We had a wonderful Christmas holiday with lots of family time. We spent Christmas eve at my parent’s house, where we got to see all of my family, some of Zach’s family and some close family friends as well. Food, family, friends and gifts…it was magnificent. Taylor’s grandma C.R., great-uncle Steve and great-aunt Dot came up to stay with us for the Christmas festivities. T.J. was beside herself with excitement to see them, showing them around and talking up a storm. Three extra people in the house meant that there was always someone to play with her or read to her or sing to her – she was in seventh heaven. Christmas day was filled once again with food, family and more gifts, first at our house, then back to my folks. Between Christmas eve and Christmas day, there was very little sleep and LOTS of stimulation. I’m always amazed at how long T.J.’s motor can run on very little charge. She did remarkably well – no major meltdowns – but by the time Christmas was over, she was completely done-in. Wednesday was spent just decompressing and reflecting on what a great holiday we had. Experiencing the holiday season with Taylor makes it so much more enjoyable – I think it was one of my favorite Christmases ever.
Taylor using her “scare-away spray” in her closet and repeating, “Go away scary stuff”. So far it seems to be working:
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Taylor’s Christmas greeting:
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Linda came to San Francisco last week and we went into the City to see her. We had a nice visit with her – here’s a picture of T.J. and Linda clowning around:
We thought it would be fun to build a gingerbread house with Taylor. Zach and I had never built one before and T.J. is at an age where she can really participate. We bought a Wilton kit and put it together last weekend and it was so much fun. Here’s what we learned from making it that we’ll need to remember for next time: 1) The icing requires A LOT more water than what’s called for in the recipe and 2) it makes a huge mess – frosting bits and candy gets everywhere. Still, it was a great activity to do together as a family, so I think we’ll make it a yearly tradition.
The other day, Taylor pulled out a kit of little wooden beads that she got awhile ago. She hasn’t been able to do much with them because she doesn’t yet have the dexterity to put them onto a string. When she brought them out this time, though, I thought maybe we could try putting them onto a pipe cleaner. It worked wonderfully and occupied her for about an hour. I’m always thrilled to find an activity that can entertain her for long stretches, so hurray for the beads! Here’s some of Taylor’s finest work:
Last week we went out and got our Christmas tree. It took a few times of going to different stores before we found one. Taylor really wanted to be involved in the process. She wanted a “big, BIG tree”, so I had to explain that we had to find one that would actually fit into our house, then it occurred to me that size is relative. We got a 4-ft redwood tree, but to her it probably appears HUGE. We got it home and decorated it together. After all of the ornaments were up and the tree was lit up, I thought that T.J. would be thrilled. I asked what she thought and she responded: “Where’s the butterfly?” Taylor felt that the tree just wasn’t complete until there was a butterfly included. We worked together and made a butterfly out of paper and pipe cleaners and it’s now sitting at the top of the tree. Considering the limited resources, I think we did pretty good and Taylor was happy with the end result, which was the ultimate goal.