Monday, August 13, 2012

The Truth About Santa Claus

Tonight Rob and I told our 9 year old the truth about Santa Claus.

When people talk about milestones as a parent, they often forget to mention this. This was huge!

It is still hard to believe that our holiday traditions have been changed forever because of this one conversation.

But they haven't changed in a bad way, they will just be different.

...and I think I am ok with that. 

To be honest, I thought this day has been coming for 4 years. Ethan began questioning the truth about Santa when he started Kindergarten and he was exposed to other kids who already didn't believe. Each year I would say to Rob, "I bet this is the last year he believes!"

And yet, years passed.

There was one time a few months ago when Ethan picked up Rob's iPhone and asked Siri if Santa was real. The room went silent as we anticipated "her" response and Ethan's reaction. I think I let out an audible sigh of relief  when she didn't answer him with a yes or no, but instead she offered to do an internet search for "Santa Claus." This was one time I wasn't frustrated with Siri's response, and Ps. Siri isn't as smart as everyone makes her seem.

But Ethan never came out and asked us if Santa was real, so we never lied to him about it.

He would always say something like, "Dad, is Rudolph real? I mean, is there really a reindeer with a glowing red nose that can fly?"

And Rob's response would be, "Rudolph is as real as Santa is!"

... and Ethan never questioned it.

Until tonight.

While getting ready for bed, Ethan came right out and asked Rob, "Is Santa Real? Some of my friends at school say Santa is just your parents."

And after dodging the question by faking a need to use the restroom, (actually, maybe he wasn't faking) Rob got out of Ethan's room and told me of the conversation and we both agreed it was time to call Ethan downstairs for a little discussion.

First we teased him a bit by making the conversation sound super serious, even joking that his teacher just called and we asked him if there was anything he needed to tell us. And the poor kid got super nervous and even got a little teary before we could say, "Just joking!" -I know, maybe a little too far.

But anyway, we told him all about Santa and his response was true to his character:

"I knew it. All my other friends said Santa got them things that were $200 and you guys said Santa only spends $50 on me. I knew that wasn't right. You and dad are cheap!"

Which is pretty much spot on. 

So after we swore him to secrecy and may have threatened his future Christmases on our little secret, he went to bed all smiles like he was a part of a secret club or something.

He is excited about helping us be Santa on Christmas Eve.
I'm excited that I don't have to speak in code around a 9 year old anymore.

Looks like we both have something to look forward to. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Memories

Me and my dad, California 1982
Growing up in Southern California with a beach-loving set of parents made for some great summer memories of days on the shore.

Do you remember in grade school when right in the middle of a boring lesson (probably a math lesson) the classroom phone would ring and your teacher would put everything on hold to answer it? All the kids in the class would have their fingers crossed hoping the call would be for them because more times than not it meant your parent was waiting to take you out of school for the day?

I loved being the one envied by my classmates as I packed my stuff up while they had to sit and learn their multiplication facts.

If my dad was the parent in the attendance office waiting to pick me and my 2 sisters up, I knew exactly what we were up to.

But I had to play it cool because the attendance receptionist didn't know where we were headed.

You see, my dad would pick us up early from school when the sun was warm and the surf report was good but he would tell the attendance office that the 3 of his daughters had "an appointment".

And he never considered it lying- which is funny, seeing as though my dad is super honest and cannot lie to save his life.

In his mind, he just didn't tell the whole truth. We did have an appointment. An appointment with our dad.

We would spend the rest of the afternoon at the beach, digging holes in the sand, boogie boarding in the ocean, and making memories.

Since moving to Phoenix in 2005, the thing I miss most about living in California is the lazy summer days spent at the beach.

A couple years ago we were at the beach and my daughter, who was 4 at the time, dipped her little toes in the ocean waves and then came running back to the shore and exclaimed, "Mom, there is SAND in the ocean!" She was shocked.

But I guess when you are used to swimming in pools without sand in them, this would be pretty amazing!

I'm grateful for the memories I have of days spent in the warm summer sun with salty cheeks and sandy hair.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Our Human Piggy Bank

Want to see what happens when our 9 month old gets a hold of a penny?

(How unreal is that XRay?)

I pretty much win for "Mom of the Year!"

A Little Background:

Tuesday night just before bed, Mason finished his bottle and began crawling around the room while I was cleaning up. He started coughing and gagging on something, so I stuck my finger in his mouth and didn’t feel anything.

He was breathing and acting fine- smiling as usual, but he kept gagging and eventually threw up what appeared to be his entire bottle.

Now a little more concerned, I stuck my finger far down his throat multiple times (poor guy!) and yet I still didn’t feel anything.

I figured whatever it was (if anything) must’ve passed because again, he was breathing and acting just fine.

Wednesday and Thursday were normal days, except Mason was a little fussier than usual and he was drooling an awful lot. He wasn’t sleeping very well either, but I thought he must be teething, so I wasn’t too concerned.

But Thursday night he “refused” to eat. I told Rob, “Mason used to love cheese, now he puts it in his mouth and it comes right back up! I sure hope he isn’t getting picky!”

(Looking back, I’m such an idiot!!!!)

