So barring the sinus infection things went well. We went to my parents house, which is only about 85 miles away, on Sunday and stayed until Friday. The boys are always pretty relaxed at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. We have lived close to them for about 6 months and it has been great. My Mom’s mom was also there too and since she has spent time with us a month at a time the boys have a good relationship with her too. So Christmas morning the boys finally wake up and come down to see this huge train table that my dad built for them the day before. It was so cool. My mom had bought a small train/track set to keep at her house, we already have one for our house, hence the need for a table. so they set it up completely and the boys went to playing. Then it was time for the unwrapping of presents. This was one of the parts I have been dreading for the past 3 Christmases J has hated unwrapping presents. It has taken like all week for him to get them all open, or we have to open them for him. there was even one year when we forgot to take a present out of the closet and we ended up saving it for his birthday in March. But this year was totally different. He had been waiting to get at the presents from the time we got there on Sunday. We even broke our Christmas Eve tradition and let them open a few more than ONE gift. So Christmas morning he was ready to pounce on the presents. Little J took time between unwrapping to play with the train table. Of course it helped that almost everything he got was a train. 🙂 So the only thing J had a hard time with was NOT opening the presents that were being saved for the evening when the cousins arrived.
After presents the boys helped Grandpa make the chocolate doughnuts that are a family tradition and a recipe passed down from my great grandma. It was totally adorable. J was the helper and Little J got to observe. He was told he could help next year, but somehow he ended up with just as much flour on himself as Grandpa and J. We got some great video footage and a couple pictures. My mom printed one off for my dad and he was so proud that he taped it to the lid of the cookie jar containing the ones we didn’t eat for breakfast so that they could all see who made the doughnuts.
We even managed to fit a nap in that afternoon so the boys would be refreshed when every one else arrived. By 5pm we had grown to 9 adults and 5 kids total. J had very few scuffles with the cousins, but hey what 4 year old doesn’t? We kept a movie runing most of the night so that helped him to regulate. He did have a hard time when it was a cousin’s turn to pick, but other than that it went well. In fact he napped most of the week. It helped that my mom rewarded him with cupcakes if he slept. Yeah my kids will do anything for food.
On Wednesday DH and I left before J woke up to go to the urgent care in Tucson. they gave me antibiotics and I spent the rest of the day resting on my own couch. the boys did awesome staying with my parents all day. I think we are almost ready to work our way up to the weekend stay-over…really did I just type that? they barely even noticed when we came back. Usually if I am not there when J wakes up he freaks out at bed time and keeps asking if I am going to stay all night. There was none of that.
Thursday was another successful day. The boys stayed home with daddy and grandpa while us girls went to hit the sales. Then we came back and put them down for naps. Mom and Dad, DH, and I all went to the movies. we had a lot of fun and when we got back the kids were raving about having a great time with Grammie. what a relief!
Friday was a little tough. We had to get everything packed and loaded into the car. Then we drove up to my cousin’s house in Phoenix and had a repeat of family members from Christmas. Only this time my Uncle cooked everyone a venison dinner. YUM! The boys had a little bit of a rough time. There was lots of fighting over toys and crying. Little J didn’t want to eat anything. It wasn’t until 3 hours later when we were getting ready to leave that he conceded to eating toast. We were on the verge of leaving after only being there for about 90 minutes when we popped in a movie and everyone settled down.
I often feel guilty for the amount of TV he watches. but then I think about how unhappy he is when it isn’t on. Its not that he actually watches so much, just uses it as a sound track for playing. I can’t really blame him. I have the TV on a lot too but not watching it. He probably got used to the sounds of it in utero when I would stay up late due to heartburn and uncomfortable belly. We’ve tried TV fasts, everyone ends up grumpy. So I try to make up for it by making sure we get out of the house and away from it. That usually works when no one is sick.
I can’t wait for school to start again. He hasn’t asked about it, but I can tell by his behavior that he is missing that part of his routine. We’ve dealt with a lot of delayed echolalia over the years but this past week there has been a lot of immediate repeating. We say something and he picks out a word or two that he likes the sound of and just chants it back at us. A bit annoying when Little J joins in too.
So that’s it. Pretty much a success when all things are considered. I have to give credit to great family members who are super understanding, his teachers in school who have brought out a great side of him, and a good balance in his meds. Eating good and Sleeping good are key components too.
Here is the train table once we got home.