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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2nd Annual Gift Wrap Up

Christmas is finally over. Actually, we still have our tree and lights up, so it still looks like Christmas is here. As for the gift giving and receiving...that is finally done. At least the material gifts are.

So, I decided that, just like I posted last year in this post here, I'm going to recap what Christian got for Christmas and what makes for great gifts for children with special needs.


Long title? You all already knew I was long winded, right?

This year it was time to get Christian a new weighted blanket. We were given an awesome weighted blanket with Spongebob's face all over it from our friends Jenny and Cici while we were in the hospital. That blanket is still treasured, but Christian has grown and the little blanket only covers him from shoulder to knee.

What is a weighted blanket? It's a blanket that feels almost like a bean bag in blanket form. It's weight can range but the weight offers a calming affect on children with any kind of sensory or movement disorder. We also use ours for positioning and to combat tone.

We chose to purchase ours from SensaCalm. You can choose patterns and characters and different sizes. I chose a space theme because the colors against the black backdrop are ideal, visually speaking. And I have a thing about space and Christian and reaching for the stars and the whole, wide universe and all that stuff.

The blanket is sewn sort of like a quilt. Inside the quilt are little beads like a bean bag. These blankets also have cotton inside of the quilt pockets, which makes the blanket puffier and more like a comforter.

Below is a visual of how each pocket looks and how thick the blanket is.

In our house it has become a tradition for Santa to bring the kids:
1) Something they want.
2) Something they need.
3) Something to wear.
4. Something to read.
Plus stocking stuffers.

Christian's something to read was a Thomas the Tank Engine book. He likes to flip pages when we read books (seriously, he reaches his finger out when I help put his hand up to the page) and it's easiest when they're board books. This particular book is not only a board book, but it also has musical buttons and we can sing along with each button after turning the page.

As I mentioned in the last post, he also got a Thomas flash light. When the handle is squeezed, Thomas talks and his face lights up. Christian seems to really like this toy and he tracks it all the way from right to left consistently. (Ahem, that means he likes it.)

Mr. School Bus and Mr. Ambulance served as stocking stuffers this year. They are big and chunky and perfect for Christian to hold on to. He seems partial to the school bus. They were only a few dollars each at Walmart.

And just as a side note, I believe boys should have trucks and cars. Girls can have them, too, but we're talking about Christian and he's a three year old boy. Sometimes I underestimate his interests thinking that because his movement is infantile, he must like toys for infants and babies. Not true! I can honestly say he's bored with a lot of his baby toys and he responds right away when introduced to a more age appropriate toy. So don't ever be afraid to go age appropriate with toys. Just because his movements aren't developmentally age appropriate doesn't necessarily mean his interests aren't, as well.

This toy below I actually found after Christmas. It was in the Dollar Spot at Target. Perfect toy for special needs!

1. It's shiny and metallic. (visual)
2. It's a tambourine! So it's musical. (auditory)
3. It's easy to hold and grasp. (tactile)
4. It was $1. (Mama likes a good deal.)

Old Navy had these musical shirts for sale this year. They come with a guitar or a drum with a little speaker. Everytime the shirt is touched, it actually "plays" the instrument through the speaker. Well, I got to thinking...this is perfect for kids with special needs! Especially Christian, who moves his arms often, but keeps them close to his body. He likes to fiddle with his seat belt and g-tube and he often gets annoyed if his tray is in the way of him feeling his shirt or whatever else is going on with his shirt or stomach. Enter Electronic Drum Kit Shirt!

Size 6? And Christian is a 3T? Absolutely. Christian is cool enough to wear big kids' shirts! We chose a drum set and the shirt is scarily just his size. You can see the little speaker in the corner.

Christian also got a big koosh-like soccer ball but it's extra large so there is no way he can't hit it.

We also got a bigger musical keyboard for Christian. The only piano-like toys we had were baby toys. And they're small. So it was important Christian have a bigger keyboard with more room to play and more keys to potentially hit.

Another winner I never, ever thought of...we're taking it way back, here...a lava lamp! This came courtesy of Aunt Wendy, Uncle Alex, and Cousin Alexia. Talk about visually stimulating!

Well, not this picture. Apparently, it takes a few hours to heat up.

So in a few hours, it will be groovy, baby. Like a year round Christmas tree.

Oh, and before I go...did I mention...

...Christian and I got the mother of all gifts this year... was so needed...

...and so appreciated...

...and I was so surprised...

...I think I may have danced a little jig...

...I might have done the Running Man, it's all a blur...


Blending just got a whole lot easier around these parts.

I'm thinking this will probably be the last time I post until next year so I'll wish everyone a happy and safe New Year full of awesomeness.

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