. Even though the day had some unexpected challenges, we spent it as a family and shared them together.   

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