Ice Ice Baby

We’ve had Strep, stomach bug, Thanksgiving travels, Christmas parties and programs. I won’t talk about how time is a-flyin’, but it is. =)

The little man and I like to go to the Ice exhibit at the Gaylord Texan Hotel when the tickets are half-price. This year was an international theme and it was my favorite! My phone froze up when I was videoing Carson cruising down the ice slide, so I don’t have too many great pics. We sure had fun! The first year we took Carson, I vividly remember the look of shock on his face when the doors opened and he realized how cold it was. It’s NINE degrees. We saw the exhibit in about 5 minutes. He digs it now and we can stay as long as we want.

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Yearly picture with the huge reindeer.
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There were Christmas ball ornaments with flags from all over the world.
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In front of the American Christmas depiction.
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The international children ice sculptures were my most favorite!
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Carson at the top of the ice slide before my phone froze up.
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Carson and I in the sleigh.

Carson had his Thanksgiving skit and breakfast at school. Super cute! Here’s a picture of his classmates. I LOVE that there are only 8 kids in his class. SUCH a great fit for him! And I adore this picture of his teacher! She is tons of fun!

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Carson’s Thanksgiving skit at school.
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Carson and I during the Thanksgiving breakfast at school.

Camden was sick with strep the entire week before Thanksgiving break. I shared previously about our PediaQ visit.

Camden sick napping
If this kid naps, you know he’s sick!

We headed to Pennsylvania to spend Thanksgiving with my husband’s side of the family. Leading up to our flight, we try not to talk too much about it, but inevitably the “airplane” or “airport” words come up to which Camden always replies, “NO THANK YOU!” =) He seems to enjoy being at the airport, but does get stressed about flying. We do various things to help him out, and the anxiety has gotten SO MUCH BETTER! It used to look like this: sobbing, having me in a headlock, lots of verbal protesting, climbing on my lap, etc. Now it looks like this: 5-10 minutes of him glued to me at take-off. Not bad! Now that electronic devices are allowed at take-off and landing, that’s been a huge help! Here are my boys at take off. Carson always has the window seat. He loves to fly. Camden likes to look out the window periodically, but does not want near it.

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flying to PA

We always have a blast in PA! Most of Brian’s family takes off work and we hang out and have a good time. Actually, come to think of it, the little guys and I are usually sick during our winter visit to PA. Camden and I both had strep at the beginning. Once Camden’s throat got better, he had a tooth that was erupting and it shot pain to his ear anytime he would eat or drink. He didn’t eat for almost a week. =(

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Poor Camden wanted to go outside and play so badly.
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Carson loved all the game playing!

My niece is a middle school gym teacher, so she hooked us up to be able to play in the gym when their were no students there. It had been cold outside and it was so nice to get out and play. The kids (and adults) had a blast on the ring/trapeze bar/swing thingy.

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open gym time

We had tons of fun and got out a lot of energy, and it was time to head out. I set the timer on my watch and informed the kids that we had 5 minutes till we were leaving. Camden and his cousin, Grace, were racing…here, I’ll show you:

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we were so close!

You see that red thing cut out of the mat? Well, 1 second after I took this picture, Camden followed directions to “pull down.”

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pull down

OH MY! I was stunned! We were supposed to leave in 2 minutes, but instead the alarm is blarring! The staff and the parents who were at the school for conferences evacuated the building! This is my niece’s first year to teach. Ugh…my stomach hurt. We exited the building and Camden says, “This is terrible.” Indeed. Thankfully, my niece is still employed.

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fun in the great outdoors!
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sweet cousins on a beautiful day!

Camden loved all the tickles and Carson was thrilled to wrestle.

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tickles and wrestling

Our niece and her fiancée sent the kids on a scavenger hunt. The last stop consisted of signs that she had made each of them asking to be in their wedding. Kaila is very artistic and super sentimental, so this was right up her alley. Very sweet! Kaila and B have been dating for four years. B is a very kind-hearted guy and we are thrilled for them!

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wedding duties scavenger hunt

We were super sad to have to leave. It was a wonderful visit. I’m always spoiled since my sister-on-law is the hostess with the mostest. To not have to plan and execute dinner for 2 weeks is definitely my idea of a successful vacation! =)

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Grabbing a quick bite before catching our flight home. Camden did so good!

No great pictures from the evening, but we did something new this year. We went to a Christmas dinner theater at our undergrad alma mater. Since Camden likes music and Christmas, we thought it was worth a shot. The chef was flexible about our dietary restrictions. We brought noise cancelling headphones. And we sat with lovely people that don’t sweat the small stuff. We had a great time, and I think we always feel good to try something new and have it be successful.

Our local TACA (Talk About Curing Autism) chapter had their Jingle Jamboree last weekend at a gym. We got pictures with Santa. The gym has a zip line, tons of trampolines, gymnastics equipment, bounce houses, tree house with slide, a foam pit, and on and on. We played hard and sweated profusely. Gobs of fun and always nice to be with other families that understand.

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playing at the TACA Jingle Jamboree

My sweet Carson had his Christmas program at school this week. I snapped this picture of him beforehand. He’s growing up so fast. He brings such joy to my heart.

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love him to pieces!

Here’s our wise man in the red robe. The program was precious (and hysterical).

I try to observe Camden at school and conference with his teacher once a month. Yesterday, I observed him during his GenEd inclusion time. I have mixed feelings about inclusion. I know it’s good for him (with the right set-up), but the mommy in me likes for him to stay within the safety of his self-contained class for students with autism. Those people know, love, and understand him. Anywho, seeing him in there with my own eyes was extremely helpful. The observation time and conference with his teacher put my mind at ease. So good for the soul to see how he is included and to see the people who care so deeply for him. Here’s what I shared on FB yesterday:

GenEd

I’ve debated about sharing this b/c I certainly don’t want Camden’s team to feel like I’m putting them on display or anything weird, but this email I received from his GenEd teacher meant so much to me. I already know his SpEd teacher would walk through fire for him. =) But here is what his GenEd teacher shared with me: “You must know that your son is a sweet little boy, and while he’s with me, his safety and happiness are important to me. I will always take care of him and look out for him, so please never worry about that. 🙂  I’m so glad you were able to come.  His classmates absolutely love him.  We are all one big classroom family at school.” I am deeply grateful for his team. Every last one of them.

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