Thursday, December 18, 2008

Whew! I'm exhausted.

Things here have been good. Busy but good. We're just about finished Christmas shopping. I still have a few gift cards left to buy, and ALL of my gift wrapping to do, but it won't be a mad dash at the end.

Both boys are healthy and doing quite well. Andrew has especially been enjoying the Christmas season. I took him to my mom's school sometime this week and he proceeded to tell every single adult he saw, "It's almost time for Christmas!" Even strangers. Which isn't like him. So he must truly be excited. Unfortunately, he told Santa he wanted a fire truck, ambulance, and a police car. (Because those three can never be without each other.) Like he doesn't already have four sets of those things. But I suppose Santa can find another cheap set. Preferably small and without sirens. Please, Santa?

We have started two new Amick Family traditions this year with Andrew. (Benjamin is too young but can start them in a couple of years.)

1. From the time the tree goes up until Christmas, each Saturday morning, we drink hot chocolate with marshmallows. Note to self: move Daddy's new laptop first. We had a big scare, but were able to scoop up said laptop as the sea of molten chocolate made its way toward it. Daddy almost had a heartattack in the meantime, but all is well.

2. Twelve Days of Christmas. Each morning starting on December 13, Santa's elves bring a small (hello Dollar Spot at Target) gift and leave it in a small stocking on Andrew's door. Now I realize that technically it should start on December 14 so that the 12th day *is* Christmas, but it seems kind of anti-climactic to receive a dinky toy on your door and then go downstairs and open "real" presents. So our last day is Christmas Eve. Anyway, it's been a big hit. Andrew carries those toys around the house and dances with them. Oh, and what a jig it is.

Benjamin is still doing physical therapy once a week with Natalie. I really like her. She's young and patient and works well with him. Even when he spits up all over her hand. He is still nowhere near sitting unassisted and in fact does not like sitting even to practice. He always wants to straighten out and fights it. It's frustrating. He likes to hang out on his stomach a lot but isn't pivoting to get things yet. He does try to roll everywhere to get places. He also likes to hang out on his left side. It's weird. Just like George Costanza when he posed in his underwear for what he thought was that lady at the photo store. But I digress...

We went to our Sunday School Christmas party last week. It was a ton of fun, and we even won a $20 Bonefish Grill giftcard in a raffle. I took pictures, but not on my camera. I was in charge of taking the official party pictures. Which could mean I was the Official Party Photographer. I would abbreviate that but I don't want to. Anyway, you can read about it and see my wonderful photos by clicking here.

We took Andrew to see his very first movie last week. And it wasn't just any movie or any movie theater. It was The Polar Express 3D at the IMAX. And boy-howdy did he love it. We have been listening to the soundtrack for a solid month and he had already seen the movie at home about 15 times. He had never actually sat through the whole thing, but at home there are lots of distractions. We met some of his playdate friends and had such a fun time. Benjamin slept almost the whole time in the Hotsling. And then today, Andrew went to see it again with my mom, Aunt Eunice, and niece Ashlyn and nephew Davis. Heck, under three years old means you're free, so he tagged along. Mom said he was perfectly behaved and loved the popcorn. That's my boy.

Here are some pictures and more updates.

Having fun at Mom's house late at night while the boys (and my dad) try to sleep. Yes, that's the back of my head.

"Dad, seriously? Santa? I'm not going to fall for that."

Andrew and my dad being silly together. Imagine that.

A couple family shots before we departed for our S.S. Christmas party.

Just the five of us hanging out on the couch. Me, Andrew, Benjamin, Robbie the Snake, and Nancy the cat. You can barely see Robbie in Andrew's lap and Nancy's white paws above my head. Try to distract yourself from the dark circles under my eyes. Yes, I'm sure I was tired, but those things are always there. They're hereditary. Thanks, Dad.

Evidently Robbie the Snake knew Benjamin was teething before I did.

The best shot we could get of the friends after Polar Express. (Evan was in the bathroom.)

Our first family movie! It was only about 5:45 when the movie let out, but it was so dark already!

Andrew getting his first 12 Days of Christmas gift. I got the stocking from the Dollar Spot, too. It's a wine bottle bag. Or a Santa's Elves Christmas Bag. Either way, it works. :)

I know I have posted a million shots just like this but I can't resist. It's just too cute.

Getting some help with his marshmallows. Incidentally, "Hot Chocolate" is a song from "The Polar Express," and one that is very danceable. (Is that a word?) More on that in just a bit.

So I mentioned teeth. Here's the deal. On Sunday, my mom, Matthew, cousin Casandra, and I went to Nashville to see a Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas concert. (Had a fabulous time, by the way! This is my second time to see Harry in concert and he is always wonderful!) My SIL (that means sister-in-law) Edie watched Benjamin. (He took a bottle GREAT for her! That stinker...) Right before we left, she said, "Is he cutting teeth?" And before I could answer, "No," my mom piped in, "Yeah, I noticed that today, too!" I was like, "WHAAAA?!?!?!??" Yeah, he's cutting his two bottom front teeth. At the same time. With virtually no symptoms. And early, too. Most Down syndrome kids cut teeth on the late end of normal. Or even after normal. But B isn't even eight months old. So I'd say he's doing pretty well as far as that's concerned. Anyway, here is a picture and then a close-up.

