Dec 27, 2015: And That’s a Wrap!

Merry Christmas, y’all! We are past it, of course, but just past it. We took our poor, struggling tree down today and de-Christmassed the house. It looks oddly empty now! But much more spacious, since our living area isn’t overly huge, and the tree took up a good chunk of it.

Our Christmas was pretty mellow. We got up and opened presents and ate baked oatmeal. Well, three of us did, anyway. Sam ate the goldfish crackers from his stocking. Which meant more baked oatmeal for the rest of us!

We were very impressed with Theo’s composure on Christmas—almost shocked, really. Usually any change in routine throws him off a bit, and he has to work hard to focus. But he was very calm and cheerful and seemed to enjoy giving the presents as much as he enjoyed receiving them. It was really, really nice!

Sam, for his part, didn’t actually care much about it. He mostly just wanted to eat his fish crackers. He would open presents if you gave them to him, but I’m not sure he really clued in about the whole presents thing. I think it’ll take another year or two for him to really get it. In the meantime, though, he was happy with his fish crackers! And he did love to go looking at Christmas lights in the days leading up to Christmas—he would point them out and go, “Ohhhh! Mas!!!” (He generally only says the last syllable of any given word, so Thomas and Christmas are both “Mas”!)

Speaking of Thomas, Sam was very excited that the iPad Mini he got for Christmas allows him to watch Thomas the Train on Netflix! But I sat down and did some of the speech apps with him last night, and he enjoyed those, too. He did particularly well with the picture flashcards—he would try his best to say every word, which was pretty exciting! And he also liked the Toddler Jukebox I downloaded for him, which was no surprise—kid loves music!

Theo was delighted with his iPad Mini, too, and he has been playing his little numbers game from school on it. He also asked me to download a Star Wars game for him that he’s been enjoying, but I was glad to see that he’s switching between that and the educational one. I don’t mind games for fun, but he does need to practice his math facts, and I like that he’s willing to do it without me nagging him!

In the late morning we set off for Sacramento and had Christmas dinner with my mom, my sister, and my sister’s family. I rarely get to see all my nieces and nephew from my sister’s side, so that was a treat! And my sister made a delicious dinner despite having returned from out of state just days before. So tasty!!

Sam actually had school in the days before Christmas, but Theo didn’t. So I had planned to do some fun stuff with Theo, but we had to shift plans a bit. Sam woke up Monday with a croupy cough, so I kept him home from school. As it turned out, it was nothing—he never got a fever, his nose barely ran at all, and he was totally perky and fine. But still, better safe than sorry. It did mean I had to cancel Theo’s play date with a friend, though. But instead, we watched Pixar’s Inside Out together while Sam napped and Chris worked. We hadn’t yet seen it, so we rented it. Unfortunately, I fell asleep for half—I need to watch it again! Seemed like a really cute movie, and I enjoyed the parts I saw.

The reason for renting Inside Out was because the next day, Theo and I had a lunch date at Pixar Studios. It is not open to the public, so this was pretty darn exciting! I’m doing a bit of volunteer work for a woman whose day job is at Pixar, so she suggested we meet for lunch to talk about the project. I said that was fine, but Theo didn’t have school and thus I’d have to drag him along. She has met Theo before and really likes him, so she had no problem with it. In fact, she gave us a tour of part of the studio, and we saw some really awesome original concept drawings and art from Inside Out! (Theo, by the way, did very well at sitting through our lunch meeting. After we left, he said, “I did good, right Mom? And that was really boring stuff you talked about. Did you actually find that interesting?” Ha! Indeed I did, but I can see how to a seven-year-old it would seem pretty dull! I told him he shouldn’t be in such a hurry to grow up, because that “boring conversation” is pretty much what happens when you’re an adult!)

On Wednesday, Chris and I took Theo to a morning showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Wow, wow, WOW!! Theo is a big Star Wars fan, as is Chris, so I was going to let them go together. I like Star Wars a lot, too, but they are bigger fans than I am, so I was going to stay home with Sam. But Sam was in school, so I tagged along…and I’m glad I did. What a great movie! I won’t give away any spoilers here, but I’ll just say I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the original three Star Wars movies. There was one character I didn’t much care for the casting for, but other than that I loved it!

And in the days since Christmas, we have just been hanging out, doing a few errands, etc. Chris has this coming week off (as do I and as do the boys), so we’re going to try to do some fun things, but I don’t know what yet. Fun stuff that won’t break the bank. 🙂

Before I sign off, I’ll direct you to my review of Born This Way, if you haven’t already read it. It’s a new show following the lives of seven adults with Down syndrome. I waited to write my thoughts on it until I had seen a few episodes. Now I have, so click here if you want to read it.

And here are a bunch of fun videos! One is of Sam chatting up a storm on the potty. Apologies that he’s on the potty (not that you can see anything), but his communication is so awesome in it that I have to share! Another couple are of  Sam doing speech therapy—in one, you can see him do a puzzle, which totally impressed me! I didn’t know he could do those! A few others are just of Sam outside—he’s up for a possible Chevy ad, and they wanted to see some video of him outside. So I figured I’d share them with you, too. Another is of Theo and Sam singing “Jingle Bells” together. And one is of Sam singing “Jingle Bells” and the ABCs while we were sitting in the car waiting for Theo and Chris. Excuse my froggy voice in some—I’ve come down with a case of laryngitis!

I hope you are all having the happiest of holiday seasons!

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