Dec 21, 2014: The Staycation Begins!

Hi all! Sorry for the late blog post. I usually write on Sunday nights, and I think this may be the first time that I was just too wiped out to do it. I’m fighting off a cold, and we got back late from what turned out to be a much longer day than planned…and yeah… I’m much more inspired to write today than I was last night. 🙂

Anyway, here we are, Monday and no kids at school! That’s right, it’s the beginning of Christmas break! Woohoo! We don’t really have much of anything planned, but it’s just nice to have us all off at once. Chris has to do a tiny bit of work on his big project, but he’s mostly off for the next two weeks. And I finished up my last bit this morning and am now off for two weeks. Wheeeeee! Now if I could just kick this cold…and hopefully not pass it on to the boys….

We started off this last week by visiting my friend Jisun and her new baby. Well, sorta new baby—she’s five weeks old now. But I was sick when we were supposed to go see her before, and then Sam was a bit sick…so now she’s five weeks old. And cute as a button! I didn’t get any pictures of her, but I did finally get a picture of Sam and Jisun’s son, who’s just about a year younger than Sam, together. They are too cute to watch, now that they’re both walking and into all sorts of mischief! And Theo was quite enchanted with the baby. On the way home, he informed me that WE need a new baby, and he’d like it to arrive “tomorrow…or maybe next week.” Oh, if only it worked like that!

On Tuesday we had a long-awaited appointment for Theo with a developmental pediatrician. That deserves its own post, so click here if you want to read about it. The two-hour drive home from the appointment in the driving rain wasn’t the most fun thing we’ve ever done, but it was worth it to finally get the appointment taken care of.

Friday was a day of insanity! I somehow ended up volunteering in Theo’s class all day, from 7:40 to 12:55. It was the first time I’d volunteered this year, and wow…first grade is all kinds of drama! They were doing a “winter workshop,” so the first-grade classes were all rotating through the different first-grade rooms and doing different craft projects for the holiday. I volunteered in Theo’s classroom, which meant the groups of first-graders were coming through and making reindeer hats. (In the other classrooms they made snowman-face ornaments, some other ornament that I’m forgetting, and salt-dough snowmen. And I learned that I completely stink at making salt dough. Like, laughably bad. Oh well, everyone has to stink at something, right?!) Anyway, I was in charge of the glitter station in Theo’s classroom, so I had scores of first-graders coming up to me to glitter their reindeer noses. And thus I was privy to hearing all sorts of first-grade drama. My goodness. What a good reminder of how typical my son is in so many ways. He’s actually one of the less drama-filled ones, it seems.

And actually, he wanted me to come to the cafeteria and have lunch with him, so I did…and while I was there, the two lunchroom monitors came up to me at different times and said, “Oh, are you Theodore’s mom?” When I said I was, both of them said how much they enjoy him, and that he’s a great kid and “never any trouble in here.” One of them wants to take him home, in fact! It was really nice to hear, given that Theo does tend to get in a bit of mischief—I’m always happy to hear when things are going well!

After lunch his class had a party, and I was in charge of the cookie-decorating station, which was fun. I never met a cookie I didn’t like! (Not that I was eating them, but hey…I was near the cookies, so there’s that!) One of the kids was sick and hacking all over the place—honestly, I’m not a germaphobe about kids with colds, but I am surprised this kid’s parents sent him to school, as bad as he was coughing. At one point I had to walk him to the bathroom because he thought he was going to throw up from coughing so hard. Poor kid! Anyway, I suspect that may be where I picked up this cold…but what’s done is done. Hopefully the other kids in the class didn’t get sick from it, but I guess that’s just a job hazard in first grade!

After the party was over, we went home, and I did a crazy cleaning sweep through the downstairs, since the kids from Odyssey of the Mind were coming over for a meeting in two hours. In retrospect, having a meeting on the last day of school before break was not a good idea. The kids were crazy and bouncing off the walls. They had fun, but we got very little accomplished.  🙂 Ah well, there’s always next meeting.

After the meeting, I left the boys with Chris and hit Costco for some items we needed, then headed to my book club meeting, which was an hour away. That was a lot of fun, and I won a silly book in our “bad book white elephant,” as well as enjoyed chocolate fondue and a bit of wine. But you can imagine that when I got home at 11pm after that full day, I was pretty darn tired! It was all fun, but I’ll be glad not to repeat that full sequence of events anytime soon!

On Saturday, we headed to Grandma Kathy and Papa’s house to do our early Christmas celebration with them. Theo had lots of fun hanging out with his cousin Nikolas, and Sam was his usual happy self, puttering around and amusing himself with the new cars he got. Both boys fell asleep on the way home, and they woke up when we reached A Heart for Christmas, which is an amazing light display just about five minutes from our house. It’s incredibly popular around here—in fact, I saw that this weekend, they had more than 4,000 visitors on Saturday and Sunday! The guy who puts it together is in Film Studies or some such thing at a university down south (I want to say USC, but don’t quote me on that), and he started it as a gift to his mother (who owns the gorgeous house). But in the past few years, it’s been a fundraiser for a local girl who has pulmonary hypertension and was going to die without a double-lung and heart transplant. (She got the transplant earlier this year and is doing reasonably well, although her family had to move out of our town because there is some sort of mold around here that was going to be dangerous for her given her condition.) The light display uses more than 60,000 lights, 14 lasers, 6 water fountains, 3 fog machines, and 2 snow machines, and there’s a 20-minute animated musical show that is choreographed with the lights and such, featuring two cute little snowmen. This year, it’s narrated by Morgan Freeman. Don’t ask me how you get Morgan Freeman to narrate your light display—the guy who does it must be reasonably well connected. 🙂 Anyway, it’s very cool, and we’re lucky enough to live very close to it! The look on Sam’s face as he watched it was priceless—all wide eyes and open-mouthed awe! He also loved the music and was dancing in my arms to it and babbling away some sort of unintelligible commentary about the whole thing. So cute! (Theo was a little less impressed, but he still enjoyed it. Perhaps he’s getting a bit old for the magic of Christmas—Sam is still at the age where everything about it is awe-inspiring. It’s so neat to watch how much kids enjoy stuff like that!)

Sunday…well, the less said about Sunday, the better. It was just a long day. You know how some days parenting is all fine and dandy, and other days you’re ready to hang up your hat and retire from it? Yeah, Sunday was the latter. But we put the boys to bed, watched a mindless home-renovation show while having dinner and a glass of wine, and then collapsed into bed. And as things usually do, everything looked much better in the morning. 🙂

Merry Christmas to you all! Or if you don’t celebrate Christmas, then happy Hanukkah or happy December or something along those lines! Whatever you choose to celebrate, happy happy!

Oh, and last but not least…in case you missed it, here’s a link to a piece I wrote for Sam’s Early Intervention quarterly newsletter, about our experiences in EI.

Happy holidays!

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