Monday, December 8, 2014

7 Quick Takes Monday (?) of Breaking the Plague of Silence

Yes, yes, I know....I once again allowed the crickets to overcome my blog. I mean for Pete's sake, I haven't written in a month! 7QT has relocated since then! Thankfully it has not been a plague of biblical proportions, and we're all surviving over here, we've just had a lot of things going on. So in honor of the hosting duties moving to Kelly @ This Ain't The Lyceum, I figured this was a good time to jump back in...even if it is a Monday. So I'll do my best to summarize the last month of our life in seven theoretically quick takes (have to be pretty quick, since I need to finish before Sunshine comes home from gymnastics!), and expand upon parts of them at a later time.


Sunshine had a really good birthday. She got one gift from us, but a big one. I took one corner of my office/our school room and turned it into what we're calling her "creation station". This will most definitely be getting a post of it's own! She loves doing crafty stuff, but lacked good space for both creating and storing in such a way that her materials and projects would be safe from the wrath of Fidget. So I decided to repurpose a lot of materials, attempting to focus my budget on getting her some more grown-up, quality supplies, and give her a space in which to express herself. She's been absolutely in love, and declared it the best present ever. More pics will come later, but here's a teaser of my artist at work.


A couple weeks after her actual birthday we had her party here at home. She chose a Lego Friends theme, and I made my first attempt at decorating with (marshmallow) fondant! Not professional quality, but I don't think anyone will post it on cake wrecks, so I'll call it a success! The kids played in the yard, we had a mega block relay race and a pin the stud on the Lego brick game, and of course time for the kids to just play in her big bin of Legos. And she got lots of craft kits to add to the creation station, which made her very happy. She also got a Lego Friends advent calendar which she is very much enjoying.


The day before her party, the four of us went out to a nearby state park for a family Thanksgiving celebration with her Girl Scout troop. It was great to see them putting their newly acquired fire building and camp cooking skills to use! We weren't sure how Fidget would do with so much open space to run, and us occasionally being busy and not able to attend to him closely, so we arranged for one of his ABA therapists to come with us as a community outing. He did better than I expected, and it was good social skill practice for him.


Our personal Thanksgiving had a strange vibe to it this year, with my Dad gone, but we had a good time celebrating at my sister's house. For once we didn't try to see both families, and I got to enjoy the entire Macy's parade which I haven't done in awhile. I also made some new recipes to meet Fidget's GFCF diet, which came out really good! A cinnamon no-roll, which was almost more cake like, for breakfast; spinach mushroom quinoa; and an apple cranberry pie. I also made some rolls with my favorite GF baking mix.


Sunshine and I have been doing a lot more with her DIY membership. She has earned her Maker skill badge, and has many more in progress. One of the things that we have done is to finally start her Etsy store! She's been planning this since late spring, and spent the summer and fall building up her inventory. She is selling Rainbow Loom accessories for American Girl dolls! She's had lots of views and a few things added as favorites, but no sales yet. I'm hoping she will get at least a couple before Christmas, as to not squash her little entrepreneurial spirit.


Shortly after Thanksgiving, Papa Bear had to go to Florida for about a week for work. This was his first trip out of town since Fidget's diagnosis, and I could definitely tell the difference all his therapy has made. Before, although I'm sure he noticed, he never expressed any awareness at his father's absence, but this time we had a great many circular conversations about "Daddy go bye-bye. Daddy go work. Daddy go white truck. Daddy come back?" "Yes, Daddy is at work, very far away. He will come back, but not tonight." "Not back night. Daddy go work. Daddy go white truck. Daddy come back." That made it even cuter though to see his excitement to talk to Papa Bear on FaceTime in the evenings.


We had been prepared for Papa Bear to be gone even longer, so we decided that we would forgo our annual trip to the Christmas tree farm and go with an artificial tree. I got it put together while Sunshine was at gymnastics last week, then she and I decorated it. She was quite miffed about the break in tradition at first, and I think doubted my ability to make it actually look like a real tree, but even she conceded that it was easier to decorate, since we could make holes where we needed them, and didn't have to worry about "pokey, scratchy needles." And I think not a bad decorating job, for a 7yo and a Mom on Wheels :-)

In other advent preparations, we've got our advent wreath up, and are doing our Jesse Tree using the ornaments Sunshine made last year (printables she colored, and then we glued on to cardboard from soft drink boxes to make stronger). And of course, our nativity went up before anything. It will also be the absolute last thing we take down. My sister gave us a Fontanini 5" set as our wedding gift, and it's been one of the most used things we received. We've also added a few pieces over the years. We don't do the travelling Holy Family or Wise Men, but we do have the manger empty, and baby Jesus waiting up in the loft. On Christmas morning we will sing Happy Birthday and put him in before opening any of our gifts.

We have an elf in our family, though not the typical Elf on the Shelf. I've never been fond of the fact that the EotS is supposed to be there practically as a spy for Santa, as well as the restriction on the kids touching them. Our elf Hazel is an Elf Magic elf, and her story specifically mentions that she is here to spread joy and remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. In our house, Hazel does some of the silly things like EotS, some of the Kindness Elves type things, and some religious things like reading scripture, or playing with the nativity. Last year she even brought the gifts for St Nicholas Day! In order for Hazel to "keep her magic" she has to be set out each night and sprinkled with "magic snowflakes" and needs snacks of ice water and crackers. So if Sunshine doesn't take care of Hazel, we don't have any elfcapades to discover in the morning.

So that pretty well brings us up to now! Tomorrow is a big day, at Fidget's monthly clinic meeting we will be joined by his caseworker from early intervention and a representative from the school district to discuss his transition of services that will occur when he turns three in March. Our current plan is to send him to our parish preschool part-time with a shadow from his ABA provider, but are hoping we can still maintain speech and OT from the school district. Either way it should be quite informative; praying that it is a fruitful meeting as well!