Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome!

Today is the first official day of Autumn.

Hooray!!!

First let me admit that I had a beautiful wonderful awesome summer, filled with many magical experiences with some amazing people (3 of whom I'm blessed to call my children) and I will miss this summer deeply. Sniff. Sniff. I mourn it's loss. ...

K. Now moving on...

I. love. Autumn! It's my favorite season all the way! I love it when that first bite of fall touches the air, when those last days of summer seem to linger until suddenly the first nips of pink kiss your nose and cheeks, and Heaven starts to produce one of it's most glorious masterpieces. I get weak in the knees at the thought of pencils, plaid and pumpkins. I relish the coziness of apples, cinnamon sticks, flannel and *sweaters*!! I start feel as though there is nothing better than a used book boutique and the anticipation of getting comfortable with an old copy of something classic. Potpourri, thick candles, and large wreaths start to seem strangely appealing. I love it when the ground is dressed in an exciting layer of reds, yellows and brown and every step I take is rewarded with a delightful crunch. Autumn awakens the nostalgia in me. I feel drawn to old black and white photos, my mother's old recipes, and reminiscing with people who are dear to me.

I also like that once daylight savings time hits, I can get away with putting my kids to bed an hour earlier.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So sweet

The girls made me breakfast in bed. They did it completely on their own from idea to execution. It was oatmeal, toast and orange juice along with a Thank You card. Sariah wrote the message, "Thank you for being such a greaght mom." Then Essi colored the picture Sariah colored. On the top of the oatmeal Sariah sculpted an oatmeal rose. I think what touched me the most and was the most special was that for that one morning they were working as a team and I was able to wake up to them happy and united in the spirit of service instead of to their normal squabbling.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Smelly kids...

I love the smell of sunscreen on kids. That smell embodies so much of everything wonderful about summer. I love smelling it while snuggling my young ones right before an early bedtime and after an exciting day that leaves them happily exhausted.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

All little girls are princesses... Perhaps.

As I was pinning up Essi's hair this morning she said she felt like a princess and asked if she was one. "Of course." I replied. "All little girls are princesses. You are a child of God, and he's a king, so that makes you a princess."

Essi looked and me unconvinced and responded with a question. "Do princesses go to the bathroom?" (Yes...) "Well do princesses poop?"

Me: Of course they do.
Essi: Um, I don't THINK so. Because they never show it on movies.

So there you have it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If you're happy and you know it...

Helam learned how to clap yesterday. Jerrod was working with him on giving five, and I thought I'd add to that with clapping. The boy's a champ. Now every time I say YAY! He'll stop what he's doing and clap. He's still learning to get his hands to connect, so it's sometimes a bit slow. It's been really funny. Today, he's hurt himself a couple times and was crying, (10 months is a tough age) but if I say, "Yay!" he starts clapping even while crying.

video

Mother knows best.

10 years ago today I moved to Utah. I had the strongest feeling that that is where I needed to be. My mom said, "It's probably your future children calling to you." I rolled my eyes, and laughed it off.

9 years ago today I was having labor induced with Sariah.

Maybe she was right.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Overheard on the playground

We were at the park, Sariah was hanging out on top of the monkey bars with a couple of friends. They were talking about whatever it is that pre-teen girls talk about these days. I overheard one girl say, "Your mom is (something indiscernible.)" Then Sariah replied, "Yeah. I like her." As she said that she looked over at me with her eyes glowing. She looked so happy and so proud to have me as her mom.
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It was a good day.

She doesn't know I heard her.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Kids corner

Kids: whine, fight, scream

Dad: (car stopping) This car is not moving until you kids stop fighting, make up, love each other, and are best friends.

Sariah: That will NEVER happen! We'll be here forever. That's like as bad as kissing a BOY!

Essi: Kissing a boy isn't as bad! It's more like kissing a tree on the hard brown part.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A huge truckload of... Well... You know...

