Christmas Letter 2012!

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy Holidays from soggy Northern California!  Just over a year ago we were writing you this letter aboard the new Airbus 380 returning from a two-week vacation in New Zealand.  Recalling the seventeen hours with nothing but the hum of a turbo-fan jet engine, undisturbed sleep, and a movie (or four) seems wonderful. The biggest challenges I faced at the time were the cord connecting my ear buds to the armrest, and Dane’s knee blockading my path to the restroom.  What a difference a year makes.  While writing the 2011 recap that day, I did allude to the fact that the 2012 “Thompson Family Christmas Letter” was bound to involve much gloating about our forthcoming addition, “formally known as Sterling Silverado”.  On that subject I promise you, I will not disappoint.

“Rex William Thompson” was born on February 14th, 2012 weighing in at 3lbs, 7oz, joining big brothers Myles (5 years, 35 dog years) and Floyd (4 years, 28 dog years). After 45 days in the NICU at Sutter Roseville, and later, another week (or so) at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital (Stanford) for heart surgery, Rex was given a clean bill of health.  He was sent home with just one more minor surgery remaining…on his right testicle.  Or is that too much information?  Nevertheless, while you all are watching the ball drop on New Years Eve, we, at the Thompson household, will be waiting for a completely different ball to drop.  (Pretty clever, huh?) Seriously though, this surgery is a walk in the park compared to his last, he won’t even have to spend the night.

Rex in February

Rex in February

Since coming home Rex has been thriving.  He has a hearty appetite, sucking down Avocados and Cauliflower like I suck down blueberry bagels.  I can tell you that growing up in a veggie-less household I have not only had to learn how to prepare said veggies but also what most of them look like! Did you know that peas actually come in a pod? And that an Acorn Squash actually looks like an acorn?!  Anyway, Rex is pushing twenty pounds at the moment and wearing it well.  He still isn’t sleeping through the night, but seeing that he is a little angel at some combination of, 11PM, 2AM and/or sometimes 5:30AM, we have no complaints.  I like to think that he just doesn’t want to go too long without checking in with “his people”.   Rex has a ton of energy and there is no question that he will be “all boy”.  No playing with dolls or throwing tea parties, at the moment his favorite moments are spent playing a rousing game of “throw pillow toss” while pulling the dogs tail and/or ear, and “power rolling” across the living room floor.  None of these things are done in solitary though, as our little boy needs to pause every once and awhile to make sure we are all watching and providing adequate “kudos”.  Fortunately, Dane and Myles have his same level of energy. Floyd and I are usually passed out on the couch.

As for his continued development, we are ”lucky” enough to be evaluated by the State of California (the pillar for all things child development) as a result of his prematurity.  After finally realizing that his name was actually “Rex” and not “Thompson” we were informed that he is behind on his motor skills (go figure) but doing exceptionally well cognitively (yes, I am happy to report that that my kid made the hypothetical honor roll).   As a result, we attend regular Physical Therapy sessions to help with those motor skills.  Just this week we are starting to see a bit of an army crawl and what I affectionately refer to as the “meatball sit”.  But yeah, at this point I this it is safe to say we know most, if not all, of the pediatric specialists, surgeons and therapists in the Sacramento area.  My insurance company must love me.

Rex in November

Rex in November

While much (okay, all) of our lives do revolve around the baby these days, I did choose to go back to work full time in August.   As a result, Rex became a regular on the daycare scene.  It was difficult at first but fortunately we were able to enlist the help of Patty and Jim (Dane’s parents) and the legendary “Zohreh”. There are usually about six kids at Zohreh’s and all of them are very sweet.  One of my first memories of Zohreh’s was the time I arrived to pickup Rex and he was laying in the middle of the floor with two little girls kissing his arms – it was like he was some sort of Sultan.  The kids there refer to me as “Rexy’s mom”, which definitely makes me feel like I should grow up and stop shopping at “Forever XXI”, but whatever.  One consistent aspect of daycare is that I am constantly being told how to do my job by a three-year-old. “Don’t pick him up without a toy”. “He likes being kissed on his arm”. “No, this one is Rexy’s highchair.” It’s amazing how smart the kids are these days.

Dane continues to enjoy his job doing whatever it is he does. (Your guess is as good as mine) We are both happy to work at home most days so all is good on the work front!

As for other news, I did manage to convince Dane to buy a house in August (it wasn’t easy). We moved in to our place in Grosvenor Downs (both a spelling and pronunciation nightmare!) during a heat wave, but fortuitously were able to enlist “Grandma and Grandpa” to entertain the baby.  Had they not been available, I think we would still be moving in today. Immediately after moving, Dane had to leave on a business trip, so two restless puppies, one annoyed baby and I spent several sleepless nights on an air mattress.   I would like to say that air mattresses do not make for a good night’s sleep. Anyway, we love the new digs, the proximity to Safeway, and the neighbors…for the most part. I may or may not have had a little run-in with the HOA President but that’s a story for another time. Needless to say, I elected myself Social Committee Chair and author of the Grosvenor Gazette much to his (the President’s) chagrin so we aren’t going to be making up anytime soon.

Candy, what candy?

Candy, what candy?

Having Rex has definitely curtailed our travel schedule. While both Dane and I love traversing across the globe and can’t wait to share that passion with Rex, the thought of schlepping the three of us and a baby stroller, a car seat, multiple onesies, a pack ‘n play, the snail toy, a few throw pillows…. you get the picture, just doesn’t seem all that appealing to us at the moment. As a result our travel was limited to two “day trips” to South Lake Tahoe this year.

Both Ma and Pa Self have been out to visit us multiple times this year with Pa Self making it his personal mission to help us raise a future Baltimore Raven.  At this point Rex might be the only baby in California dressed in black and purple.  Dane reminds me that those are also Sacramento Kings colors so he is okay with it.  Ma Self will be spending Christmas with us and leading us in song for our upcoming “Cookie Swap and Carol” party this weekend.

On the Thompson side, Grandma and Grandpa have been incredibly helpful this year.   We have definitely put them to work!  Rex enjoyed a Thompson Thanksgiving, hanging out with his two “big” cousins, Jack and Olivia, as well as his Aunt and Uncle. We are also hosting even more Thompsons next Sunday for a slightly more official Family Reunion.  The nice thing about having the youngest baby is that everyone has to come to us. 🙂

That about sums it up as we once again say goodbye to another year and get ready for a new one filled with, well, probably more time and material devoted to Rex.  We wish you all the best this holiday season and in the New Year and hope that you remember to leave cookies (preferably Spritz) by the fireplace for Santa and carrots for Rudolph (he’s a vegetarian) because they have a LOT of work to do this Christmas.  In addition, if you are like me and prefer to decorate your car with a set of antlers and a big red nose, well, save those antlers. You never know when you are going to need one.  Take care, be safe and have a Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!

Peace and Love,
Dane, Angela, Rex, Myles, and Floyd

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