Hello Aspierations Snow Buddies! Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!!
Ryan has been sick with a cold and bad cough for the past week so we didn't end up going to church today because we didn't want to risk him getting the other preschool attendees or any of the volunteers sick. We also kept him home from Dad's weekly grocery shopping trip. He was upset about both but perked up when John called from the store and told us to look out the window. The first snow of the holiday season was falling!
photography courtesy of Justin
View from my office window shortly after the start of the snow. I know it isn't much but it sure was pretty to watch and very uplifting! Guess we won't be shooting hoops tonight!
Being from the Silicon Valley in California and living there most of my life, it was extremely rare for me to EVER see snow unless I went up to Lake Tahoe, so everytime I see those beautiful flakes coming down from the sky at our home here, it is incredibly exciting. I'm just like a little kid. :-)
The first time I ever remember seeing snow in Mountain View was when I was in 2nd grade and home sick with a cold. While my classmates were at school playing in the first snow they had ever experienced in our part of California, I was content (so they say) to look through my parents' bedroom sliding glass door and out into our backyard. Oh, how I wanted to go outside and play! Now you have to realize there really wasn't a heck of a lot of snow to play in but this kind of thing had never happened before and little did I know at the time, it wasn't going to be happening again in Mountain View during my childhood!
So here I am at home with Ryan today and he's sick and the snowflakes are coming down outside. I just know he wants to go out and play in it... but surprisingly, he was content to pull his little yellow chair over by my desk, stand up on it and look out the window into the backyard at the snow coming down onto the trees, the grass and our outdoor furniture. Don't tell John but I even let him open the window for a little bit (screen still attached) so he could get a little of that fresh air he and I crave. Fun! It was SO beautiful!
When we first moved here in July of 2007 we were told that we might get an inch or two of snowfall in an entire year. John was okay with that. Having grown up in Wisconsin, he totally had his fill of snow shoveling. We didn't even own a snow shovel when we got here. I'll have to tell you the story of how the snow shovel came into our lives in another blog!
On Christmas Day 2007, it snowed. What made it especially cool is that my parents had come up from California to spend Christmas with us. It was the only time they've been here so far so knowing we all got to experience a "White Christmas" together was really special. My mom was born in Colorado and my dad in Illinois so both had certainly experienced snow on Christmas before at their homes. Not me, Ryan or Justin... it was just awesome!
Now I suppose if we regularly got the kind of snow they get back in the midwest, I wouldn't be so animated and excited. The novelty certainly would wear off. Still, I think the first snowfall of the year would have to be exciting. There's something very magical and festive about it. Given the number of times I've listened to and seen "Frosty the Snowman" in the past month (you do know the girl's name is Karen, don't you?), it is certainly fitting for us to have our first snowfall in November.
Now if we could see snow on THANKSGIVING, that would be really awesome. I'd love to make a snowman or play in the snow in the yard with the boys on my birthday. I doubt it will happen based on the weather forecast but a gal can always hope! I've read it will be snowing tomorrow so maybe...
If it doesn't happen, we can always make Magic Snow or Insta-Snow. Have any of you out there heard of this stuff? Ryan was feeling a little better on Saturday so we braved an hour and a half trip out to what we thought was going to be this incredibly amazing and homey Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair at the Clark County Fairgrounds in Ridgefield. It was okay but instead of homemade goodies and arts and crafts as advertised, it was mainly retailers selling gift items you could get in stores or online for less. Being that WE are a retailer that sells gift items online, there really wasn't much of an interest in what was being sold but that was probably a good thing because we only had a little spending money anyway.
What we did purchase was some Insta-Snow which is something very sensory friendly for the boys. It's this instant snow stuff that starts as powder and after you add water, it grows into snow. You can literally watch the snow grow in your hand. Fun! The stuff feels cool and very soft to the touch. Put a gallon's worth in a plastic bin and you'll have a fun sensory sensation that both kids and adults can enjoy.
Justin and Ryan have had rice bins and bean bins before for therapeutic play but I think the snow bin will be the new inside hit for the next couple months. The Insta-Snow is non-toxic too although you wouldn't want to put it in your mouth. Once you're done playing with the stuff, it turns back into powder so you can re-use it again.
As it turns out, we could have purchased it for less online but when you have two excited children in front of you who are really getting into playing with the stuff and you see it's calming them, you're willing to pay a extra few bucks to see those smiles and calm bodies.
The Saturday we were experiencing as a family BEFORE the fair was very stressful. It was not a good morning for anyone. After the Insta-Snow, we had Insta-Smiles and a better afternoon and that worked for me!
The holiday fair part wasn't super duper exciting for me or John but the good news is that Santa Claus was there and Ryan got to sit on his lap and tell him what he wanted for Christmas. (Hint... it starts with a C and ends with an S and he has hundreds of them already! Ryan is very easy to shop for!!)
Is it just me, or does Santa look a tad grouchy? Not getting enough Ho Hos in his diet, I suppose!
Mini Petting Zoo. Darn, no reindeer!
Checking out the indoor helicopters that would never do any damage in our home... HA HA!
We'll do the official Santa Claus mall trip and get an official picture with Santa a little closer to the big day. I want to make sure Justin gets in the photo as well. This go-around he was eating popcorn and not so much in the mood but next time we'll make sure to get a picture with both boys together.
I've been looking around online to see if there are any sensory-friendly locations for a visit with Santa and the Lloyd Center in Portland, OR is having a special time with Santa for children on the autism spectrum. We may try that or we may head back to the Vancouver Mall. I'd rather wait until both kiddos are healthy.
Mmm....... I'm really looking forward to having turkey on Thursday. I will totally miss being with my parents but I'm sure we'll give them a call just like the boys did today to let Gram and Grandpa know it was snowing!
Well, next week will be a busy one around here work-wise. There is always a bonus challenge getting work done and packages shipped when the kids are home since we all are in the office together. I do plan on taking Thursday off but while you guys and gals are out enjoying family and possibly shopping on the crazy Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend, I'll be here at my desk working my holiday magic, running promotions for Count Your Beans and hopefully helping families get some special gifts for their family members.
My birthday and Christmas wish is to be able to put many more hours into Aspierations next year, to get the Aspierations.com website up and running and to do more writing. I'd love to be able to get some side income going through my writing so that there isn't so much pressure on the CYB side. I'm excited about what the end of this year and the beginning of next brings. How about you?
I'm going to end my blog for this evening but I'll be writing again before Thanksgiving. I wanted to talk about the results from the autism and communications research project that Ryan participated in but that's for a separate entry.
Hope you have a wonderful week ahead and do something fun and loving! Drop me a line, leave me a blog comment, say hello if you're so inclined. I miss hearing from my blog friends!
Blessings and happiness,