Hahahaha! I was looking through my pictures and ran across this beauty that was snapped from our front porch in Idaho. I really liked where we lived, we were surrounded by an empty field, the kids could go out and play, without me having to worry about them running into a road or anything else. It was a wonderful, simple, beautiful life.
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It was interrupted.
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From February through April, this truck drove down our little lane, and dumped fertilizer into that field. 4-5 loads a day 4-5 days a week.
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It was lovely.
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In the winter, it wasn't so so bad, my kids wanted to go climb the mountains in the field, I told them no, and everything (minus the scenery) was okay.
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Springtime changed things.
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Have you ever experienced an Idaho Springtime? It starts in February, sort of. We'll get a nice day, that warms things up just enough to make things really really slushy. Just when all the beautiful white snow is covered in grey and or mud, it gets cold and freezes again. Then the springtime cycle of sunshine and snow starts.
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(It continues until June.)
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What this meant for us was, a lovely sunny day where our yard smelled bad. REALLY BAD!! Every time we went out and there was any kind of thaw, you couldn't help thinking the mud you were stepping in HAD to be something else. My kids constantly thought Helam's diaper was bad, and I was convinced that our tires had to be covered in it.
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People told us, "Soon the piles would dry out and the smell will be gone."
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They had not thought it through.
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Because in Idaho, NOTHING dries out until June. So, we'd have a sunny smelly wet day, followed by a freezing snowy day. This would freeze the moisture in the piles, and they would stay frozen until the next sunny day, where the piles were on a gradual defrost.
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For 3 months.
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Then we moved.
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I still kind of miss that place!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

1-2-3 Ugly!

This is one of our favorite games! Armed with camera, mom counts 1-2-3 Ugly! Then the kids quickly make an "ugly face" for the picture. It's really fun, and usually has us rolling by the time we're done, and it's fun to catch some of the kids finer faces. So without further adieu...
1-2-3...
Ugly!
(Complete with snot and eye allergy goop!)

1-2-3 MONSTER!

1-2-3 Silly!

1-2-3 You have to go to real school tomorrow!


1-2-3 You smell a Diaper!
(The picture was a bit late and they were starting their after shoot laughing.)

1-2-3 Diva or Princess!


1-2-3 One more crazy and make it good!



Friday, May 15, 2009

Puyallup Fair (a month late)

I just got all my phone photos transferred to computer, so I'm finally writing about this! We went on April 16, the day before one of the kids rides toppled. We had such a great time, and even though I grew up in the heart of Eastern Idaho State Fair territory, I've definitely found a new favorite. The fair grounds were immaculate, all the display areas were really clean too. They had artists performing pottery making, and other forms of art. There was a huge building with free kids activities. The kids got to make spring hats, potato people (you'd expect that in Idaho, but we found it in Washington, go figure!), bookmarks, and shakers. There were other craft booths, but we didn't go there. The coolest area by far was the reptile area. The kids got to see all sorts of wonderfully horrible creatures, and got to pet a few too!




Sariah used her own money and paid to do a bungee jump thing. It was on a trampoline, and she was harnessed to bungee cords. She got to jump so high, and was doing back flips like crazy. She loved it. I wish it would have been light enough when she did that for me to get a picture.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cute and Crawling

Today I was watching this little guy roll and crawl around. He was so cute just being his little pint sized self. Then he looked up at me and flashed his contagious smile, and my heart swelled. As I smiled back, I hoped with all my soul to never forget this moment, watching him crawl around, his gummy grin, and the warmth of his spirit. Being a mother is such a rich privilege. I'm so grateful for my kids, and that I can share each day of my life with them.







Tulip Fields

We went to Skagit Valley's Tulip festival last Monday. It was a beautiful drive, (It seems that they all are in the Northwest.) and a really lovely day. We went to one of the tulip fields, and then we went to a park, and then down to the water front, and walked around the old town main street that was full of cute little shops. We ended the day with homemade ice cream. It was such a delicious day.
You can see all the different colors of tulips behind the kids. I love how Helam is half the size of Sariah!
I really love this little munchkin.
He loves being in the dirt or grass.

