Wednesday, January 30, 2013

25 things

I haven't posted in 25 days.  Mom's getting on my case.  And so much has been going on that I keep putting it off.  Nothing big, just lots of little things.  About 25 little things.

1.  Nick is playing Upwards basketball and we're already halfway through the season.  He's back to being one of the young kids on the team (the 3rd grader on a 3rd/4th grade team), but despite the lack of points he's scored, he still seems to be enjoying it.

2.  Alexis is no longer receiving outpatient therapy (she still receives therapy in school).  We have new insurance and they won't cover therapy for Down syndrome.  "It's chronic.  It's viewed as maintenance.  It can't help her."  I'm so bothered by this, and not so much because she can't get outpatient therapy, but because I wonder if this is the beginning of the battles.  And limitations are being placed on my rock star of a girl by people who know nothing about her and have absolutely no idea how capable she is.

3.  My house is semi clean.  This is huge.  (Don't go in my bathroom.)

4.  Nick came home with a great report card.

5.  Blake came home with a great report card.  He has room for improvement with his handwriting and organizational skills.  This is not news.

6.  Alexis had an appointment at the Down syndrome clinic.  She put on 4 pounds in 6 months.  Usually when we go, she has put on a fraction of a pound.  She's in the 50th percentile for kids with d/s.  Perfect.

7.  Alexis has discovered the Wiggles.  I swore I would never introduce her to the Wiggles.  She found them on my phone.  So I dragged out the boys' old Wiggles DVDs. What have I done?

8.  Blake turned 8.  He's halfway to being able to drive.  I'm not sure what's worse: Blake being that old, or hearing the Wiggles.

9.  We celebrated Blake's birthday with the family this past weekend.  Shockingly, he received some Lego sets.  We now have about 3000 more pieces of Lego's to step on in the middle of the night.

10.  Alexis had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for her leg length discrepancy.  It was reassuring to hear that we are doing everything right in terms of her shoe lift and ankle braces.  Hopefully, there will be no surgery in her future, but if there is, it would be around age 8 or 9 and it's not too painful.

11.  Blake is signed up to start swim lessons next week.

12.  I'm still running periodically, maybe twice a week.  It's amazing that it takes me months to build up to run a half marathon, but it takes what seems like 3 days of not running and I can't run for even a mile straight.

13.  Jason got a weekend away with the boys over the long MLK weekend.  He earned it.

14.  Nick is very excited that the Ravens are in the Superbowl.  Nick's love for the Ravens, which even he can't explain, is the only reason I'll be cheering for them.  I'm very sad that the football season is coming to an end.  Very very sad.  Sitting around, watching football with the family on Sundays is the highlight of my week.

15.  Alexis is taking gymnastics.  She loves it, and this deserves a blog post of it's own.  Stay tuned.

16.  I am obsessed with Downton Abbey.  Best. Show. Ever.  I will not admit to the other show I now love, because it's a new and terrible (and terribly embarrassing) show on Bravo.

17.  Nick is obsessed with Skylanders (it's a video game thing, Grandma).  Blake is obsessed with Minecraft (also a video game thing, Grandma).  I understand these obsessions as much as I understand Lexi's love of the Wiggles.

18.  Alexis loves dressing up.  She puts on her brother's shoes, Pop Pop's hats, bathing suit bottoms (over her jeans), costumes, and she takes her socks off, puts the socks on her hands, and calls them "necklace".

19.  Alexis's speech is really coming along.  She reverses the words 'cupcake' and 'pancake', and also 'necklace' with 'bracelet'.

20.  Two of Lexi's words that are right on:   'chips and salsa'.

21.  I can hear a storm coming in.  We're under a tornado watch.  It was blustery cold a couple days ago.  Today we had a high of 63.  Indiana makes me happy (not the tornado part).

22.  Alexis is a beautiful, sweet, charming, loving little girl.  She is also a handful.  They love her at school, but she has her own agenda and is on the time out chair most days.  These thunderous threes prove that she is a typical toddler.