And then came Friday:

Friday morning, Mason woke up and I gave him a waffle. He took two bites and started gagging. Both pieces of waffle came back up along with a lot of mucus and saliva.

Flashbacks of Tuesday night popped in my head and I started worrying again about the possibility of something being stuck in his throat. I stuck my finger down there multiple times and he just cried and cried.

I ended up calling his Dr. and got him an appointment for that afternoon.

Even after I had the appointment, I honestly thought I was going to look like a paranoid parent. It was probably nothing, right? But I took him “just to be safe.”

I told his Dr. the entire story leading up to that moment, and she checked him out and even stuck a tongue depressor and light way down his throat and she didn’t see anything.

She said, “Well, I’d like to send you in for an XRay just to rule out the possibility of something being lodged in there that I cannot see."

The problem with an X Ray is that only metal shows up, so if there is a coin we would know, if there is a Lego or other small toy, we wouldn’t.

I honestly thought having an X Ray would be a waste of time- what are the odds that if there was something in there it would be metal?

The Reality of the Situation

Even after our appointment, I was more convinced that this was probably nothing, but we went straight to the X Ray office anyway and we waited FOREVER in the waiting room (53 minutes, to be exact.) When we were finally called back, Mason was all smiles on the X Ray table, loving the bright light shining on him- surely not the behavior of a kid with something wrong, right?

And then the images popped up on the computer screen.

There was definitely something stuck. And it was big.

Poor little guy has probably been so uncomfortable the past few days!

Panic then set in.

The technician left the room in a haste and got the doctor. The Dr. came in and explained the urgency to me in having this removed (duh!) and sent me right away to the ER at the Children’s Hospital in Phoenix.

I grabbed Rob from his office (no way could I do this alone!) and I sent the other kids to my parent's house. (Totally lucky to have mom and dad close by!!!)

Lucky for us, we only waited a couple minutes in the waiting room before we were brought back to our own room. They checked his vitals, looked at the XRay films and sent for the surgeon.

The rest of our stay at the hospital was kind of a blur. Between trying to comfort a cranky baby and wondering how and when this was all going to go down was enough to put me in an emotional daze.

Eventually we were taken from the ER to surgery and they told us to kiss him goodbye. They took him one way and we were escorted to the waiting room.

The waiting room was empty, and very quiet.

I had time to reflect on the happenings of that week.

How grateful I was that this didn’t get stuck in his airway.

Or what if it was just a bit bigger or turned just a bit more so it completely blocked his throat?

It could have been so much more tragic.

I felt blessed. I still feel blessed.

Mason’s surgery lasted only about an hour and we were soon greeted by his Dr. with nothing but great news.

We went in to see Mason, still completely asleep in a big hospital bed. And looking chubbier than ever.

I sure love that kid.

As soon as he is old enough to understand, we’ll have to teach him about other {safer} ways to save his money.

For now, you better believe I am watching him like a hawk.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Crazy Kids {plus} Crazy Noise {equals} Crazy Fun Memories

As much as I would like to have perfect days with perfectly mannered kids, having bad days really makes you appreciate the good times.

Opposition in all things, right?

Not long ago I was having one of those days. I don’t remember the details of what put me in the mood I was in nor where my family was headed, I just remember all 6 of us were in the car and the kids had taken the noise level beyond what was frustrating and obnoxious.

My many attempts to quiet the children in the back of the car had failed and I could feel the frustration mounting.

I was just about ready to lose my cool (or maybe I had lost it already and the kids didn’t care, I can’t remember!) But that is when my husband said something profound that I will never forget.

He simply said, “I know they are being loud and crazy, but listen to how much fun they are having- they are creating memories!”

And then I smiled. I might have rolled my eyes first, but the point is, I got there and he was right.

Yep, they were loud (really, really loud) but they were laughing and they were having fun.

Someday those belly laughs will just be memories and how grateful I am that I will have those sounds stuck in my mind forever.

I think it’s funny that I can’t remember many of the details of that day, but I can still hear the kid’s laughter in my mind as clear as if they were just in the next room.

My kids love each other. I hope they always will.

And that day in the car might come up in their adult conversation someday.

Sure the conversation might sound something like, “Remember that day we made mom so mad she almost drove the car off the road?!”

But maybe that conversation will cause some more laughter as they reminisce.

And if they are adults with kids of their own, they’ll get it.

Pay back, right?

And I can't wait to say, "I told you so!"

Isn’t being a mom the best?

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Know that My Redeemer Lives

Today has been a great Easter Sunday.

Of course, the Easter Bunny visited and hid our kids baskets around the house.
 {The kids love the hunt for their baskets!}

Church was fantastic.
The YW watched the new Easter video that the LDS church put out {view it here}.
It is touching, really.
A great reminder of why we celebrate at all today.

The Easter Bunny may make the day silly, but Christ makes this day special.
And I'm grateful for that knowledge.
That He atoned for my sins.
That He died so I can live again- together with my family and my loving Heavenly Father.

And I know He lives. Because I can feel His love. 

And when I am having a crazy day,

when I get discouraged,
and mad,
and even when I fail,
He is there for me.

My comfort. My strength. My Savior.