We're still working on the thumb thing.
I really liked this one!

Tooth Fairy

Saturday night Sariah lost her other front tooth! (Finally!) Her permanent two front teeth were growing in behind her baby ones, and pushed her baby ones so they were sticking straight out. We're all glad that they are gone.

Anyway, last night the tooth fairy finally made it over here. Perhaps she didn't know we'd moved to Washington, or perhaps she didn't have cash and didn't want to go get it. Who knows. (Sariah does.)

This morning after Sariah checked under her pillow and found her cash, Essi frumped out of the room and pouted, "She's ALWAYS leaving stuff for her!!" Then Essi looked under her pillow to see if maybe Santa had come and left something for her. No such luck.

I've gotta say that the tooth fairy is much more generous now than she was when I was a kid. I remember when I got my first 4 teeth pulled, I got a quarter per tooth, and I was pretty stoked. That was a whole buck! When my daughter got her four teeth pulled, she ended up with 20, and a toy! (The day before someone was bragging to her that the tooth fairy brought her 2 dollars per tooth, so we took the low road. haha.)

What did your tooth fairy bring, and what will your kids tooth fairy bring?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Skinny Pants...

There was a reason these went away in the 80's.
They were really bad then.
They still are.
You may think you are the exception to this rule.
You aren't.
Especially if you're a guy.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I found my camera cord!

Here are my yummy little Valentines!




(And that's a wrap!)

Learning and Growing

Today Essi learned how to use a mouse on the computer, and started learning to write her name. She has also finally conceded that the Billy Joel lyrics are, "You're the Piano Man." instead of "you're da ghetto man."

Sad really.



(This picture was taken two weeks before the fan incident.)

Oh, and if you have kids learning letters or beginner readers, Starfall.com is a great free website!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Essi: Parts 1 and 2

I've been meaning to do a little birthday post about Essi. Her birthday was on the 30th. Of December. In that post I was going to talk about what a sweet little fairy princess she is, weaving in details of her humor, about how much she loved her family, and how we love her. This is not that post.

Part 1

On Friday the 13th, we got to take her to the E.R. She's been more than anyone else in our family, combined, over our entire lives. In this episode, our daring princess journeys to the forbidden lands of the top bunk and suffers tragic consequences when she meets the ceiling fan.

Our brave princess was not upset by the ceiling fan though. Her sister however was, and started screaming for mom. Queen Mom (okay, so I had to toss the title in there) was also upset by the incident, and the blood gushing from the eye of the princess. (I thought she'd lost it.) We washed her bleeding face and body, and throughout all that, the only thing that upset her was that I had blood on my arm. (Not the fact that the blood on my arm was there because it was gushing from her face..)

We take her to the ER and she got some medicine squirted up her nose. (Which she screamed about because it tasted bad.) Then it sort of relaxed her, but not as much as talking about Valentine's Day did. (Such a romantic.) As soon as the stitches were done, the medicine kicked in. All the sudden she was VERY loopy. We asked her if she was in Happy Land, and she slurred, "No, I'm in Fairyland." It was quite funny.

Part 2

Essi got her stitches removed today. Wowza. The girl screamed more in the 20 minutes (It should have been 2.) it took to do that than I did when I had Helam. Anytime the poor doctor got near her she freaked. She didn't hesitate at all to scream out everything he was doing wrong. The little mule about kicked him several times. He was a good sport about all of it though.

If she were sad and scared, it would have been one thing, but she was just spit and spunk and vinegar, so it was actually kind of funny.

Then later in the car, she felt her stitch free sore and said, "Hey! I have a pretty face again!" so she was happy after all. (My vain little darling. I wonder if I'd mentioned the benefits to her beauty if she would have cooperated better. Who knows.)

