Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holiday Wrap Up

To celebrate Kent's birthday this year the kids and I went shopping for some much need work clothes for him. (A crayon went through the wash and into the dry - you can deduce what happened from there, the irony being it was the one load with all our nicest clothes!) It was funny to listen to the two debate what color would look best on their Baba. They helped to wrap the gifts and then a good friend of ours made the most amazing blueberry cheesecake EVER!!! The picture doesn't do it justice, especially when the saran wrap took off most of the beautiful blueberry glaze on the top but Kent could not stop raving about it for days on end. I believe it was the highlight for him!

We bought our annual Christmas ornaments and Elias got his first. We try so hard to buy something that reflects our feelings on the child and his is a classic street lamp - because he is such a light in our lives and for our family.

With Elias being the last child, I was a little sentimental about the passing of this baby phase and chose this to remember the tenderness of early motherhood.

Kent liked the lighthouse and all that it symbolizes for this last year.

Unfortunately everything was packed up before I could get shots of Keila and Isaac's. Next year I guess.

The last of holiday excitement was that Keila attended her very first exclusive birthday party. She's proud of the fact that she has her own friends apart from Isaac and it was nice to meet the parents of the children ourside of preschool.

She spent most of the party with Clare, the girl sitting next to her. Alexa, the girl on the couch in pink and black is her 'best friend'. The are the only two girls in class and so they stick like glue together. Alexa is shy though and initially Keila was highly hurt that she wouldn't talk to her. It took some time and convincing that Alexa loved her and was just fine with Keila doing all the talking for two (or more!)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

Keila could hardly wait this year for the big day to arrive. She drooled at the sight of all those presents while Isaac speculated on which box was the right size for an angry bird.

Santa fulfilled one major wish for Isaac by granting him angry bird slippers. Keila hadn't been very vocal about what she wanted from the Jolly Old Man. At the ward Christmas party she asked him for a seashell necklace; you know how a toddlers mind can change minutely so nothing more was thought of it until the Christmas Eve when she said the exact same thing again and talked about it for the 45 min drive home. By the time we got them into bed it was late but I attempted a mad dash out to Walmart or somewhere to find the much coveted jewelry. I once swore i would neve be the crazy mother doing last minute christmas shopping but here i was, on christmas eve at that! it was something about seeing her eyes light up at the magic and the wonder of it. Unfortunately it was too late so Santa wrote a note of apology and hoped the fuzzy pink princess slippers would do instead. True to a child's heart, she wasn't phased and loved the gifts from the jolly old man.

Back in November we purchased a tv something we told the kids was part of their Christmas present. We went from nothing to a 55 inch BIG SCREEN TV. (We say it just like that in a deep booming voice). To add to it, we bought a Wii and a few games as our family gift. Isaac got two of his angry birds (now fondly named Bombie and Zoomie) and two pigs all pocket size for him to throw to his hearts content. Keila received two My Little Pony figurines - Rarity and Fluttershy and even a special comb for their manes. True to any child his age Elias loved all the wrapping paper and his siblings took more interest to his toys than himself.

The rest of the day was spent in quiet happiness as we played together, ate and relaxed. In the evening we stopped over at the Bakers for some Just Dance fun. The kids whooped our older butts but we held our own when the 80's music came up. It was the perfect day spent with those we love! Merry Christmas 2012.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

Our annual Christmas Eve party was held at Christine's house this year.  We missed Chad, Lori and Tom and their respective families but had a blast seeing everyone else.  Keila was particularly attached to her cousin Jenny and Isaac loved having a crowd to answer his every question. We also had a fun addition, we were introduced to Joseph's fiancée, Jenny.  The kids took to her right away.


After the burritos and chocolate cookies we got a special visit from Santa.  Keila was rather impatient for her gift and kept hovering in the front near him.  I'm pretty sure she was in his lap before he even finished saying her name! 

Elias was a wiped out little puppy but was as stoic as ever when placed in St. Nicks lap. Santa was much more in danger of having his beard pulled out then anything else.


Isaac was sure to reiterate his strong desire for anything to do with angry birds.  He was a little skeptical since he spotted shoes under the cover of the Santa boots but feels its acceptable for the jolly old man to have helpers since "he can't do EVERYTHING!  That would be impossible!" 

In our household Santa does the stockings while we do the gifts under the tree.  It's been nice since they have the magic of the season without it being the focus and end all of Christmas. But I'm a little sadden as I watch Isaac keen observations put the magic of childhood to question. Last year he noted the shoes of Santa under the supposed boots.  His logic dictates that there is only one real Santa and yet that man can be found everywhere. Last year he explained it by saying Santa has helpers to take the messages back to the real man but this year he was so much more skeptical.   I suppose it doesn't help that santa's wrapping paper was found behind my bed frame. I tried hard to keep it going a little longer but his old eyes questioned me too earnestly too often.

