Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Day

Felix's special new shirt
What do I love most about Christmas day? Spending time with family and friends! The presents are fun and the food is great but, being surrounded by family, relaxing and enjoying each other's company is the best. I know Felix enjoyed having everyone here too. He had people constantly reading him stories, singing with him and playing games. His favourite thing to do was to put a toy on someone's head and then crack up laughing when it fell off. The next time they would put the toy on Felix's head until it fell off. He thought it was hilarious, and no head was safe....everyone got a turn.

We started our morning with a little surprise from Nathan. Months ago he ordered a balloon shark, online, with the plan to wake the kids up with it on Christmas morning. It needed to be filled with helium and is driven by remote control so it looks like it's actually swimming through the air. The only problem was that it took us a little bit longer than expected to assemble it so, instead of waking them up, it made a grand entrance floating down the hallway before we opened presents. The kids loved it. Joel even said that nothing was going to beat that, so we may as well not worry about the presents. Felix was in absolute awe. I thought he would be frightened of it, but he couldn't stop pointing at it, and even kissed it when he got a chance. If you still don't understand what I'm talking about, here is the link to a youtube video about the shark
Stories with Granny and Papa

I had some gifts made up for Felix to give everyone this year. I bought some tshirts and got them embroidered with, Felix's brother, Felix's sister, Felix's Dad etc on the front of them, and 'Support Down Syndrome Awareness' on the back. They turned out really well thanks to the workers at our local Phoenix Society. Phoenix employ adults with disabilities and, from everything I have seen, their quality of work is amazing whether it be detailing cars or embroidery. It is a wonderful organisation. Felix handed out his gifts to everyone, one by one, and even sat on Skype and watched his biggest sister, Amy, open hers. I was so happy when, later in the day, we Skyped with Amy again and she was wearing hers. I'm glad the kids are proud to show their support for their little brother.
Present time

My Dad has developed a real bond with Felix over the past few days and, being an intellectual (unlike me), he often comes up with new things to try when he's playing with Felix. I was completely speechless when Dad called me in to the room to see what he'd discovered Felix could do. Dad had placed a ball underneath a blue cup. He also had three other cups, of different colours, all lined up. Once the ball was underneath the cup, he moved all the cups around into different positions over and over and then stopped and asked Felix to find the ball. Nearly every time, Felix knew which cup the ball was under even though it was in a different place. I was so excited because not only does it show concentration, but it also shows that he is recognising colours which is fantastic!

Felix's tshirt gifts to the family
Putting a hat on Papa
Felix's speech has improved so much just over these past few days as well. Thanks, I believe, to a lot of intensive communication with my Mum. She has read so many books with Felix and, she is happy to sit for ages, reading the same story over and over. He loves a new touch and feel dinosaur book he got for Christmas. On one page, there is a dinosaur with lots of spikes. Mum was saying, "bump, bump, bump" as she touched each spike. After listening to her for a while, he started to point at each spike and say "um, um, um". It's great to hear him using the correct speech sounds. He is also consistently using the words "in" and "out" now. He doesn't get the 'n' sound at the end of 'in', or the 't'sound at the end of 'out', but to hear him using those sounds at the correct moment, when he is putting a ball 'in' the hoop, or taking something 'out' of a container is exciting.
Our Christmas shark

One of Felix's favourite gifts this Christmas, is a container of animal counters. They are little, primary coloured farm animals, about an inch high that can be used to teach sorting. They can be sorted into colours or types of animals, and also for counting. I didn't think Felix would be too interested in them yet. I bought them thinking we would probably end up putting them away until he's a bit older, but he loves them. He has been posting them into things, and filling up cups with them. He's been standing them up on the edges of the furniture, which is great for his fine motor because they are so small. Whenever they fall over, he concentrates hard on standing them back up, even if it takes him a while. I never get tired of watching him learn.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas. I'm relieved it's all over for another year, but will be sad to say goodbye to some of our family members tomorrow. It's been wonderful having them here. Tonight, I am going to put my weary feet up and rest while I can. The cutest alarm clock in the world will be waking me back up bright and early again in the morning.

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