But yikes, you don't mess with that one.

The opposite of her would be Sariah who at that age sat fully alert through 8 fillings and a baby root canal (in one sitting) and obeyed everything mom and the dentist said. (I swear she brushes.)

II

For the title, does that look like a pause symbol, because that's what it's meant to be. That's what I'll have to do with my blog for a while. Sad, I know. (Though really, that's the state it's been in for a while.)

I have so many things to post about, and I fully intend to. Maybe in June. My life should settle down by then. (Does anything ever really settle down?) Also, my camera cord is lost, which is such a shame, because I have the yummiest Valentine's pictures of my kids.

I'm husbandless again, temporarily. He's in Phoenix kicking off some preseasons. So that adds excitement by itself. It makes some things a lot more difficult. Especially with a baby. (And don't get me started on Sacrament Meeting..) Though there are some benefits... Hogging the whole bed, not making fancy dinners, and one less person to do laundry for...

But for the next 5 1/2 weeks I'll be extremely busy. I have to get all (or most all) of our house sorted and packed up for our next move (which will be in the end of April/beginning of May. To Seattle!!!!!) after which we'll most likely move to Canada for the next 2 years. ("Two years?" you ask... "In the same place?" Surely I jest.. Well, that's the plan. Tentatively) All of that needs to be finished in the week between Conference and Easter. So, the comments for this post is actually a sign up sheet to help. Just kidding. Actually, even if you offered, I'd probably say no, so no need for a guilt trip. (Unless you want to take my kids...)

In those same 5 1/2 weeks, I need to teach Sariah and have a record of teaching Sariah an entire school year's worth of curriculum. She went back to public school this year, and then (after begging and tears) we pulled her back out, and I joined a really great program where you actually work with a teacher, and they provide the curriculum you want, so it's "technically" a public school, but you are teaching your child at home. Anyway, since we joined late, we've got until June to do everything for a year. But, since I want to have the portfolio finished and signed off before we move, and before the end of year tests, I have 6 weeks. (Luckily, we've already covered most of the 3rd grade education standards, so we're in decent shape, but my overachieving side of my brain says geeky things like, "We should make clay models of the inner workings of the ear and/or body!" and "Ooh, we could enter that Reading Rainbow book contest with the story she's writing." The sensible part of my brain says, "Seriously, just do it like they did it in high school, show her a movie and let her take a test." So hopefully (in the next couple hours) those sides will find middle ground.

My mind will not find middle ground however, if I keep stressing about taxes. My husband, bless his heart, (which according to my cousin means I'm going to say something bad. She's right.) hasn't kept the best expense or mileage records, which means I have to dig up that info to the best of my abilities, knowing that I'm missing out on huge deductions because I can't find proof, and I don't want to fudge it. Then there's the obvious other downside, we'll have to pay them.

Toss in a couple dentist appointments, orthodontists, chiropractors, grocery shopping, cleaning, stories, library, a pinewood derby, feeling guilty for not serving everyone in our ward (ours is the most service oriented ward I've ever been in, they are seriously amazing, and I really don't feel like I've contributed nearly enough) and having to drive an hour to Blackfoot every time I want to pick up Jerrod's checks, I'm entirely too busy for my liking.

Oh, and I just found out that our 10 year high school reunion is in July. So really, I shouldn't be doing anything for the next 4-5 months other than working out 8 hours a day and sipping supplements. I'm kidding. Sort of.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quick Update

Things are good here. Jerrod has been gone working for about 3 weeks, so I've been single mommin' it. I realize that it's not really single momming, as he's working and providing the income, but it's been me and the kids for the past few weeks.

It's going surprisingly well. First let me say I really REALLY love Jerrod, and I think he's awesome and I like him being at home with the family. Besides a brief (COLD) stint where our propane ran out (I now know how to check it), and a pretty nasty trip to the dump, things are kind of great. It's kind of nice to be on my own schedule, doing things when and how I want to, and what I want to nearly all the time. Also, even though "he's the clean one" I have to say, our house has been pret-ty clean while he's been gone. I'm just sayin'...

