Monday, December 29, 2008

Holiday Results

The paper has been ripped and bows stuck on the heads of various animals and children and now the holiday season is drawing to a close.

Nathan and Alex both did very well despite some very late nights, a lot of excitement and in Nathan's case, a bit of stomach upset. There were some very pleasant surprises.

Both of them played with their cousin at Nana's. Traditionally Alex has ignored her or only been interested in a game of tag but this time he was interacting with her as they looked at puzzles, built towers and played various other games. He even came up to her several times and gave her a hug. Nathan got into a tickling game with her where he would touch her stomach or leg and she'd start giggling. He thought it was just the best game ever.

Nathan did very well at eating a lot of unfamiliar food and he actually fed himself for the most part. I think we may have crossed the bridge into independent eating because he's been continuing it at home here over the last few days. He definitely enjoyed the various cookies on offer, although as mentioned earlier, I think he overindulged a bit.

Their aunt earned herself a place in both boys' hearts by being willing to play the Wii at their direction for hours at a time. Alex's favourite game was the laser hockey. Any goal scored was worthy of jumping up and down excitement and giggles. Nathan prefers cow racing but he doesn't get as excited as Alex. Alex did try the cow racing and target shooting and I think he did fairly well.

I think everyone was happy with the gifts they got. The clear favourites thus far are a handmade red felt stop sign pillow (from Nana) and six inch minature school buses (from Avi and Memee). I'm hopeful that the kaleidescope that Santa brought for Alex will become popular over time, but you just can't compete with the stop sign. He's carried it everywhere since getting it.

We've gone through and cleared out some of the toys that the boys don't play with any more so that there's room for the new additions. It was a little nostalgic, going through the bins but I think we were sufficiently ruthless on cutting down the clutter. With luck and a little effort, hopefully we'll be able to keep things only mildly chaotic.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Boys who did good

On the weekend, we attended a Christmas cocktail party at my grandmother's so that she could have a chance to see everyone before she heads down to Florida. The two boys did very well. Alex ran around exploring every room, finding his brother's present in the closet and dragging it out to play with. Nathan was fascinated by the various mirrors. Both boys were interested in their little cousin, who will be turning one year old in a few weeks. She was just learning to walk and Alex offered to help her keep her balance by holding her hands. Unfortunately he lost interest and ran off, leaving her to clutch frantically to the sofa, but then he tried to teach her a clapping game by doing some very gentle hand-over-hand.

Nathan was his usual charming self, patting his cousin on the head and bestowing kisses on the adults. He was not happy with the snacks set out, trying a mini quiche and a breaded cheese stick, but he just politely gave the rejects to me to hold and set merrily about his way.

I'm very proud of how both boys behaved. They were reasonably quiet and calm and certainly fairly happy to be with the extended family. They got some good gifts from their grandmother. Nathan got one of these connector block sets that interlock and he's been very happy playing with it. Alex got a little cat shaped piano with various drumbeats and songs. It's been his constant companion since he got it. He's particularly fond of the samba beat, jumping up and down with a big grin when he plays it.

So good for you, my boys. I'm proud of you.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Holiday Spirit

We put up our holiday decorations today. Lots of sparkling lights and tinsel and various non-breakable ornaments amid garlands. I like the holidays and it makes a nice change in the decor, even though until now, I've been the only one in the house who cared about it.

No longer! Alex has been very excited all day watching the decorations go up. He's been dancing around and jumping up and down, singing Jingle Bells, which he remembers from last year. He even helped me with hanging some of the ornaments. He can't quite manage a string but he's pretty good at hanging a hook off the branches. We've been working today on hanging ornaments back on the tree after he knocks them off and I've actually caught him doing it without being prompted. It's such a great sign of how well he's been doing at listening to and following instructions.

At bedtime, he asked if he could take some of the ornaments up with him. I told him that they had to stay on the tree. He thought about that for a minute and then asked if he could take the tree upstairs.

I politely declined.

It's so exciting to see him excited and enthusiastic about the holidays. Fingers crossed and knock on wood, maybe this will be the year that he gets it.