Finally one evening while singing our bedtime song he asked straight out.  Thankfully I was  prepared.  I told him that Santa's magic was found in the belief that there is kindness and generosity everywhere.  So long as we have love for others, give willingly and share freely, Santa would always be real.  The little man was quiet for a moment  and then said, " so anyone can be a Santa?  So"  Smart kid now heaven help me when next year he decides he needs to enlighten others about the concept.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Fun

Holiday fun! Simplify has been the motto this holiday seasons so instead of baking up our own gingerbread houses we bought them instead. I don't think we're going back, it was too easy and perfect fun. We bought a "village set" so we each had our own home to decorate.

Is it rather obvious that Isaac was more into getting as much candy on his house than the esthetics of decorating! Keila was a little more particular.

Against my better judgement I let them have at it. Keila enjoyed it only for the first day or two, she has much more discriminating tastes. Isaac on the other hand just wanted to get as much sugar as possible in his system!

Isaac also got an opportunity to go on a hayride with his friends from preschool. Armed with hot cocoa and blankets and candy canes he and Kent meet up with friends and had a blast.

The annual Christmas party for our ward was lots of fun too. We got to get to know a few new families and visit with the jolly man again. This is absolutely no doubt in our minds that Isaac wants Angry Birds, but Keila wavers between jewellery of some sort to clothes. Elias was just happy to try a candy cane for the first time.

One of our favorite elfs!

Much of our free time was spent playing outside with our neighbors. This little guy is Logan and Keila has decided that he is her personal 'boyfriend'. I found it odd one day when she ran inside after only being out for a minute or two. She wanted me to do her hair and to change her shirt. Apparently this little boy is one worth impressing and Kent and I are dying to know where she picked up on 'dressing for the occasion'. Logan's dad says he has quite a few little lady friends. Kent says he's keeping his eye out on him! Here they are taking a drive together.

These guys grow up way too fast!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Sharing DS and Santa's Breakfast

With the busyness of the season I tried to limit our activites to the ones that would be the most meaningful for our family. One of those was attending Breakfast with Santa organized by Sharing Down Syndrome of AZ. I wonder if I will ever get use to walking into a room of strangers and having them embrace us so openly while asking intimate health questions about our darling son. :0) Unlike the DS Walk, we had a chance to really chat with a few families. We admired so many of them as they dealt with so many more challenges in health than we do with Elias, everything from heart conditions to surgeries for strictures in the esophagus or major sensory issues. It was also nice to see hear from others that Elias was doing well and the few concerns we had were quite normal in children with DS.

Isaac and keila had a blast playing and making crafts

I got a chance to chat again with Gina, the lady who first introduced me to this wonderful group. She is truly enthusiastic and warm for all children, but especially for those with DS. Elias got a good amount of snuggles from her.

I'm grateful for these people in my life. While our interactions are brief, they truly understand - from the endless doctor appointments, running the hoops though an ever changing system to the profound pride when I can say Elias can sit up on is own. Our journeys are similar and it's nice to share in them along the way.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Toothfairy Dreams

Years ago (well, only 3 years, but that's a lifetime to a 5 year old!) Isaac watched an episode on TV with the Toothfairy and was captivated by the concept of a being who would trade him a tooth for money. For a time he'd wiggle his teeth in the hopes of moving the process along and so I was naturally shocked when the dentist informed me that he really did have one loose.

The tooth fairy was generous and gave him $2 and a note saying something to the effect of looking forward to more visits in the future.

A week later his second one fell out, now he REALLY has a gappy smile! (Ahh, the awkwardness of growing up, so endearing when it's your own children and not you!) This time the tooth fairy gave some hygiene advice - Floss your teeth often. Yay tooth fairy, maybe Isaac will listen more to her since she holds the purse!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Everything to Me

I love having a camera on my phone ... I love my phone. It's crazy how much our bill went up with our smart phones, but I must say it's nice to keep in touch. Anyhow, if I don't have the "second wife" on me (she is heavy to lug around!) it's nice that moments don't get lost. While the shots aren't as nice, it's the memories that I treasure.
Elias and I snuggling while working at the preschool nursery.

Kent and Elias were twinners that day and I couldn't resist this shot of the two of them playing on the floor. The sweet men in my life!

Keila loves Elias and always wants to smell or snuggle him. This was after a nice feed and Elias was content enough to let her hold him all by herself. What a proud sister.

We finally finished rocking in our front yard. After they delievered it the neighborhood kids has a blast playing on the pile. Isaac and Keila laid on it dreaming of how happy Kent would be if they did all the work for him. Then they used this little shovels and trucks to attempt the job. I think it was sweet, it's the thought that counts right?

Love these guys, they are everything to me!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Horsing Around Stepping Stones

This is one of the many reasons why I love stepping stone preschool. They are just large enough to afford fun activities for the kids and small enough to feel like a big family. Their field trips are all on campus and range from Jungle Jill (who has tons of animals to see and pet) to the canine division of the police as well as firemen. This time they brought the Singing Cowboy and his sidekick Dusty.

Notice the extremely attentive audience and my daughter sitting in the middle.

Isaac loved the part where Dusty steals the cowboy's s'more. " That's one smart horsey!" Keila was so darn excited and wigglely this was the best shot I could get with a camera phone. Silly girl!