But, I do miss him, and I hope he can come home this weekend for Valentine's Day and his birthday. After a short visit, he'll probably be gone most of the time on and off for the next 2 months. So, does anyone want to hook up for some girl time? (Umm... with my kids?)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Alma 5...

Alma 5: 14,19
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"...Have ye received his image in your countenances?"
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"...I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?"
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In my life I've been blessed to know some people who truly fit this description, and if they were asked the question, there would be no answer other than a resounding "YES!"
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I feel it has been such a blessing for me to have the opportunity to meet them, learn from them, and through their love, kindness, and example I feel that just by being around them, I feel closer to my Savior. I want to try a little harder, and be a little better, and smile a lot more.
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One such person is Steve Larsen, and his wife Sue. Steve passed away today, and my heart is just broken for their family. They are such amazing people - all of them. One of the nicest, happiest families I've ever had the privilege of knowing, though we didn't know them all that long, or all that well. I often think of their family, and their children when raising my own, and try to raise mine in a way that they can become like them. Steve was also an amazing Sunday School teacher. I would always leave his class so excited to learn more about the joyful gospel of Jesus Christ. Whenever we were blessed to be in his presence, there was always such a wonderful spirit of love, and happiness, and the promise of a laugh at the slightest provocation.
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We always left feeling better about ourselves and everything and everyone else.
I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that this birth we call death does not permanently separate us from those we love, and that the end of this mortal state is not the end of family, friendship and love.
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Anyway, I just wanted to take a moment to remember a man who has been such a great example to our family, and thank him and his family for the lives they've lived. We truly love you.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A tough time...

So as part of my new years resolutions, and in trying to bring myself up to a higher level, I'm having a hard time figuring out what I want to write about these days.

Normally, I like to be somewhat sarcastic, saying things I don't mean while laughing on the inside. Stuff like, "I didn't read scriptures today, but I read Twilight so it should be okay." Totally not true, but it makes me laugh to say it and write it, and I assume everyone knows I'm being facetious. I also talk like this in real life. But in being around other people over the past couple months, I realize that a lot of people don't get that I'm "joking." I can't tell them, because that would completely ruin the hilarity of my statement. Kind of like laughing at your own joke. Plus then they feel uncomfortable for not realizing it was a joke. So then I have to listen to their ideas about how Twilight really isn't on the same level as the scriptures, and I have to convince them I know that.

So that was a tangent, and I'm not really sure where it came from. Anyway, part of my goals for myself is to become more reverent, less "light-minded," (currently the only part of me that can be accused of being "light" well, also my skin tone.) (And there I go with more light minded stuff.)

As I've been working on this, I find myself thinking, "I'm SO blogging about this." then having these nagging second thoughts, realizing that it probably doesn't fall into 2 of the 3 categories that any comment should fall into. Nice, Necessary, True. So, I'm left with no blog fodder.

(But I really wanted to write about my seeing Twilight in the theater last week. It was much better than my previous viewing. But my favorite part was when Edward unbuttoned his shirt to show Bella what he looks like in the sunlight. My husband shouts, "Ow Ow!" I about lost it. Granted he was triple dog dared, but it was so funny. Hmm. Maybe you had to be there. Or really, if you just know my husband, and how not the "Ow Ow"-ing type he is, you might kind of get the idea.)

Then the other problem I have now is that a lot of my thoughts are turned inward and upward. So I kind of like keeping them to myself.

Actually, writing this was good for me. Now I realize that I still have lots of stuff I can write about. Mainly, I just have some really hot gossip that I've really been wanting to share, and it keeps building up every week. So instead of thinking what I can write about, I'm thinking of how much fun it would be to write about what I can't. (Now I really want to write about that/those/them. But, I guess if it were about me, I wouldn't want someone to write it, and if it were about you, you wouldn't want me to write it either.) And no one wants to hear my ideas on politics, religion or education. (Okay being facetious again..)

