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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Drifting Into 2011 With Some Randomness

We are still enjoying our Christmas holiday away from the norm. The best part being a teacher is getting this week off! And to make it even better, Daddy's company shuts down for the week as well. Because the employment stars are in order, we are able to travel and have quality family time. The only complaint that I have is that Daddy "is on vacation" and I'm still waiting to see when mine starts! Just a technicality we need to work on!

I would have posted pictures from our week...but Daddy took the car (and my camera!) to hang out with some guys and watch some football that had been postponed from Sunday. I got to hang out with my parents, my brother (who was running away from life in general), and all three kids...yeah, that's my vacation! Oh, did I mention, we took all three kids out for lunch, to Target, and to an indoor game place this afternoon...and only the boy napped? Yeah, that's my vacation!

All kidding aside, we did have a fabulous Christmas with minimal meltdowns from Bruiser (actually, no meltdowns until 5pm!) and quality family time. I think we focused more on it this year because we decided that we are not traveling next December...and that our children need to establish memories of the holidays in their own home. It was a tough decision but one that had to be ensure sanity on all fronts!

We've been enjoying downtime but also keeping Bruiser (and the girls) busy to help control his sensory input needs. I can tell he's escalating as the week continues...and it's soon time to head home to the familiar and the routine. He did AWESOME but I know we are starting to push him to his limits! This could make for an interesting 6+ hour drive home on Thursday!

So much to do...children to guide and control, gifts to pack, laundry (yes, Mommy's job never ends!) to do, the week ahead to plan and organize...I will post pictures of the fabulous children's museum we visited when the camera (and Daddy!) return.

I'm off to enjoy my "vacation"!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas...From Ours To Yours!

We fed the reindeer...
...opened a few gifts so we could sleep a bit better...

...posed in our jammies...

...woke up to check out the loot...

...explored our new toys...

...visited with family...

...and shared Christmas joy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas (a few days early!)

Because we travel for the holidays, we have discovered that it is impossible to bring all the children's gifts with us. Some are just too large! So today we had an early Christmas where the kids got their presents from Mommy and Daddy (since Santa doesn't come until the 25th!) and Daddy and I exchanged our gifts.

The before shot

Tater exploring her "vet station" (and Bruiser having meltdown #2 for the day!)

Sassy "washing" her hands at the play sink Daddy built.

Sassy opening her dolls to go with her wooden doll house

Bruiser playing with his wooden castle

Sassy and Bruiser opening their gifts from Tater (that she picked out herself!)
(Oh, and Bruiser recovering from meltdown #3)

Daddy opening his gift from me

Daddy and Tater trying to figure out what the gift is!
(Daddy, who is a huge Monty Python fan, will be going to see Spamalot in April!)
I should have taken a picture of how the living room looks now! I can only imagine Christmas ended with only one bag of trash! But there was lots of great playing, a bit of trouble with sharing, but some amazing imaginative play!
It was especially interesting to watch Bruiser experience the event. He really struggled with others opening gifts and it not being all about him. We need to have LOTS of conversations about taking turns and sharing between now and Christmas day...or the whole day might result in tons of tears (well, it might anyway, but at least we'll have tried!).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

SPD Winter Obstacle Course!

On cold wintry days, we are in true meltdown stage by dinner time if we don't find a way to move and release some energy! Enter in the basement playroom and the outdoor toys we have now moved in. Tonight Daddy and the kids set up an obstacle course and below is the fun that followed!
The slide...

The swing ...

The teeter-totter...

More swing time!

Through the tunnel...

Another swing...

Weighted medicine ball...

Some giggles!

And back through the tunnel!
And everyone calmed down for a holiday movie and bed...which is where we are headed right now!

Cookie Making With The Big Girl!

While Daddy was doing a bit of Christmas shopping (hmmm, wonder what he got me?) and the little ones were napping (or at least contained in their bedrooms!), Tater and I did a bit of gingerbread lollipop decorating. Nothing fancy...just a kit from the "place we go on Sundays" and a lot of quality mother-daughter time!

Breakfast With Sassy!

Part of Sassy's sensory issues revolves around her not being able to sit at the table. So, she chooses to sit...or stand on the table! We know it's not safe...and we're working on it...but, rest assured, we are never far away when she's up there! Friday morning I was home from working because of a sick little boy, so we enjoyed some quiet, cuddly jammie time and I snapped a few shots of Sassy being silly while she ate her breakfast in her "spot"!

Don't you love the nightgown on the little princess?

Love the eyes!

The shot I missed while I was getting the camera was of her laying on her stomach across the island with her feet crossed in the air behind her...just too. stinkin'. cute.


Tater had her first Girl Scout ceremony to receive her first petals for Daisy Scouts. She looked so cute in her smock!

Her Troop!

Tree Decorating!

The pictures are sparse...but super cute! We had a bit of help with decorating this year when a neighbor needed an emergency it was a bit of a stretch to take picture while wrangling 6 excited children decorating a Christmas tree!
All dressed in our holiday nightwear...including the purple cowgirl hat!

Bruiser posing!

Super Sassy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Amidst the craziness of this holiday months, we actually enjoy the family traditions we have established and share - some nightly and some occasionally throughout the month. Here are a few of the things we celebrate every year as a family!

Papa and Mimi got us this advent calender. Every day in the month of December you pull out one "brick" and Santa falls down the chimney.

This is our candy advent calendar. We open one door each night for a little chocolate-y treat!

This is our Jesse Tree that we added this year. Each night we add an ornament that depicts something from a story in the Old Testament. We read a bible verse and the reason for the ornament illustration each night. Right now they are just laminated computer print outs but maybe I'll invest in a set of real ornaments next year.

The children really love the basket of Christmas books and gravitate toward these books during our reading time each night before bed. The nice thing is that I only put these books out in it's like having all new books each year!

We love to display our Christmas cards and this is my new display that I created this year. All it is is an old yard stick with clothespins hot glued on and then hung with a ribbon...super easy!

We also love our nativity...actually, we keep it out all year round!

And here is the kids' Fisher Price nativity that also only comes out in December. They love to play with it and it keeps their little paws off mine!
So, what are your family holiday traditions?
I'd love to hear about them!