Sunday, December 22, 2013

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...

Before I dive into Christmas, I have a wee confession to make.  I let myself get waaaaaaaaaay behind in my blogging (like  I do) and so to catch up, I got a little tricksy.  Rather than cram a bunch of posts in back-toback-to-back (which makes my OCD twitch, for some reason) I slipped a few back-logged entries in between the others, around the times that they would have been posted had I been more on my game.  So, in case you missed them, the Halloween post is here, and the visit-to-the-dentist post is here.  Now, on to Christmas!

Brandon's command Christmas party was a two-for-one this year: they had a party for the adults in one of the smaller hotel ballrooms, and at the same time, had childcare a party for the kids in one of the nearby hotel conference rooms.  And, before they officially kicked things off, the kids got a surprise visit from Santa.  He spoke to each of the children, and "brought" a special toy for each one (supplied by the parents earlier in the week).  Elora had no problem saying hi to Santa, but miss Kaylie wanted nothing whatsoever to do with him.  When it was her turn, she wouldn't even look at him--until we told her that he had a present for her.  Even then, she held on to me even as she reached with the other hand to take the gift from Santa.

Once Santa was gone, the DJ played about 20 minutes' worth of kid-friendly music and let the kids dance on the dance floor before sending them all back to their room for their own banquet: fruit punch, chicken nuggets and french fries.  :)  I'd been a bit worried that they wouldn't handle it well when Brandon and I left, because it was a strange place and strange people, but they were fine.  In fact, Elora burst into tears when we came to pick them up at the end of the night.  

The adult party was pretty standard: catered dinner, raffle prizes (Brandon won a fancy-schmancy knife), and loud fun music.  I enjoyed myself, but spent most of the evening sitting still, chatting just with the people who happened to be near me.  Brandon was much more social, and had a great time.  We stayed until about 11, when I'd had as much as I could handle.  I hated to drag him away, but well, I wilt pretty early these days.

We went one afternoon the following week to pick out our Christmas tree.  They had candy canes for the kids, which the girls loved.  Both girls wandered around, though Elora was the only one really looking at the trees.  She kept going from one tree to another, saying things like "Ooh, what about this one?!"  I ended up choosing a small, but well-shaped tree, and Elora gave her full approval.  :)

We got it set up that evening, but waited until the next day to decorate it.  Brandon helped me get the lights on the tree, then set about capturing the evening's events on camera.  The girls, for their part, were excited to help decorate and anxious for their turn to participate.  And the poor things had to wait for me to do the lights twice, because I wasn't happy with the placement the first time around.

Elora did help me with the garland, and she "helped" me with keeping Kaylie out of trouble.  Any cautionary comment that I made to either of them, Elora repeated.  It was adorable, and a little exasperating.  The imp.

When we finally got the the ornaments, the girls were almost rabid to get started.  We did some of the generic glass ornaments first, and then moved on to their ornaments.  (You'd be surprised how many they've managed to acquire in only a few years!)  They loved everything about it.  Except, perhaps, for the waiting as I unwrapped the ornaments.  Elora seemed to be taking some care with where she put hers, but Kaylie had just 2 branches that she'd deemed acceptable and all of her ornaments went on one of those 2 branches.  And though they could reach higher up the tree, neither one put any higher than about the second row of branches.

We got about a third of the way through when I called it a night--for them.  I went back to it after they'd been tucked in for the night, and not only finished the tree, but put out the rest of our Christmas decorations as well.

Ta-da!  Perfect.  :)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Peek into Kaylie's Therapy

On days when Brandon is home early enough that Elora can stay home with him rather than coming to therapy with us, Elora usually chooses to stay home.  And I have learned that on those days, if I play like a mouse in the corner, I can go back and observe Kaylie's therapy without distracting her.   And yesterday, it finally occurred to me to try getting a video of their session.  The audio isn't the best, unfortunately, but you will definitely get a good idea of what they're doing for half an hour, three times a week.  I couldn't get them to upload directly to Blogger, so I uploaded them to Photobucket instead.  Here are the links:
Jennifer really is amazing with her!  We hit the jackpot, when we were assigned to Jennifer.  I could not have chosen a better therapist, or a better match for Kaylie, if I had personally interviewed and hand-picked someone for the job.