I should go to bed. This is already really long and I'm rambling again.. Chatterbox.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Update on the Shells

Well, we decided not to put shells out for our kids. Instead, we put shells out with our kids, then we sat on beach chairs and watched other people get really excited about them.

No we didn't. We didn't do anything with the shells. But, the kids found a bunch of real shells, from Mexico, that I do not remember unpacking. I have no idea where those are, but I bet they'll stink. They're in a ziplock bag somewhere. Anyway, they had fun. Our trip was good. ish. I'm not up to writing about it yet, but I will say that driving on the back roads of Mexico sort of lost-ish in a rental car until 1:30 in the morning would make a really good horrible movie. I also learned that "tope" while it's supposed to mean something like maximum speed or whatever, it really means really big mean speed bumps. Lots of them.

Anyway, we're back, we've mostly recovered, then we had Jerrod's mom come visit, and that was fun.

Now we're getting ready for Jerrod to go to work in Reno for the next few months.

After all that stuff settles down, and I get done unpacking, I'll write about the rest of the trip, and Christmas and Essi's birthday.

I really should go find those shells.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Hypothetical Question

So lets say we've got some friends who are going to Cancun. Let's say they are bringing their kids who are 4 and 8. These same kids are WAY excited to look for shells on the beach. How horrible would it be if their parents were to go to the dollar store, and get one of those big buckets of shells and starfish, and if the same parents were to surreptitiously drop said shells on the beach for their kids to find?

Of course this wouldn't be us. We are all about experiencing the nature indigenous to the area we'll be visiting, and of course I'm thrilled to let my kids bring home a big smelly bucket of seashell and beer bottle fragments, because I remember the joy it brought me as a child. (It did not however bring my mother the same joy. She found my wadded up grocery sack full of shells hidden in the "hiding place" compartment in our van about 2 weeks after we got back from CA. Then I used (and possibly ruined) one of her pots to try to boil the awful stench from my beloved shell fragments. She didn't like that either.)

Anyway, good idea? Bad idea? Or would this be like the whole Santa let down?

(We may not really do this... But I am considering it... If I get peer pressured into it, I'll totally succumb. Is this odd that this is a total moral dilemma for me, yet I have no compunctions telling those dead sea salt potion sellers at the mall that I've already got all their stuff (I don't.) and I've had bad reactions to it?)

I'd have loved to have found a sand dollar and a star fish as a kid. If I found out my parents put them there, I'm sure I would have laughed about it later. Maybe?

But it might be difficult trying to explain to my 3rd grader that it isn't really that good of an idea to give one of her "cool shells from Mexico" to all her classmates who she wants to bring souvenirs for. (Or maybe it would be a good idea! $1.06 divided by 26 = $0.o40769... per student...)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Is Your Mama a Llama?

Adult content, well sort of... You've been warned.

So tonight we were at Barnes and Noble. We were about to head out the door when I glimpsed a book about someone who'd lost 200 lbs, and so I was flipping through it. (Still loving how the second you walk into the bookstore in January the big front display so kindly reminds you of the damage done over the holidays. (or last 10 years.)) Anyway, so as I was flipping through the book, Jerrod tells a bored Essi that she could look through one of the clearance books from a big bin of books. I hear in the background, "This would be a perfect Essi book." Then a couple seconds later, "Actually, this is NOT an Essi book." I turn around to see what she was looking at, and Jerrod is putting back a book called "The Llama Sutra. Getting Wild in the Wild Kingdom."

Okay, gasp..snort... ah~hahahahahaha!!!

Then Jerrod's explanation, "All I saw out of the far corner of my eye were two cute fuzzy bears! Then after she was looking at it, I saw the word Sutra, and was wondering where I'd heard that before." He was thinking it looked like a kids book on the cover.

