Monday, December 29, 2008
Me: Ok, sounds good.
Brad: (From the other room) Dear!
Brad: I need a Diet Coke!
Interesting to get his perception of our relationship!
Today, at the dinner table:
Brad: Mommy, do you like cats?
Me: No, not really.
Brad: (With a sweet expression on his face holding his thumb and finger together) Just a tiny little bit?
Me: Yeah, I guess a tiny little bit.
Brad: Ok! Let's get one!
We're going to have to teach him about the hard sell.
Friday, December 26, 2008
I know the day will come when I can't put my kids in the bath together, but that day is not yet. Lucy loves her big brother so much. She just laughs and laughs at everything he does. He also loves her and does everything he can to make her happy. There's been no sibling rivalry at all. Having two is so much more fun than I ever thought it would be!
Monday, December 22, 2008
A few nights later we were talking to Brad and told him we were going to go shopping to get some Christmas presents for an 8-year-old girl. I didn't really think he would understand, but I did not expect his reaction at all. He totally went off the deep end! He was telling us that presents were only for him and his friends. He said we could buy presents for Kennedy, Anela, Kara, Abby & Alyssa, but not for THAT 8-year-old girl. We continued to explain that the girl's family didn't have enough money this Christmas and that we did, so we were going to share. Brad replied with, "We can't give THAT 8-year-old girl my dad's money! My dad likes his money!!" It was all a bit comical and a bit concerning at the same time. I told Brad that Christmas is to celebrate Jesus's birthday and that we give each other presents for His birthday and that Jesus would want us to share with this girl. Brad simply stated, "I will share with MY friends."
I am happy to report that the story has a happy ending. When we got to the store and started looking around for things an 8-year-old girl would like Brad had a change of heart. He helped us pick out the presents and even helped Joe wrap them. The hostility went away and Brad decided it was ok to share with a girl he didn't know. He even picked out a present for Lucy - something she would like instead of something he wanted. I think he's getting the Spirit of Christmas after all.
Friday, December 19, 2008
And here's the Signature or "Siggy" I made for my message board using my favorite one:
Today we had our second large snow storm of the week. I don't mind snow, but I HATE driving in it. It just seems that some people think they should be able to drive as fast and as recklessly as they usually do and those people make me nervous. My car is really good in the snow, so I can't complain too much. I just prefer to stay home when it's on the ground. Brad went out to play this afternoon while Joe was shoveling the driveway. He was really cute about it. He mostly wanted to eat it.
And now on to the topic of controversy for my post today: Santa Claus. I want to preface this by saying I have no problem with Santa Claus. I don't even have a problem with parents who want their children to believe in Santa Claus, but I don't, and I thought some of you might be interested in knowing why. This is not meant to offend anyone, just to give you a glimpse into what I'm thinking.
There are a few reasons we don't do Santa in our home. The first has to do with how difficult it is to keep Christmas focused on the birth of The Savior. I think most people would agree that Christmas has become very commercialized. While we all know what the "true meaning of Christmas" is, I'm fairly sure that if you ask most people between the ages of 2 and about 10 what they think about when they think of Christmas it would have something to do with Santa Claus and getting presents. It's the only time during the year other than your birthday that you can expect other people to spend money getting you things you want. I'm guilty of it - I used Christmas as an excuse to get my new camera. Of course that was like 2 months ago, but what the heck. My point is that no matter how hard you try to focus on the birth of Jesus Christ, the world puts presents and spending money right in your face. To me, Santa Claus has become the very symbol of the commercialized Christmas. I don't believe that's the way Santa or Saint Nicholas is supposed to be. He's to supposed to be be a symbol of giving in it's most basic form. In many of the original stories of St. Nick he gave only to the poor and needy. It's for that very reason that I will teach my children about the legend of Santa Claus but I will not teach them that he's a real, live, jolly, fat man living at the North Pole and bringing presents to children if they are "good". What does that teach children about those who have less? If one of my friends shows up at school with an ipod and the other shows up with new pencils does that mean that the first friend was better behaved throughout the year?
The second reason for not teaching my children that Santa Claus is real has to do with being honest. I just don't like the idea of creating the elaborate deception that Santa Claus actually comes into our house on Christmas Eve, eats our baked goods and leaves presents. Again, for those of you that do, that's totally fine, it just doesn't sit well with me. I want to be able to tell them that Santa is a fun story, and the Easter Bunny is a fun tradition, but that Jesus and Heavenly Father are real, and I don't want that to cause any confusion. I know for most kids it wouldn't, but it just feels important to me.
Maybe one of the reasons I feel so strongly about this is that I was not raised believing that Santa Claus was real. I was taught about the story of Santa Claus by my parents who were loving and wonderful and always made Christmas special and magical without having to try to explain how Santa was going to get into our mobile home when we had nothing even resembling a chimney. Did I miss out on something? I don't think I did at all. I still got excited about Christmas. I even crept out of my room in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve to check the Christmas Tree (wondering if my parents had put out the presents before they went to bed). I had a great appreciation of the spirit of Christmas and also an appreciation of the sacrifice my parents had to make each year to get us gifts when my dad's teaching salary didn't stretch as far as it sometimes needed to. I loved knowing that my mom had picked out just what I wanted and that my siblings were thrilled with what I picked for them. I actually feel that thinking Santa Claus was "real" would have taken away from the closeness I felt to my family during the Holiday Season.