23.  I'm almost 40.

24.  Preschools are starting to register for next year. I think Alexis will continue with her same schedule, but maybe with an addition of an afternoon preschool a couple days a week. She could attend the same preschool where she is in Parent's Day Out, but I'm looking for a backup plan in case she isn't potty trained by the fall.  The school system here will go to a balanced calendar next school year: 8 weeks of summer, 1 week of fall break, 1 week of spring break, 2 weeks at Christmas.  School will start on August 1.

25.  Blake and Nick continue to amaze me.  At 15 months apart, they could not be more different: Right brained vs. left brained, in every sense.  But they are a perfect balance, complement each other perfectly, tattle on each other like typical siblings, but adore each other and their sister.  I am absolutely blessed in every area in my life and I will never take this for granted.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Christmas Recap and How to see an entire amusement park for the cost of a plate of nachos.

Christmas was a whirlwind of family gatherings, good friends, and travel.  Christmas is celebrated with my side of the family in Elkhart on Christmas Eve and then Christmas morning we wake up at my parent's house, the kids open their gifts from Santa, and we drive to Kokomo to celebrate Christmas with hubby's side.

Usually we drive back home Christmas night and then December 26th is spent playing with new toys, doing laundry and packing up for our yearly trip to Gainesville, Florida to see dear friends.  While we were in Kokomo on Christmas Day, the local news stations were forecasting a blizzard arriving that night and through the following day.  We left Kokomo by 7, arriving home in Noblesville by 8.  Toys were thrown into the living room, suitcases were dumped in the laundry room and then refilled with whatever remaining clothes were in the closets, and we were on the road, headed to Florida by 10:30.  As much as I would have loved to witness a good blizzard (I'm still bitter that we were out of the country for the blizzard of '78) I was not to be kept from my southern destination.

It was great seeing our dear friends.  Poor Blake was under the weather for the first several days with a fever and cough.  The boys were in heaven playing video games almost every waking hour.  We did force them outside a couple times a day.  We learned pretty quickly to add some specific instructions when we sent them out, since the first time we sent them outside, we found them on the porch playing Nintendo.

Blake was still under the weather.  Needless to say, he didn't catch the ball.
Alexis adored Trisha.  I think the feeling was mutual.
Lexi's newest word:  ipad.

We made a trip to Busch Gardens while we were there.  Luckily, Blake had just gotten over his nasty cold, but unfortunately Nick was coming down with an ear infection.  Luckily, with ibuprofen, Nick said he felt fine.  The whole reason I wanted to go to the Busch was for Alexis to see the Seasame Street characters and it was definitely the highlight of my day. 
Meeting Elmo and Big Bird
Rosita (the blue furry thing in the background) and the Count spent quite a bit of time loving on Lex. 

The whole day rocked.  And here I will insert my instructional excerpt on how to rock your Busch Gardens experience:

1.  Know someone who knows someone who finds you free tickets to the B.G.  My bestfriend's boyfriend's cousin's sister's neighbor knows this guy who saw this girl who works at Busch Gardens.  But seriously, I happened to mention our plans to visit Busch Garden's to a cousin who, it turns out, has a sister that works there.  How awesome is that!?!

2.  Make sure said contact works in a souvenir shop, so you get your purchases with her discount.

3. And make sure that the contact's boyfriend manages the photo shop so you can get all your pictures at a discount.

4.  Finally, if you can arrange to get someone in your party trapped at the top of the highest roller coaster for an entire hour, you can also get free meals.  Thank you Matt and Cam for your participation in this exercise.

Yep, that's their roller coaster car.  Stopped.  At that angle.  For an hour.

We left the park that night, out the cost of one discounted Christmas ornament, a soda, and a plate of nachos.
Blake and Daddy were off riding all the big scary rides and roller coasters.  All Nick and I need to be happy is fair food.

The following day, New Year's Eve, Nick woke up with both ears hurting.  Turns out it was a double ear infection.  Poor kid.  On a positive note, we got to take advantage of our last free trip to an urgent care center before our insurance plan changed on January 1.  I'm a glass-half-full kinda gal.

It was nice to get back home.  The kids don't have to be back to school until the 8th, so we can continue to relax and play Uno Attack and watch football all weekend.  Holiday Blessings to you all, and Go Colts!