21st Day: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (youtube)
  On the twenty-first day, we partook in some reindeer games!  Since we didn’t have any reindeer shirts on hand, we decided to dress the kids in coordinating Minnesota Wild hockey shirts- their dad’s favorite team and game.  As an added bonus, the team’s colors are pretty Christmas-y!

Go Wild!
  We started with a reindeer puzzle craft.  It was a 3D interlocking system.  Marshall loves puzzles- he’s been doing them on his own before he even turned two!  So this was right up his ally.
He’s always the most quiet when doing puzzles- or shenanigans

 

Proud of his own little reindeer
  Next was Violet’s turn.  My sister is pretty amazing.  Over the years she has gone to stores after Christmas and picked up holiday crafts and little trinkets on clearance and then given us them for our 25 days.  But her thoughtfulness extends past that as well.  She knew of my struggles with carrying to term and conception and knew how hard it was for me at times.  To try to boost my spirits and help me focus on the end goal, she would give me little things for “when” I had my next baby.  Not “if“, but “when“.  That really helped me.  These little infant Rudolph bath books and toy were one of those gifts.  She gave me this two Christmases ago and now, Christmas 2015, is the “when” to give it!

 

Thanks Auntie!
(Fun fact: Violet’s middle name is in honor of her Auntie)
  She absolutely loved the gift.  She has been playing with it all endlessly and has been having so much fun looking at the pictures (and chewing on it).
“This is a real page turner!”
  For Marshall’s next reindeer game, I found an online printable.  It’s a dice game so it helps with number recognition and matching with the number on the dice to the coordinating reindeer piece.  Marshall just adored this game.
Counting dots on the dice and comparing it to the different dice on the paper

 

Marshall takes after his dad with his love of numbers.  They are natural
mathematicians.

 

This can also be made into a group game if you have multiple dice- see who can put their
reindeer together the fastest by rolling in order of the pictures shown.  Such a fun game!
  Papa was in charge of the final game for the kids.  Brad decided he would be the reindeer and the kids could be Santa and an elf.  He very carefully and slowly pulled both of them while Marshall held his sister.  Violet has really great core control, so there weren’t any spills.

 

 

Baby’s first tube ride

 

She was all smiles after but while he was pulling she was very focused on what was going on
  I grabbed Violet and that’s when Brad turned into Dasher.  He whipped Marshall around the yard- at times almost taking out the snowman or, Brad, himself!  Marshall absolutely loved it and kept saying “Go, go” and “Ho, ho, ho”.  He loved getting to be Santa.

 

Brad ended up being a bit tied up
  Brad and I even got to play a game of our own.  It is called “Deer in the Headlights” and it’s basically like the newlywed game.  Same questions for us both but we answer for ourselves and then our spouse.  We did a pretty good job- both knowing what kinds of stores we would open in a mall (him: hockey shop; me: cloth diaper/ natural parenting store…yea I’m a geek) among others.
  After Brad went to work, and it was time for bed, Marshall ‘read’ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer to his sister.

 

  I used this as an example to never make fun of others because of their differences and that it’s our differences that makes us special- even if we don’t quite know how it can benefit us at first.  Marshall with his speech, for example, having apraxia has made him a much more compassionate friend to other children with disabilities that are much more severe than his.  It has also taught him other ways to communicate; resulting in one of the most expressive and natural born actors I know.  It’s made him a hard worker and so determined- qualities that are sure to be key in his success as an adult.  He will change the world one day and he wouldn’t be the amazing and wonderful Marshall that he is today if he didn’t have the struggles of apraxia.
  See, the twenty-first day was pretty splendid with it’s fun games and new toys.  The best part was learning about Rudolph and how he turned a physical difference into making a difference.  That’s what’s great about these days: on the surface it’s just stories and games, but if you go deeper it’s life lessons and learning- be it morals of the story or math of the games.  See you tomorrow as we bring a bit of light to the dark days of winter.
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