I do love Christmas. I love Christmas music. I love having my tree up. I love Christmas lights, especially those at Temple Square. I love that the season is a reminder that our lives need to be focused on Christ. I even love the story of Santa Claus. So to those of you that now think I am Scrooge himself I will end by saying, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I should note that I was too nervous to take my nice camera, so the pictures aren't the greatest. Oh well.
The animal life at Central Park is NUTS. The squirrels are huge and not afraid of anything and the pigeons are even worse. Any of you who understand how much I love birds will know how much I enjoyed that.
After taking the ferry ride we walked back up some ways and went past the World Trade Center site. There wasn't really anything to see as it's a construction site now, but there was still a very sad feeling there. We also walked up Wall street and saw the Stock Exchange (I guess there's a sad feeling there too!) and then went to the top of the Empire State Building. That was something I've always wanted to do and it did not disappoint. Lucy got hungry while we were up there so I fed her. I think the top of the Empire State Building is probably the coolest place I've ever nursed a baby.
One of the days when Joe and Lucy were roaming around they went to Grand Central Station and for some reason there were hundreds of Santas. Fat santas, skinny santas, girl santas, boy santas, ugly santas...you get the idea. We kept seeing groups of them all through the city, it was pretty entertaining.
On Friday night one of my co-workers volunteered to babysit Lucy, so Joe and I got to go out. Joe was lucky enough to get us reservations at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants, Bar American when someone else canceled. It was SOOOO good. Food to die for. I had tuna and Joe had pork (of course) Bobby Flay was even there standing in the open air kitchen. Definitely one of the best meals of my life.
When we left the restaurant we walked through Manhattan and saw the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center. It was so huge and so beautiful. Joe and I celebrated out 7th anniversary on the day we flew home, so it was really nice that we got to go on a date in New York.
As good as the trip was, the flight home was a nightmare. We were only 18th in line to take off and they had turned off the engines because it was going to be a while, when suddenly someone at the front of the plane got sick and we had to turn back for a medical emergency. We sat there for 2.5 hours before even taking off. We were on that lovely plane with our 6 month old baby for 8 hours. Luckily she is a total angel. She did so well. She slept a lot of the time and other times just played and smiled. The woman sitting next to us wanted to take her home and I don't think that's usually what happens when a stranger gets seated near a baby on a plane.
Brad stayed with Joe's parents while we were gone and had a great time. They brought him to the airport to pick us up. He was waiting at the bottom of the escalator as we came down from the terminal and it was so very cute how excited he was to see us. I did miss him and was really happy to see him. It's good to have a break sometimes and makes you appreciate what you have. Brad and Lucy really missed each other and were happy to see each other.
Anyway, it was a great trip and worth working my tushy off for a couple of days. I hope to go back some time soon...maybe without any kids!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Lesson learned? Don't throw away cords unless you know what they are for.
Anyway, now that I've made a short story long, here is a 3 minute video of Lucy eating and making noise. I don't expect anyone except her grandparents to watch it, but based on the $63.00 I spent just to be able to upload the thing I had to show something.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
And some awesome shots of Jack (I have the cutest nieces and nephews ever!):
Anyway, when we got them all together it was pretty much impossible to get them all to look good in the same shot. Here are some out-takes:
Monday, December 1, 2008
We were putting up our Christmas tree and of course Brad wanted to help. Joe was stringing beads around the tree and Brad was "helping" and Joe told him to do it differently. Brad replied "Dad, you make me so frustrated!" He's been doing a lot of eye rolling lately too. Somehow I thought he would be older when he started doing that.
When we're in the car Brad often asks me if I want to tell him a story. What he actually means is that he's going to pick a story and ask me a lot of questions about it. Usually the questions are hard to answer and usually they go on and on. On this particular day he picked Beauty and the Beast. It went something like this:
Brad - Mom, why does the Beast turn into a prince?
Me - He was a prince before the witch cast a spell on him, so when he learns to love Beauty he turns back into a prince.
Brad - Mom, why is Beauty afraid of Beast?
Me - At first he's mean to her.
Brad - Why?
Me - (getting tired of this already) He's unhappy so he's mean to her.
Brad - And why is there a talking Teacup?
I'm glad to know he thinks Disney is a bit off too.
Speaking of Disney - we were in church the other day singing "Oh Thou Rock of Our Salvation" and Brad said "Hey! I know this song! It's on Sleeping Beauty." Not sure where that one came from.
And lastly, the other day Brad wanted to eat in the living room and I said no. He said "But I'm always careful." and I said, "Brad you're never careful, you always spill!" to which he replied, "But I'm always careful this time." Hard to argue with logic like that.