Thursday, December 30, 2010

The After Christmas Season

Well, Christmas is over and I'm still recovering from it. My annual battle with the Christmas present aftermath is underway as I'm trying to find places for the kids' new things while trying to convince them that they really can do without a few of the things that they got four years ago. We have taken the week off from school work mainly because we would have all out rebellion if they didn't get some extra time to enjoy their new stuff. It also gives the benefit that I have time to sort and wash and clean and organize.

The holiday itself went pretty well for us. We still managed to have conflicts with the same individuals we usually have conflicts with. I am trying to come to terms with the idea that this will probably never change. What was different this year was that it was one of our kids causing the problem instead of my husband or me. The next generation seems to be following in the steps of ours. This fact and a chance conversation has Tim and I wondering if there is something more going on than just normal blunders. As a result we looked up information on Aspergers syndrome. I must say that the description sounds awfully familiar to us. It begs the question of how far off normal do you need to be to fit into a category like this. We have begun to wonder if we need to have our child evaluated for this syndrome and whether it would make any difference. After all the treatment for this syndrome is exactly what we are already doing, training our children how to interact appropriately with others. It is something to consider.

In other news I have had my first thorough eye exam. As a result, I get to pick up my first pair of corrective glasses in about a week. I get to wear them for driving and for distance use. We'll see how often our baby grabs them off me during church when I'm trying to read what is on the projection screen .

It is also about time to come up with a nickname for our littlest one. Tim is voting for "Little Chunk." He is a big kid. He'll have his two month checkup next week so we can see how he is progressing. But from our perspective, he may always be the biggest of our kids (for his age). He has an appetite that doesn't seem to want to quit. I wouldn't say that he's roly-poly, but he is simply big. I haven't come up with a better nickname for him, so we might as well go with that one for now.

This morning I noticed Little Chunk was not just sucking on his fist, he was trying to chew on it. Hmmm.... I tried an experiment. I gave him his pacifier and he spat it out. I held a small nubbly rubber teether up to his mouth and he chewed with a vengeance. Could it be that our baby is teething already. We've had a history of early teethers. Our oldest had her first tooth at three months. Our others were a little later, but not much. Let me tell you, it is not always fun having a teething baby before they have the ability to hold their own teethers. Thank you Rick and Wendy. The teether you got him is right on time.

Also, thanks to Great Auntie Jean, for the toy that is replacing "Spore" in our kids lives. We are now the proud owners of a Wii. The kids are constantly begging for it. Tim and I opted for a Wii Fit add on and have begun a new exercise regime. It will be helpful during our cold/wet season. It is pretty fun. But it was a nice day today so we all went for a walk outside for our exercise.

That is all I can think of for now. I have plenty of other posts I could do, but they will have to wait.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Christmas is coming...

It's that time of year again. Christmas. I've seen it coming for a couple of months thanks to advertisers. For many years, Christmas has become less and less of a favorite holiday of mine. Crisis after crisis during the holidays ruined the holidays for me several years back and the overdone consumerism of our society beat into the ground what little glimmer of joy I still retained about this time of year. Usually I just try to smile and go through the motions to try to make the people around me feel more comfortable.

This year I surprised myself by actually being in the mood to sing a few Christmas songs just for the fun of it. Maybe it has been a long enough time since I was last roped in to perform at a Christmas musical that I actually cared about the music again.

I've been in the mood to bake treats (not much time for it mind you). That has always been a favorite part of the holidays for me. Food employs our senses and brings back memories of former times. Each family has some special food they like to celebrate with and many are saved to be used only on special days. I don't have many specially reserved foods like this, but just the fun of having special treats brings happy memories back to me.

The presents have been a bit of a love/hate thing for me. I like getting presents just as much as the next person. I like giving a present to someone else with their happy surprise being the only reward. I hate gifts prompted by obligation, yet I realize that their are good reasons for such gift giving.

My family is highly non-conformist when it comes to Santa. "We don't do Santa." Those simple words have stopped some conversations in their tracks. I don't try to ban Santa from our home. I don't try to hide the story of Santa from my children. I just treat Santa as a story, just like the other stories we read in books. I would prefer that my children learn the story of the birth of Jesus as "the" Christmas story. I would prefer that my children learn the story of Saint Nicholas (the real person) as an example of a faithful christian who put his faith into practice by being generous to those in need. The modern day Santa is a fairytale that can be used to teach generosity, but is just as likely to teach lessons you don't want your kids to learn as anything else.

Tim and I don't really have many Christmas traditions. We usually buy each other gifts without keeping them secret, because we can't stand to keep such happy things a secret from each other. We spend Christmas with one side of the family and Thanksgiving with the other (switching back and forth to give equal time). We like food and family to be part of the holidays with lots of visiting time. We frame little pictures of the kids to put on our Christmas tree every year to accompany our ornaments. We open presents Christmas Eve, or Christmas day, or a week later if that is when the gathering happens.

This year the Power family Christmas has been moved from it's traditional location to be shared by us and Rick and Wendy. The family was good enough to not insist we travel with wee little ones. As a result our two households are hosting. Now neither one of us has to handle the whole of Christmas, but it dawned on me that my preferred traditions may not always mesh with the preferred traditions of others. So with that in mind... I hope my family will be flexible this year. I'm not providing a fairytale Christmas, but hopefully it can be a fun one even so. For those of you non-family readers, I would like to remind you that Christmas is not always a happy time of year for everyone. Please handle people with care.