Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What a week!  It was Thanksgiving and I had the stomach flu for not 24 hours, not 48 hours, not 72 hours, but for SIX days.  Here's what happens when mama has the stomach flu-- life goes on!  There were some up sides: 1) No one else caught it (although I thought for a day Tommy had it, but I don't think he did) and 2) I didn't seem to gain any Thanksgiving weight.  Not all together bad.  That being said.  I wasn't quite myself last week or even this week.  I went to cash a check at the bank and put in my debit card along with my Sam's club card instead of my driver's license.  Either the teller didn't notice or she was kind enough not to question me and accepted my Sams's card as an appropriate form of ID.

Then, on Monday, I got Tommy up and ready for school and got there and could not figure out why the parking lot was so empty.  Well, you see, there was no school on Monday and if I had read that in the five different places it was listed I might have known that.  

Finally, after Joey's hearing test on Tuesday, I tried to pull out the pre-paid parking pass I buy every month (just as a tip- if your child has a lot of therapies, sometimes the hospital parking garage will have a pass you can buy so you aren't writing checks for $1.75 or scrounging for change all the time like I always was), and instead of giving the parking attendant (who is totally on my Christmas list.  I see him about 5 times a week and he sits in that super cold and tiny checkout box-- that guys needs some homemade cookies for sure!) my parking ticket and pre-paid pass, I handed him my parking ticket and my insurance card.  Am I losing my mind-- perhaps a little.  Six days without solid foods apparently plays games with brain capacity.

Speaking of hearing tests and ear tubes and such.  Joey's tubes have seemingly been working miracles.  He is now napping for 2 hours every afternoon (much better than his previous 30-60 minute snoozes), he is babbling all the time and.......drum roll...... he is really, really, really trying to move.  It's not a crawl and it's not even an army crawl, but it is sheer determination and drive and he wants it BAD!  It is incredible to watch!  I don't know if I have every witnessed another human working so hard.  He literally huffs and puffs after he tries to get to the remote or IPhone or any other electronic I entice him with.  Actually, this reminds me-- I need to get a video of this-- it's incredible.  (Pause while I whip out my hot pink post it note and blue sharpie to add another note to myself).

While we have seen the above improvements post-ear tubes, we did not have a successful follow up hearing test.  There was improvement over the last time Joey had the test (which involves me holding him on my lap in a soundproof bunker like thing while they play really annoying sounds and see if he responds), but he still isn't up to "normal" hearing and he is still testing as having some hearing loss.  The next step would be the auditory brain stem, but that would require that he go under general anesthesia again and we are hoping to avoid that if at all possible.  Just more follow ups and tests for now.  

Anyways-- it really is the most wonderful time of the year.  I've been staying up the last few nights to try and create some "Magic" for my boys and as we run around and go out and about there are signs of magic everywhere.

One of my favorites is Magic in the form of a kind woman named Betty who works at Michael's Crafts out in Montrose.  Every time I am on one of my craft kicks I grab my Michael's coupons and head over.  Every time I see that Betty is working I get in her lane.  Betty has an unfair advantage to begin with.  My maternal grandmother's name was Betty and she was my idol.  When you went to grandma's house she had every single item every single one of us like.  Mini sugar coated cereal boxes for us kids (we weren't allowed it at home, so it was a treat at Grandma's), Bizmark donuts for all,  deli platters, fruit platters-- she always had a huge spread and was the most thoughtful woman in the world.  Not to mention she was incredibly fun to travel with and do just about any kind of adventure from watching Nebraska play in the Orange Bowl to going to see E.T. at the movie theater-- my Betty was always up to whatever we all wanted to do.

That being said, when I go into Michael's and get in Betty's line I'm already smittin' with her.  She always asks me what I'm working on and it's usually something with the boys.  She always tells me the same thing, "They sure are lucky to have a great mom like you."  I always reply, "I'm awfully lucky to have such great boys."  Then she repeats what she said and I blush.  Does Betty say this to every person who goes through her line?  Possibly.  But it doesn't matter.  Every time she says it, she makes me want to be a better mom.  Every time she says it I walk out of there feeling like a million bucks instead of questioning why I just bought edible glitter for $6.99 to put on cookies.  I love Betty-- she is why this is the most wonderful time of the year.

The Polar Express is another form of magic we love.

Thomas Henry is not a big fan of Santa-- he never has been.  This year, they have slowly been building a new found friendship.  Here he is on the Polar Express questioning whether or not to talk to Santa this year and then finally, they share a high five and Santa gives Tommy a silver bell to put in his pajama's pocket.  I think we are making progress.

We don't totally have all the decorations up, but we are getting there.  This year we have added a new addition to our Christmas traditions-- the Elf on the Shelf.  Our Elf has been named "Cookie".  It was close between "Five" and "Cookie" and "Cookie" finally won out.  I have mixed feelings on our new friend, Cookie the Elf.  So far he hasn't inspired very much good behavior, but he has helped provide some new magic to this year's holiday season.

Our Movie-themed Tree

My mom makes these!

Happy December!!!  Coming soon will be a list of places to shop for holiday gifts that support individuals with Down syndrome or other disabilities.  


  1. I like how Tom looks just as excited to see Santa!

  2. Ok - you had the stomach flu for 6 days - how is your house decorated? It looks AMAZING! Maybe I need the flu!

  3. Oh, so sorry to hear you had the stomach bug for so long!!! That is awful! Love the pics from Polar Express!! He looks so happy. The elf does add a bit of magic in the house. Not sure he is encouraging good behavior in our house either :-)

  4. My word! Six days of stomach flu, that's horrible. No wonder you were still a bit off this week.
    Jennifer, I'm having a linky party on Fridays this month to "Take good care of our moments" . I would so love it if you would link this post to the party. Your story of Betty just about had me in tears. I want to visit that Michaels!!! And who could ask for a better parking attendant? Cookies would be so wonderful.


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