Anyway, apparently it is a book, with a whole bunch of animal um.. pictures, that my (just barely) 4 year old thought was quite fascinating.

(I'm still trying to decide whether or not it was appropriate to post this, and if I don't get any comments, I'll probably worry that I am some kind of weird pervy parent because I thought it was funny. It's really not that bad. Essi just thought they were animals who were friends with each other.)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Cold Hard Bitter Truth...

So today Sariah (my 8 year old) found out about Santa Claus. We've been asking ourselves when the right time was to tell her, but not really finding any answers. Ever since she was old enough to understand "Santa" we've told her that mom and dad are Santa, she just never believed us. We would still do the whole Santa thing, and pretend we didn't know where stuff came from, but I just couldn't get around telling her that he was real, when he wasn't. So she was getting a lot of mixed signals.

When I was a kid, I believed Santa was real until probably at least 6th grade or Jr. High. I got into big embarrassing arguments with people defending his reality. (He gave me make-up, and my dad would never allow it. Explain that!!) I would get into the same arguments defending the reality of God and Christ. In my mind, I knew that "Santa" with the red hat and clothes wasn't necessarily real, but I'd concocted an elaborate theory where Jesus was really the one who left presents in our stockings. So when I'd somehow found out the truth, it made me really question the reality of God as well. I've never gotten over the sting of this betrayal, and have a hard time with faith and trust still. To this day I still cry at least once every Christmas season when I "remember" (for lack of a better word) that Santa isn't real. Ever since I had Sariah, I was trying to figure out what to do to save her the same agony. Obviously, I never found that answer.

So Sariah found out today. I'd been kind of hinting to her all month, figuring that when she was ready to find out, she would, and until she was ready, she'd keep explaining it away in her mind. Today we were talking about exchanging something, and Jerrod was asking me about the receipt, and she was like, "But that's from Santa." I said actually it's not. I put that out with the other "Santa" stuff. But that's from me. Then she kept asking questions, and I kept letting her come to her own conclusions. I think this was the worst parenting moment to date. I want to cry. I feel so terrible for her. She is just devastated. She kept looking for some shred of evidence that it was really Santa who left her her gifts.

Sariah: But Dad's not COOL enough to be Santa.
Me: Is mom?
Sariah: Yeah. So did you pick out the presents?
Me: Do you think I did?
Sariah: Well, you didn't get us presents this year, because you said they were all going to be from Santa, but you wouldn't let me look in the back of the car after shopping, was that because they were Santa presents?
Me: Is that what you think?

Then she got all teary, and everything she said just broke my heart because I could see that hers was broken.

Defiantly she says, while choking back tears, "I'm not sitting on Santa's lap next year."

"So is all the cool stuff I believed in not true?" "No Easter Bunny, No Tooth Fairy.." "The only cool powerful thing left is Jesus."

I tried pointing out that now she can be one of the "Secret Keepers" and that next Christmas she can stay up later and help put stuff in everyone's stockings, then explaining that the "Spirit of Santa" is real, and doing nice things for people, etc... "I don't really want to be a secret keeper," then more tears that the whole time she was trying not to let escape. (and I'll be the first to admit, the "Spirit of Santa" seems like quite a let down from the myth.)

It's so sad and I can't stop crying for her. I'm so glad she had this one last magical Christmas before finding out. My heart is just bleeding for her right now, and I don't know what I can do to take away the hurt. I guess we just keep hugging each other and crying together.

I still don't know what to do with Santa for my younger children. Do I take away their time of life where they can believe? Take away the magic that is Santa Claus? Or do I let them experience the pain and betrayal that finding out the truth brings? I want to always be honest with my kids, I've never told them that Santa "is" real, but is not telling them the whole truth the same as telling them a lie?

Anyway, I'm interested in your input.

(And I will soon post a bunch of posts with Christmas pictures, and joy, and humor. Maybe.)