Saturday, December 22, 2018

Tiny Houses, Big Lights, and Lots of Parties

Today is the last day of school.

Yesterday there were three Christmas parties for Sadie, Patch, and James.  Two of those parties were at the same time at different schools, which required Nani and I to go to the parties and switch midway through. The plan worked out surprisingly well.

I was momentarily excited that next year those three particular kids would all be at the same school until I remembered that next year Sadie would be in middle school (I silently scream every time I read, write, or think those words), and the boys would be at the elementary school and so we'll basically have the same problem next year, only with different kids at different schools.

It's always an adventure in time management, but we always seem to find a way to make it work.

Meanwhile someone else was really ready for school today!
Nani took on the brave task of helping Sadie wrap small gifts for the small army of teachers, therapists, paras, behavioral technicians, and aids that helps make our world go round smoothly and do you know what we discovered?

There were over thirty of them.

It was only that low because two of the centers had told all the parents that all or some of their staff couldn't accept gifts because of ethics concerns. And the number was still over thirty!

And as I was texting this morning, trying to work out a paperwork roadblock, I realized that there were two more people that I completely forgot along the way, that I won't be seeing before Christmas.

Small army does seem like an entirely accurate description of the amazing people who have become a part of our lives in the last five years.

At least last night I finished decorating the inside of our house.

Or at least I think I have.

I finally got over the fear of things being broken that kept me from decorating for so many years.

Part of moving past that fear is that is that Maggie no longer goes around breaking things for no reason and while Tessie is growing into that talent, she can't reach most things and I've gotten good at decorating at very high levels.

And Maggie really seems to enjoy the decorations.

This year, for the first time ever, we took the lovely North Pole and Disney Villages that came from Paul's childhood out of the boxes and set them up on a counter in our back hallway.

They are in a safe place, that the kids don't have open access to, but it's been lovely to be able to take them back to see the beautifully lighted little houses and people.

And I had so much fun setting them up.

And last night, after all the decorations were finally in place, I made a video recording of what all the decorations looked like before the kids woke up and everything started to move and be played with and the house looked lived in again:

Do you know that by the time I finish a post (at least right now) it's an entirely different day than the day I started writing on?

I started this post yesterday morning. And then I worked on it last night. And then I fell asleep at some point with the computer on my lap. And here we are again.

But starting by saying that "today is the last day of school" really makes no sense anymore, except I'm not about to start over or this will never be posted.

We're on to the first day of vacation, and Tessie ran around wearing a voice recorder all day, for a study that one of the PhD students at her school is conducting, that we've done once before through a different university.  Still they wanted the data for her school too, so we're doing it again.

My very favorite autism activity of this entire month, and possibly my favorite Christmas activity that we've ever done, was this year's Wonderland of Lights at the zoo.

I remember going a few years ago with Maggie, before Tessie was born and being so stressed out.

This year was different though. There were more kids, because we have more kids, but there were also more grown ups.

And it was magical:

We also made the drive out to see the Michigan International Speedway Christmas lights for the very first time.

I think that this is now going to become a yearly Christmas event for us.

The kids loved driving through the light arches especially.

And maybe next year Tessie (who managed to stay awake for the almost hour drive to the lights) will stay awake for more than five minutes of the drive through the lights:

That is it for tonight, before I get too tired and fall asleep with this computer on my lap and miss posting for another day in a row.

I hope that you're Advent preparations are going well and that you're nearly ready for Christmas!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love comments and I read every single comment that comes in (and I try to respond when the little ones aren't distracting me to the point that it's impossible!). Please show kindness to each other and our family in the comment box. After all, we're all real people on the other side of the screen!