Oh, that Elf!

The holiday season, despite all the stress it brings, still has to be my favorite time of the year. There’s the annual ornament exchange –and yay! I’m done making mine! There’s the usual stress of shopping,  the endless deluge of christmas music (or what passes for it these days), decorations, parties, ugly sweaters and the beautiful magic the holiday brings.

I’ll be one to tell you that yes, I firmly believe in Santa Claus and the Spirit of the Season. I absolutely love and stick to as many family traditions that I can no matter how cheesey.

This year, I decided upon the Elf on the Shelf.  OMG. He was beyond excited when I told him that one of Santa’s elves was coming over to stay with us for a while.  We opened the box to find that “Elf” had written him a nice letter of welcome that went like this:

Dear Justin,

My name is “Elf” I live at the North Pole with Santa Claus. But this year, I finally get my dream job of getting to come live with you until Christmas.   Every night while you sleep, I go back to tell Santa what a good boy you are being. I also get to see my friend Meece, who watches over your cousins K and K every year.   I hope you and I become great friends.   I am looking forward to telling Santa great things about you!

Your new friend,           Elf

The first day was a little rough since the elf was still in his box and J wanted him out. It was difficult in explaining why the elf couldn’t be touched. Getting him to sleep was more difficult, since he kept sneaking out to see if the elf had left to go see Santa yet for the night. As soon as I knew he was asleep, the elf was able to be broken free of his box.  (I got cute video of him asking the elf to please give a good report to Santa and bidding him goodnight)

The next morning the first thing J did instead of coming in to wake up up to say good morning was to see if the elf had indeed gotten out of his box yet, and sure enough, he had. He then rushed in to tell us.  It was later in the morning that J and I sat and watched the DVD movie about the elf and by the time it was done, J had finally picked out a name.

He is now officially Trofee. He is all registered and officially adopted by our family. So yes, for at least the next few weeks, it would appear that I will be missing out on just a little sleep. But I’m happy to do it.

#elfontheshelf  #holidayseason #ornamentsFINALLYdone  #IbelieveinSantaClaus  #awesomecheeseytraditions  #makenewmemories  #elfontheshelfdvd  #Trofee  #Christmas #bringonBing

 

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The Sun and the Moon

Oh, the Cuteness and the Feels!!!

I am so very, very blessed that J has mostly good sleeping habits. We have our bedtime routine, a checklist to work through and for the most part, we have a smooth transition to bedtime. However, the only thing that doesn’t happen right away is the sleep.

What is it that kids are thinking? They go to bed earlier than we do for a good reason. They are tired out of their little minds. They don’t know which way is up. And if they are really tired, they no longer make much sense with their speech. And yet, they will insist on staying awake as long as you. Do they think they are missing out on some kind of party or fun? Do they think us adults are playing without them?

NO! We want you to go to sleep so that we can have five minutes of peace WITHOUT YOU. Sad, but true. We want to unwind into our sleep knowing that you are safe in your bed and fast asleep. But noooooooo….

And because of this, they are up late and this usually results in their wanting to sleep in, and they don’t want to get up and it’s a chore of pulling-teeth to get them out of bed.

But J knew how to soften the blow. Instead of whining or crying for more sleep, he rolls over, blearily looks up at me and says in his sleepy little voice

“Mommy, could you put the moon back up in the sky? I want to sleep.”

Oh, my little man! If I had a working magic wand, I would grant that wish in a heartbeat since us moms everywhere could use the extra sleep. I admit, it hit me in the feels to have to turn down this request, since I would gladly do it if I could.

 

#bedtimedrama #bedtimeroutine #cutenessandfeels #whatarekidsthinking #wakeup #hangthemoon #Ineedamagicwand

Vacuum Cleaner

Turning 7! How awesome is this?!? [*sob* my baby is growing up!] For the first time EVER, when we asked him what he wanted for his birthday, he was able to tell us!

He described it all in great detail about how there would be friends, and balloons and birthday cake and presents to open. Thankfully, he didn’t describe any theme, so I took it upon myself to do Finding Dory decorations –of course he loved it. But here’s the fun part. When asked what present he wanted to open at his birthday, he replied that he wanted a vacuum cleaner.

Yes. You read that right. A Vacuum Cleaner. I wasn’t sure if he was serious until he told Nana. Then Pappy. Then Auntie. Then Gramma and Poppa. Then his therapists.  I will admit that I was a little concerned, as a vacuum is not a quiet item. It’s loud, he covers his ears and usually avoids whatever room it is running in. I didn’t want to get him a toy one, because it was too small and he was too big for that kind of thing.

