Nov 29, 2015: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Among other things to be thankful for, I survived a week of no school for the elder, who tends to get a little out of sorts when his routine is disrupted…no matter how much he enjoys a break from school!

Sam had school Monday through Wednesday (preschool is apparently more hardcore than elementary school—ha! Actually, his school doubles as a daycare, so they just have more extensive time open than a regular school would), so it was just me and Theo for the first three days of the week. We kicked off the week by doing super-fun errands on Monday. (Note the sarcasm here, errands not being my favorite thing ever.) We took the kittens to the vet for their third set of shots (which completely sidelined Ms. Isabel for two whole days—poor kitty!), and we went to the chiropractor. Not exactly an exciting day, but at least productive.

Tuesday we did the fun stuff! We were supposed to go hiking with Theo’s friend Tico, but it ended up raining (quite heavily for part of the day—wahoo!), so instead we met Tico and his mom for lunch and then went bowling. I like bowling, as does Theo, so it was a fun rainy-day diversion.

And then Wednesday, the cooking extravaganza began! Theo helped me periodically throughout the day—he enjoys cooking and is a good help in the kitchen, as far as seven-year-olds go. (You know, it’s always easier to just do it yourself. But as seven-year-olds go, Theo is a pretty good kitchen helper.) I baked two pies (a chocolate-cinnamon cream pie and a sweet potato pie) and prepped sweet potato casserole, stuffing, pretzel jello (a delicious delight!), cranberry sauce, and cheesy potato casserole (Chris’s favorite!). That took up most of the day, but it meant that all I had left to do on Thursday was make the Brussels sprouts casserole and the sour green beans. (Well, and the turkey, but Chris does that part.)

Auntie Lynnie, Uncle Charles, Stevie, Carlin (Stevie’s fiancé), and Grandma Diane came to join us for Thanksgiving dinner, which made it extra special. Auntie Lynnie hadn’t gotten to visit our new house yet, and no one had met the kittens! The kitties got a ton of attention from everyone, and instead of being their usual little terror selves, they just snuggled on laps and soaked up the loving.

We had beautiful (chilly!) weather, and all in all it was a nice, low-key holiday—just the kind I like! Credit for all Thanksgiving pictures goes to my brother-in-law Charles—I was too busy cooking and parenting to actually take any pictures on Thanksgiving myself!

We were supposed to get together with Theo’s friend Gavin on Friday, but he ended up getting sick. Theo was very disappointed to miss his movie date with his friend, so instead I took him to a different movie he had been wanting to see—Goosebumps. I worried that it might be a little scary for him, but I read the parent reviews, and it seemed like it would be okay. And he really wanted to see it. So we went, and I was pleased to see that it was nothing too advanced/scary for him. He is like me—he likes a little scariness now and then, so the monsters in it didn’t bother him. He particularly liked the Abominable Snowman and the zombies, he said. And actually, as an adult, I thought it was a fun, cute little movie. It was pretty clever. I used to read the Goosebumps books as a kid (remember, I like a little scary!), and the movie put kind of a fun spin on them, with the author of the series being the main character, and the creatures from his books “coming to life” when the books are unlocked. As an avid reader who has always felt that good books “come alive,” I thought the premise was pretty clever. I don’t think I’d take a kid younger than Theo to see it, but I did feel it was appropriate for Theo’s current age.

Funny thing about Theo: There are certain programs and movies we’ve banned him from because they get him super hyper and unable to calm down. But you never can tell what it will be! It’s usually animated programs for younger kids. If he watches something for an older audience, he usually stays much calmer and doesn’t seem to get as sort of “disconnected from reality” and hyper from it. So I kind of like that he’s now moving on to older programs—he seems to stay more grounded when he watches them. But of course there’s a fine line, because many older programs have too mature of content for him. But anyway, Goosebumps turned out to be a good choice for him, and we had a nice little mommy-son date while Chris stayed home with Sam.

Earlier that morning, we had visited our local Christmas tree farm and picked up a tree, so Chris put it up while Theo and I were at the movies and Sam napped. By the time we got home, he was ready to start stringing lights, and then Theo and I decorated it while Chris decorated the house. (Sam had no interest in helping. Oddly enough, he has never shown the least bit of interest in Christmas trees or stockings or anything—he completely ignores them. Which is kind of a good thing, since the kittens certainly are not ignoring the tree—though they haven’t been as bad as I thought they might so far.)

On Saturday, we had a visit from Grandma Kathy and Papa! Chris made homemade soup from some of the leftover turkey, and it was quite good. I say that with a slight bit of surprise because my dad used to make the worst turkey soup every year, so I’m sort of biased against turkey soup. But Chris’s was quite tasty, which really shouldn’t have surprised me, since he makes very good soup in general.

Sunday was cold and sunny—it was 37 degrees when I took my walk in the morning!—so we decided to bundle up and go to a park. A certain one of our children is like a caged lion if kept in the house all day, so a park was a must! Besides, the fall colors are still pretty amazing. So, we grabbed a wiffle ball, a bat, and a batting tee, and we headed to the same park as last week. Much fun was had by all, and this time I remembered to bring along the good camera and get some pictures! Apologies that there are many more of Sam than Theo—Chris and Theo were playing tee ball and catch while I was following Sam around, thus I got many more pictures of Sam. But I snuck a few of Theo, too!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Next week, you can look forward to pictures from the Down Syndrome Connection holiday party, one of my favorite events of the year! And without further ado, here are a TON of pictures from this week. Sorry for the overload. 🙂


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