Jan 17, 2016: Back to the Grind

Well, after the magic of Disney, we are back to the grind…and it’s been rather ho hum, so I don’t have a ton to report. Both boys are back to school—much to Theo’s chagrin. He does like school quite a bit this year, but not as much as he enjoys being off school!

Sam is trying so hard to talk these days—it’s very exciting! His teacher mentioned it to me, and we’ve noticed it at home, too. Most of the time it’s still not really understandable, but he’s really trying, so that’s exciting! He has been really stuck on single syllables, so his speech therapist is trying to work on two-syllable combinations with him. One of the words she worked on with him last week is “starfish.” He has long said “fuff” for “fish,” and apparently “starfish” became “dahfuff!” It’s such a cute-sounding word that we’ve been walking around saying, “Dahfuff!” and one of my friends made this cute little meme of it!

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He is also trying to sing more songs. He sings “Jingle Bells” a lot, and although it’s not really recognizable, it’s pretty cool when he does an exuberant “HEY!” for the “…in a one-horse open sleigh” part. He has also become quite fond of Katy Perry’s “Roar” and tries his best to sing that.

It’s hard to believe the little guy will be FOUR in just a few weeks! Wow, I honestly don’t know where the time went….

In other cute kiddo news, Theo and Sam have taken to shooting the breeze in the early morning, when they wake up. (Truthfully, I suspect the restless elder kiddo wakes up, gets bored, and wakes up the younger kiddo. But whatever the reality, they’re up early and chattering in their room—and often bouncing in their beds.) So anyway, one morning I went in to tell Theo it was time to get ready for school, and he met me at the door and said cheerfully, “Mom! I was trying to teach Sam how to climb out of his crib!”

“But I don’t want him to climb out of his crib!” I protested.

“Oh, but I put down pillows and blankets so he wouldn’t hurt himself…” Theo replied earnestly and pulled open the door all the way. Sure enough, he had stripped his bed of all blankets and pillows, plus taken Sam’s blankets and pillows, and lined the floor around the crib so that Sam wouldn’t hurt himself if he fell. How sweet is that?! I was really touched that he was so thoughtful—and I told him so before explaining that I would prefer Sam not learn how to climb out of his crib yet, as he’s really not mature enough to have the freedom to roam the house at night!

Speaking of the sweet brothers, here’s a video of Theo reading to Sam. He’s been doing that a lot lately, which is very cool. He happens to hate the particular book Sam chose, which is why he’s griping a bit at the beginning!

In significantly less exciting news, Chris and I finally got around to installing our joint Christmas present: garage shelves!! Because we’re a super-romantic, exciting couple who buys each other things like garage shelves for Christmas… But seriously, they were much needed. We are required to park both cars in the garage every night—we don’t have a private driveway, and the common spots in the complex are reserved for guests only. And our garage is just a standard two-car size. So, when you try to add in bicycles, tubs of Christmas directions, tubs of hand-me-down clothes that we’re waiting for Sam to grow into, a toddler bed we’re waiting for Sam to grow into, gardening tools, lawnmower, all the deck stuff that shouldn’t sit out in the rain all winter, and a host of other crap, it becomes a very tight fit. Sometimes, depending on how Chris parks his car the night before, I can’t get into the van in the morning because it’s too tight. Which makes me feel fat, and then I get crabby. So in a fit of tantrum one day in early December, I said, “That’s it! We’re getting garage shelving for Christmas!” And when I found a ceiling-mounted garage shelf on sale for 60 percent off, I ordered it.

You know how men bond over doing construction or fix-it type tasks together? Well, Chris wanted his dad to come help him with the shelf, and his dad was looking forward to coming up and helping. But then he tore his rotator cuff, so obviously manual labor won’t be happening anytime soon! So I said I would take Papa’s place in this task. As it turned out, Chris really didn’t need me anyway, except for a few minutes to hold a couple of brackets in place. He spent all day Friday working on it, and voila! We now have garage shelving! See how lovely that looks? We actually ended up taking a bunch of stuff to the donation center on Sunday, too, to free up more space in the garage. So perhaps now I can actually get in the van without feeling like a hippo stuck in a mouse hole.

Chris forgot to take a "before" picture, but here he's cleared out the area where the shelving will go.
Chris forgot to take a “before” picture, but here he’s cleared out the area where the shelving will go.
...and temporarily dragged much of the crap out into the common driveway!
…and temporarily dragged much of the crap out into the common driveway!

 

Behold the shelf, in all its glory!
Behold the shelf, in all its glory!
And the bikes are even hung!
And the bikes are even hung!
And both cars are parked in there, with room to move!!
And both cars are parked in there, with room to move!!

 

Speaking of Papa, we went to see Grandma Kathy and Papa on Saturday. They have a new Bass Pro shop near their house, and Chris was itching to take the boys, having heard much about this massive sporting-goods store. It actually was pretty cool—Sam really enjoyed watching the fish in the huge aquarium, and Theo loved checking out the speedboats. And actually, it was a worthwhile trip—Chris needed a sleeping bag for his camping trip with Theo next weekend, and they had one at a good price. (Whether they’ll actually end up going is anyone’s guess. We’ve been getting a fair bit of rain, so it’s going to be a soggy mess. I half expect it to get cancelled. This is the Scouts camping trip that was originally scheduled for September and was cancelled then. Don’t ask me why they thought it was a good idea to reschedule for January, which is typically, along with February, our rainiest month. But whatever…I’ll be snug and warm in a dry house with Sam!)

Sunday was just sticking close to home and running a few errands and doing some cleaning tasks. It was pretty rainy in the afternoon, so that put a damper (pun intended!) on doing anything outside.

In this week’s gallery, enjoy a ton of cool pictures of our pets! Our pet sitter is a hobbyist photographer as well, and when he sat for us last weekend, he brought his camera one day and took lots of pictures of the pets. The cats were a bit more cooperative than Zoe, so you’ll see more of them, but there are some cute ones of Zoe, too!

And last but not least, if you missed it, I wrote another post this week called When It’s Hard. Click here to read it if you haven’t already—but be warned, it’s not the cheeriest thing I’ve ever written. It’s been a rough couple of weeks in certain corners of the disability world.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful early January!

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