The holidays have just gotten a bit easier. The boys are now old enough to put most of the tree together by themselves. I just sit back and take pictures and wait until they call for me to put the lights on.
I miss the days of having a real tree. I have to light a Yankee Candle to give me that necessary everygreen scent. But my fear of a house fire trumps my need for a live tree. And besides, this tree was free. Yankee Candles it is! (Light a candle? In a house with 3 curious children? Does this make any sense at all as a way to avoid fires?)
It was a nice, relaxing day. The boys never got out of their pajamas. Obviously, I didn't even comb Nick's hair. And Blake was extremely excited to break out the Playmobil nativity. Nicholas came up with the idea to put a train around the base of the tree. It was GeoTrax, not a fancy Polar Express train, but you work with what you've got.
How cute would this picture be if you could just see Lexi's eyes? The downfall of thick spectacles.
Alexis wasn't sure what to think of a big tree in her space. She couldn't decide if she wanted to touch it or not and then kept blowing on the lights, trying to get them to blow out.
Incidently, I think we can officially call Alexis a walker. It's slow but steady and probably 90% of the time. We're so proud!! It's been a long wait (over 2 1/2 years) but it's amazing how much a milestone like this means when you finally hit it! (I love the hands clasped behind her back.)
Once the boys put the ornaments on the tree she couldn't keep her hands off them. And so out came the gate.
We like to refer to our plastic gate decor as "safety chic".
Alexis had her latest check-up at the Down syndrome clinic this past week. And while I sat in that waiting room, for hours on end, waiting for the next doctor to come in, while trying to entertain a 2-year-old who Just. Wants. Out. Of. This. Room!, I remind myself how grateful I am to have a Down syndrome clinic where I can fit in 6 appointments in one (long) morning.
The geneticist came in and raved over how fantastic she looks, how healthy she is, how well she's doing. She hadn't put on much weight, but she looks so healthy that it's fine. Look at the child, not the numbers. The endochrinologist came in. Alexis remains on synthroid for her hypothyroid. She hasn't shown any side effects from the medication and appears to be doing great. We later went down to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital for the blood draw to confirm that her thyroid is okay. Still no sign of Peyton, (Where is he? He's not even playing right now! And it's a bye week!) but we later got a call from the doctor that her blood work came back fine.
Next, the physiatrist. The doctor noticed last time that Lexi had one leg shorter than the other. Last time we were there, Alexis hadn't been taking any steps yet, so she couldn't see how it was affecting her. This time she was able to watch Alexis walk. She got to watch Alexis walk! And once the doctor pointed it out to me, it was obvious how much the difference in the length of her legs was affecting her walking. Her right leg is a half inch shorter and she hyperextends that right leg to to compensate. This could eventually cause hip problems, arthritis, all kinds of fun stuff. We were sent down for a hip x-ray which I'm assuming came back okay since we haven't heard from them. We only call you when there's a problem. The physiatrist gave us two orders: a change in her leg braces for next time we have to order them. And a lift to add to the sole of her right shoe. Great. Shoe shopping should be fun. Finding cute styles that fit over wide plastic braces is not. At least platforms are all the rage right now. When we get her her first pair of platform stilletos, we'll be totally in style. Well, on her right side anyway.
Next: the audiologist. I'm so grateful her hearing seems to be fine. She sits on my lap so calmly in that soundproof box, responding to sounds that even I care barely hear. She's amazing.
And four hours later, they sent us on our way.
Another big event last week: we had our first meeting with a school rep. Her last day with First Steps is the day before she turns 3. The day she turns 3 we will be on Spring Break (April 7) but the day that school is back in session, my baby girl can get on that huge yellow bus and go out into that big bad world without me. I'm so glad that we put her in a preschool for one day a week this year. It's a huge peace of mind that she's doing well in that class and that she appears to love it. But the day she boards that bus and leaves me, you will find me in a sobbing heap at the end of my driveway.
The school sent me the paperwork that's required to start in the early childhood program. The paperwork we signed when we refinanced the house was nothin'.
We had another milestone. I was changing Alexis's diaper and she was not having it. So for the first time, she put two sentences together, clear as day:
I want all done!"
Girlfriend's got a 'tude.
Halloween was a success. The kids and I spent the long fall break weekend in Elkhart with the fam.
Alexis wore the same Pooh costume that both of her brothers wore when they were that size. If we hadn't already had the costume, I would have invested in some Leah buns for her to keep with our Star Wars theme. Knowing my boys, they'll still be in Star Wars mode when next Halloween comes around.
You think you know that Blake is dressed as Darth Vader. You are wrong.
Blake is dressed at Harry Potter dressed as Darth Vader.
And finally, Nicholas turned 8. Sigh. And it's hard to tell, but Nicholas kept with the Star Wars theme for his birthday.
I adore this kid. He made me a mamma. Thank you, sweet boy.