To make sure, I asked him, “What would you do with it?”

His answer in all seriousness “Clean up, clean up!”

So the quandary. What to do? It wasn’t like I could go out and get him his own Dyson  –those things are not cheap! So I looked into dust busters and the like. I found a $20 stick vacuum that was light on the motor and had to be plugged in.

So I rounded out his birthday presents with a play-cleaning kit and a little Spirograph to see if it would interest him.

He was ecstatic over the vacuum. He pulled that puppy out and proceeded to vacuum my floors.

 

He didn’t ask for an Xbox, or the latest bike, or for the latest hottest toy.           A vacuum cleaner.

I’m already blessed –I’ll never be behind on washing laundry because he already does it. (Now if I can just stay on top of actually folding and putting away!) And I don’t have to worry about my floors getting away from me because Mr. J is on the job with his vacuum cleaner!

 

#happybirthdayMrJ #vacuumcleaner #itsnotadyson #turning7 #myfloorsareclean #blessed #cleanupcleanup

The Cherub

Oh, these sweet, sweet angels! These children are such a beautiful gift! I thank God every day for J.

But for this morning, God knew I needed the pick-me-up from an angel that isn’t mine.

I was waiting outside the doors for Mr. C to show up. J was busy greeting everyone that came walking by on their way to or from the front office. I usually park myself just within the alcove to stay out of the weather. It has been cold in the morning in the low to mid 40’s and the windchill does not help. I noticed two little boys also waiting. I knew they were brothers and I had seen them before. I knew that the older brother was a regular 3rd grader and the younger brother was in the Autism program. The older brother was dressed correctly for the cold –jeans and a jacket. The little one was in shorts and a jacket. He was huddled on the ground, trying to figure out how to get the rest of him into his jacket. I felt terrible, but I had nothing on hand and didn’t know what I could do. But that didn’t stop the little one. He stood up, walked over to me, took a long moment to look me over and made up his mind that I was just who he needed. He happens to be non-verbal, but I do know the universal sign for “Pick me up!” He had a huge smile on his face, and I instantly scooped him up. I looked to his brother, who didn’t seem upset by it at all.

“Does he do this to everyone?” I asked. I got an answer in the affirmative. I looked over at J who thankfully didn’t blink an eye and didn’t seem to mind at all that I was holding someone else in my arms.

The little boy wrapped his legs around my waist and his arms tight around my neck. I crooned gently “I’ve got ya!” and held him to me to get warm. He pulled back a little, looking into my face and planted a kiss on my cheek. I just about melted as he squeezed tight again. He let go for just a second to make a happy sound and flap his little hands before returning and snuggling into my chest, putting his little cheek on my shoulder, just happy to be there. Needless to say, my heart just broke for him and I wanted to take him home.

Soon the teachers came out to meet the buses and to start collecting their students for the day. He didn’t want to let go of me, and I was a little sad to have to let him go, but I gave him that closure of “Okay. I count to three and then I put you down.” I later learned that he was living with his grandparents in special circumstance and possibly did not own a pair of pants, so a fellow mom and I pooled some clothes and a jacket together for him.

The following morning, I was happy to see that he was better dressed in a different jacket and jeans. He walked into class and barely gave me a second look, but that’s okay. He’s warmer, and that’s what counts.

#littleangel #coldweather #meltmyheart #awwww #momcanIkeephim

Election Cuteness

Kids just do the cutest things sometimes. Case in point, Election Day. I had to head for the polls and because Bud had to work and the fact that school had been out for the day, I had to take J with me. I was secretly dreading this since I was unsure about lines and wait times. So we got in the car, went to the local elementary school/polling place and tried to get there as early as possible. As we found parking, we went over the etiquette rules –no yelling, screaming, crying, using an indoor voice –that kind of thing. It was a place that J had never been to before. I was fully prepared to simply drop everything and leave if I had to.  We stepped inside of the multi-purpose room, I found my precinct sign and signed in while Mr. J very enthusiastically greeted everyone around him. Might I add that he was already looking too cute in his Batman hoodie. (It has the bat ears on it and sports the cape.) I was also glad to see that J was not the only child in tow.

“Good morning! Have a good day! See you later!”

We then got into a line to get our little computer card for the polling computer. That only took a couple of minutes. J was doing great. Then once we got the card, we had to wait in another line in order to get to a polling computer. That took maybe another ten minutes, and J did beautifully. We got to the polling computer and I began to put in my choices. J waited patiently. As I got towards the end, there was a series of Questions that were the Yes/No type. So as I got to this section, J poked his head in front of the screen and began to read:

“Yes, no, yes, yes, no, yes—“

“Hush! Stop that!” I gently discouraged. I couldn’t help laughing at that. I was trying to read quickly. J continued to prattle on:

“Yes, no, yes, no, no, yes, yes, no…”

Other voters nearby were actually having a good chuckle at this as I attempted again to “Hush!”

