Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Three Christmases Down, One to Go

We're a week and a half into a two-week Christmas holiday, and all things considered, it's going pretty well. The biggest "considered" is that all four members of the immediate JoyFamily have been feeling less-than-healthy. JoyDad and I have had colds; Rose had an ongoing bout with abdominal pain that made us think "appendicitis" and also made us think "stressing out" but cleared up with a course of antacids; and Joy had fever & upchucks on the Tuesday before Christmas, followed by a week of -- well, let's call it "bowel disregulation." Merry, merry.

But, as I said, things haven't been too bad for all of that. We made it through a snowy drive on Christmas Eve to AuntieS' place for the first Christmas celebration: JoyDad family fun, and Chicago pizza from Lou Malnati's, and a big pile of gifts. Then we went home for a nice quiet Christmas Day. Here was the scene before we dug into the pile for Christmas #2:

The stockings were hung...
We had been very careful not to bring out any presents before that morning, nor to even hang the stockings, because that living-room space is very much Joy's territory and we worried whether the stockings would survive. Funny enough, after the unwrapping was done, we hung the stockings back up just to be a little festive, and Joy let them hang. They're still up! as is our tree, which she's tall enough to bring down with one grab if she wanted to! as are the Christmas cards on the back doors which she can easily reach and hasn't even touched!

Christmas #3 came with Grandma Joy and GrandpaJ (my side of the family), who drove up from Kansas on Monday. The girls hadn't seen these grandparents since we went to Kansas for Easter, but Joy remembered, all right. She ran up and gave Grandma Joy a huge smiling unsolicited hug. Ahhh! We had yet another round of gifts on Tuesday morning, followed by a sledding outing. Both grandparents took their turns on the sleds going down the long hill, perhaps not surprising when you consider that Grandma Joy celebrated her 70th birthday earlier this year by going sky-diving...

Anyway, we've got a couple more days of visit from the Kansas grandparents, and then will have Christmas #4 just after New Year's with the grandparents on JoyDad's side. It will be hard to go back to the post-holiday existence after all these treats.

Here is Joy with a few of her treats -- a new Christmassy Joy-outfit, and a lovely stimmy fleece boa that I made her, and a set of mis-keys that I had carefully selected in hopes of coming "close enough" to my own car keys that they could serve as a substitute. (Who was I kidding? When is "close enough" ever good enough for our kids when they've got their obsession on?)

Joy Shirt & Toys
Another favorite gift with a Joy-tag on it came from AuntieS on Christmas Eve -- another stimmy delight, a pin-art toy. Joy has had to share that one, though. Here is Rose demonstrating some dramatic faces:

The Scream
Rose Pin Art Surprise
The Grin
Rose Pin Art Smile

Even JoyMama got into the act, demonstrating here her dissatisfaction with a lip-enhancement surgery gone just a little too far:

JoyMama Pin Art
(I kid, I kid!)


Big Daddy Autism said...

I say every post about Christmas should have some reference to "bowel disregulation" and lip enhancement surgery gone bad. New tradition.

Lynn said...

I think the pin art toy is responsible for the spreading of the virus. Hurray for Lou Mal's!!

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria said...

We hope you enjoy the pizzas!!

JoyMama said...

Big Daddy - doesn't it all sound like something from one of Lynn's Christmas-letter posts?

Lynn - the timing doesn't work for the pin art to be the culprit, but I agree, it does look suspicious. And as for Lou Mal's...

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria - pizza enjoyed, thanks so much!!

Niksmom said...

AWESOME! Glad your holiday was merry. I hope everyone is feeling better now, though?

Wishing you all a very happy new year.

Anonymous said...

I think Lynn faked a visit from Lou Malnati - you know, for one-upping the bio/physiology references. (I'm suspicious like that.)

GeezLouise - FOUR Christmases!

I'm having homemade-boa-envy over here! But then I can quell that thinking of Rose's & Joy's joy - love seeing children happy at Christmas!

AuntieS gives most excellent gifts!

What did JoyMama and JoyDad get for Christmas? I mean, besides Joy's wonderful behavioral progress - ? BratK

Pie Maker said...

Hurrah for celebrations! I LOVE the pin art toy and have one for Piper, great fun! I hope you are all feeling tip top for #4. Merry Merry!

JoyMama said...

Niksmom -- thanks, we're all doing quite a bit better, only a few lingering symptoms that are not getting much in our way. Happy new year to you too!

TherExtras -- I'm rather glowing from the unexpected pizzeria blog-visit (so if it was Lynn or some other prankster, don't nobody tell me...) Boa-envy, hmm? I guess fleece boas are less urgent as accessories in the Texas climate! JoyMama got a lot of gifts, including beeswax candles from Joy, two pairs of gloves from Rose, and a Flip video cam with love from JD & me to JD & me. Other than that, I'll let JD speak for himself!

PieMaker - fun to know that others appreciate pin art play as well!!

DQ said...

It sounds like you have had a wonderful group of positives to balance the 'considerations', and a sky-diving Grandma sounds seriously awesome!
I hope your New Year and #4 go very well.

AuntieS said...

I must say that the pin art toy is a great "stimmy delight" for just about everyone, I think!! All of my kids had one of these when they were younger and they all enjoyed playing around with it. I also find that I like to fidget with these. It feels good and looks cool when I use my hand to make designs with the pins. I can sure understand, in this case, some of the satisfaction that Joy gets from this stimmy!!
As for Lou Malnati's, I think it's very cool that Lou's commented on the blog!! It is the best pizza in the world, at least in my opinion. We order in or eat there frequently. So, I look forward to having Lou's be our traditional Christmas Eve dinner!!
Happy New Year to all!

JoyDad said...

Let's see... I got:

a cool retro Pepsi t-shirt;

a handmade calendar from Rose and one from Joy;

a nice pair of very warm gloves;

a spoon holder (to help keep the counter clean while I'm cooking);

a warm sweatshirt with the logo of the college where Grandpa J taught; and

Badger's Rose Bowl apparel.

My family showed me much love, and it was indeed a very merry Christmas!

JoyMama said...

DQ - I agree, a sky-diving grandma/step-mom is about as cool as can be. GrandpaJ has a good record in choice of life-partners! :-)

AuntieS (aka the Christmas Eve Hostess with the Mostest) - pin art and Lou Malnatis, I don't know how next year could be improved! Thank you!

JoyDad - wow, you DID make out like a bandit. Not that gifts are necessarily a measure of true love, but -- I think several somebodies must love you a lot.

JoyMama said...

P.S. I didn't list my entire holiday haul, but I should leave another "very cool gift" shoutout -- Grandma Joy & GrandpaJ got me a copy of "The Uncharted Path" by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg (who blogs over at Journeys With Autism.) Looking forward to a good read!

JoyDad said...

Yikes! How could I forget the wonderful gift I got from JoyMama? She gave me a copy of Saving the Seasons: How to Can, Freeze, or Dry Almost Anything. This will come in handy as we harvest stuff from the garden next year...

Thanks, JoyMama!!!

Anonymous said...

A long list of love, indeed, JoyMama! That's how gifts should be thought of!

CollegeSon gave me a cool lamp in a jar - powered by a solar battery. Gives off a sweet soft light. Most unique and thoughtful, I thought.

Thanks for this lovely word-gift-exchange!

kristina said...

That's a lot of Christmas!

Tried the same with Charlie about keys---he was very attached to mine for awhile. And definitely accepted no substitutes.

JoyMama said...

Kristina - what IS it with the keys? How did you get past Charlie's obsession with your keys -- anything specific, or did it just fade after a while?