Here are some pictures from this year's Playdate Christmas Party. The only addition this year from last year was Evan. I don't know that he came last year. But the kids are sure a lot more grown-up! Four of the six kids now have a younger sibling and the other two have one on the way! Next year we're going to have to rent a gym just to exchange gifts. Kidding. Kind of. You can't tell this in the picture, but Andrew is playing with an educational toy. Naturally.

Benjamin and Ellie liked to hang out in the tunnel.

And Andrew and Evangeline liked to hang out upstairs. Alone. On her bed. With the door closed. It was comical. But kind of scary. LOL

Andrew is painting his Model Magic handprint. Evangeline is hovering, waiting for him to hurry up and go back upstairs. Evidently they had a lot of fun jumping off her chair and sliding off her reeeeeeally tall bed headfirst. Ah, no wonder.

Benjamin had just nodded off peacefully in Melissa's arms when it was time to open presents. I was more than willing to wake him b/c I wanted him to save that nap for the 45-minute drive home. And so he did. Whether he liked it or not. He got some cool bathtub toys from Ellie that Andrew thinks are his.

The toddlers waiting for their presents.

And just for grins, here are five of them last year on the same couch in their personalized (thanks, Juliann!) aprons. MY, how they've changed.

Notice how Evangeline turned all velociraptor on Andrew. Evidently he kept knocking her in the face with the tissue paper. Later at home when Andrew and I were looking at the pictures, he said, "Evangeline told me 'NO, NO' when we were opening presents." I just chuckled. He's too cute. Anyway, he got two really cool trucks that beep and make noises from Matthew. They stay upstairs. :)

And then here are pictures that my mom just emailed me from their Polar Express movie tonight. Here are Ashlyn, Andrew, and Davis.

And last but not least...did you know we have a dog? I almost tripped on it while walking in the kitchen. At least it doesn't have to be housebroken.

Oh, wait!! The cutest part of this whole thing is the Hot Chocolate Dance Video. This dance craze is sweeping the nation. Seriously, go to the bottom of this page (hit ctrl-end), pause the music, then return to this video and hit play. This is what I do all day. I hit the back button on the DVD player so he can dance around like a fool to the Hot Chocolate scene in Polar Express. This particular time was almost pre-empted by an impromptu chase of Frank the cat down the hall, but I was able to refocus his attention. Benjamin is watching with glee from the baby swing and even shouts out a few times. Enjoy. After all, isn't this what the holidays are all about? Dancing around like a white boy to Tom Hanks singing about Hot Chocolate, all the while swinging around a toy truck and a mini-slinky that Santa's elves left in a stocking on your door? I thought so.


Diana said...

The pics are so awesome! I am craving some hot chocolate now! Emma just watched the video with me and now says she wants to go to Andrews and dance silly. Andrew better work on those moves a little before high school prom LOL!

JaybirdNWA said...

Glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Way to go on the teeth Benjamin, although sometimes that makes for a cranky baby. Your family reminds me of mine - when we all get together, we love to play cards. It is good to see extended family enjoy each other. Have a good Christmas!

Amber said...


Thanks for the facebook invite :) I'll be glad to accept when I get home!

I need to see a pic of Mom again, but I think you favor Dad.

I love the pic of B with Dad in the red sleeper. So cute!

And did you decide to do Santa this year? Just wondering since you did the 12 days thing...they might go hand-in-hand:)

Kellye, Chad, Hayden, and Sebastian said...

I love it! I had to laugh though when I saw the straw he was using for his hot chocolate....we have the same one and we have to use it ALL THE TIME! Including the bathtub. Love the idea about the stocking too! I think I might have to implement that one next year!

Anonymous said...

Ok...poor Andrew. Two years in a row Matthew's lazy mommy puts gift exchange in a gift bag and both times Andrew gets it. I owe him some wrapping paper. In my defense, this year I thought wrapping paper, but did gift bag because kevin had already been out of town two days and mommy was too tired. Poor Evie thought she was being attacked and Andrew had no clue what she was so upset about. I'll have to find a way to get his name again next year so I can not only wrap the gift, but wrap it about 7 times. Maybe, just maybe, that will make it up to him.
p.s. I Love the picture of Benjamin and Matthew with the comment about Santa. It is SO cute!

Kara M said...

omg that video is precious. Lily loves to watch Amelia dance like a spazz too. I love it!! TFS

Anonymous said...

Wow, you are just a regular babywearer these days. I am no longer the only CIO advocating babywearer. :)

Ben is a serious dancing fool. His favorite is Shrek the Halls, because in the "extras" section of the DVD there is a Pixar Jukebox where they have every music video from the recent Pixar movies. He and Lily rock out!