I finished up and as we were walking out, the official smiled big as she handed him a sticker. “Thanks for voting today!”

#Election2016 #Polls #VotingComedy #waitforit #YesNoQuestions #ThanksForVoting #BatmanVotes

 

Movie Fun

This was a new adventure! One of the local movie theaters here in town have a “Sensory Friendly” showing of a family movie once a month. I had heard quite a bit about these from other friends who had taken their kids, so we figured we would try it.

By the way it was described to me, it would be a full house of parents and kids, and in reality, don’t expect to really watch the movie. So in anticipation of there being a crowd, I purchased tickets online early. I was a little excited, as we were going to get to see Pete’s Dragon. So we arrived at the theater. J was pretty excited as this was the first time he has ever been. We offered popcorn, but he didn’t want any part of the concessions, so we went straight to the theater.

I was wondering if we were in the wrong place. There was no one there. We were the only ones! Then we were joined by one other family, but that was it!! Like a private screening! I haven’t been to an empty movie theater in years –like when we were dating and it was the midnight show!

So here’s the beauty of a sensory-friendly show.  NO PREVIEWS!!! The lights stay up and the sound is turned down.  Of course J couldn’t sit still at first. He was too busy checking the place out. He’d go down front and sit for a few seconds, then get up, wander to one side, then the other, up one side, down the other, checking out the floor lights, feeling the walls, figuring out exactly how the seats work and having the time of his life. I was thankful for the lights being up so I could keep an eye on where he was at. The other family was able to talk it up and the kids asking questions without anyone having to “shush” them. It was about halfway through the movie when J finally did take a seat, relax with his cheezits, and actually WATCH. Anytime Elliot (the dragon) came on, his little hands would get so happy-flappy. For him, it was like watching on a huge TV.  And I’ll have to tell you, keep the Kleenex handy, moms! Disney has done good—hitting you right in the feels with Elliot.  This is some excellent CGI and it hits you right in the feels with his big sad eyes and the noises he makes.

And a miracle—J made it to the end! The credits began to roll, J proclaimed “All done!” and we very calmly left the theater with no trouble.  We asked him, “What was your favorite part?” and he replied “The dragon!”   (So of course this will be purchased when it comes out on digital)  (And yes, I liked this version way better than the original)

We will definitely be doing this again!!!

So simply Google – Sensory Friendly Movies and see what’s offered out by you! Usually it’s an AMC theater.

#PetesDragon #firsttheaterexperience #SensoryFriendly #privatescreening #wesurvived #wegotoutofthehouse #DisneyRocks #hitintheFeels  #IwanttotakeElliothome

New School Transition

Buwahahahaha! My plan is working perfectly!

I’ve managed to pump the boy up for the new school year. I got him a new backpack, new lunchbox and his own metal water bottle, all following the Finding Dory theme. I’ve been telling him all about his new school, making it sound as fun and as interesting as possible. I’ve been driving by the school, pointing it out. “This is your new school!”

I took care of registration, and he is now good to go. First Grade in the Primary Autism Program.   (sniffle!) It was only three years ago he had started out, and thanks to all the hard work we’ve put in, he’s come so VERY far!

Case in point –he’s working with the ABA Therapist, and they’re working on their conversation. She would say a random name and he’s supposed to answer back with his name. The exchange went like this:

T: “My name is Lacey.”

J:  “My name is Justin.”

T:  “My name is Harry.”

J:  “That’s nice.”

We couldn’t keep a straight face! That kid has quite the sense of humor!

Yesterday, he practically begged me to take him to see the school again. This time, we got out and walked around the outside, looking at the buildings and the playgrounds through the fence. Then we ran errands. But it’s all he talks about now. If he had his druthers, school would start today. However, we still have another week of waiting to go. There’s still the meet and greet next week and then he starts the following Monday.  What a big boy!

In the meantime, I have to finagle the therapy sessions to change to later in the day because instead of our usual 8a – 2p school day, we’ll be going 9a – 3p.  That means he can sleep in a little. I’m pretty sure I’ll be dealing with a mini-meltdown when we don’t leave at our usual depart time. At the moment, this is the only thing I will have to deal with. So I’m doing my Happy Dance!

 

#newschool #buwahaha #findingDory #hecantwait #Icantwait #happydance #stopgrowingbigboy #personalityplus #sicksenseofhumor