Monday, December 20, 2010

Dealing with the fat man.

I have a confession to make.

Even though we try to do everything we can to point our children towards Christ, especially around this time of year, we observe the tradition of Santa Claus.

Yup. We tell our kids that on one magical night a man dressed in red with *gasp* flying reindeer brings them a present.

Of course, we have altered the myth a bit. For instance, Santa Claus does not know if you have been bad or good, nor does he see you when you are sleeping and awake. That smacks suspiciously of God and Santa Claus is NOT God. We also tell the boys that Santa only brings a gift for the stocking because it lightens his load.

It was so cute to watch my boys approach Santa at Disneyland this year. Nathaniel confidently told him his name, and his brother's name and then told Santa he wanted a rocket ship. Then Santa turned to Aaron and said, "And what would you like?" Aaron said, "Truck!" When Santa repeated it, a panicked look came into Aaron's eyes as he started frantically saying, "Choo choo!! Choo choo!!"

Almost as if his little brain was saying, "I didn't mean a truck! I take it back!" Very much like little Ralphie in a Christmas Story when he stops himself on the slide to tell Santa what he wants. At least Santa didn't tell my kid he'd shoot his eye out.

But, on the other hand, Nathaniel seems to be too focused on Santa and less focused on the other portions of Christmas.

I admit, we've dropped the ball this year and have been super busy and unfocused. I meant to do an Advent calendar, but never got around to getting one. And so on and so forth...

At one point, Nathaniel and I were talking about favorite Christmas carols and he said that Jingle Bells was his favorite (and why shouldn't it be? It's a great song!). I pointed out that it was more a winter song than just Christmas because it just talks about snow and sleigh rides. Nathaniel was convinced that Santa was mentioned in it, which made it a Christmas carol. I almost blurted out that Santa wasn't real.

I'm just so sick of the commercialism that surrounds Christmas. I love spending time with family, I love decorating and doing stuff and giving gifts to people, but when that's all people think about, I get discouraged. I don't want my children growing up feeling entitled to things. I don't want my kids to write wish lists that are miles long and then expect every thing on their wish list. I had a student ask me today what the boys were getting for Christmas and when I told them the one large gift we got for them (a playhouse for the yard) and then said, "And a few things for their stockings" she said, "But what else did you get them?" and couldn't believe it when I said, "Nothing, that is enough for them."


So, Sam and I do our part to combat commercialism surrounding Christmas. We're more careful about t.v. time and toy commercials. We talk about the birth of Jesus and all of the different aspects surrounding it. I even told Nathaniel today that if we couldn't have presents or cookies or lights or trees, that it would still be Christmas because Jesus was born and that is what we are celebrating. That we are so blessed and lucky to have all of those extra things. We also talk about the real St. Nick and what he did for people.

I think he's getting it.

At least, I hope so. And he still believes in Santa for at least another year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Call me crazy.

This morning I took a crazy step. I boarded the potty train with Aaron, the 22 month old.

This meant that this morning we put on underwear and got out the sticker charts and the super excited attitudes.

I don't know what has come over me, but he seems super ready. He either tells us before he poops or right afterwards that he has pooped, and he even goes for other people (he has impressed his baby sitter by using the toilet). So, this morning we changed his morning diaper and put a new one on him. 2 hours later (while I was cleaning the bathrooms) he walked into the bathroom and said, "pee!". So, I placed him on the toilet, noticed that his diaper was dry, and saw that he went and was happy to do so.

Of course, when he does that (uses the toilet) he throws a massive fit if I try to put anything but underwear on him. So, on went the underwear and I decided that we would fully embrace this today. That means every 30 minutes we're going to the bathroom to try. It means getting out the m&m's and stickers. And it also means cheering wildly for every type of movement made.

Yup. I have my Master's degree, and I cheer wildly for pee and poop and do a happy dance.

But, he kept his underwear dry all morning, and even when we went over to a friend's house he still kept the pull up dry. He finally peed in his pants during lunch time, but other than that, complete success. I'm proud!

Plus, it might mean a few months of being diaper free in our house before little baby Grummons is born. That would be a much welcome break!

Not that too many people care, but I will keep tabs on his progress and let you know.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Card 2010

In His Name Religious Christmas Card
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

In spite of his brother's efforts, he speaks!

Aaron is slowly adding words to his vocabulary. Up to now it hasn't been enough for him to truly communicate a complete thought process. Mostly he says things like, "Oh!!" and I ask him what he would like and he says, "Ummmmm...." and I have to guess until he nods and says, "yeah!"

Of course, there are the unmistakable words like "No!", "more", "dog" (followed by "woof woof woof!"), "juice!", and the gleeful "Blankie!!!" But this morning he had a verbal breakthrough.

We were getting our shoes on this morning and Aaron was in the living room looking for his blankie. Suddenly I here, "uh-oh!" I asked Aaron what happened and he said, "drop!" I then asked him what dropped and he said, "juice!". Sure enough, Nathaniel had left his juice cup on the arm of the couch and Aaron accidentally knocked it to the ground (it was empty). So, he picked it up and brought it into the kitchen for me. Hooray for communication!

He is also saying, "poo-poo", "trash", and "night night" clearly, along with a bunch of other words, but who wants a list of toddler words? Although, if I could get a recording of him saying, "Thank you" I would. It's said with the cutest little inflection that is impossible to capture in any sort of font.

Everything else is going well. Sam gets back from what we hope is his last business trip for awhile tonight. Nathaniel has his Christmas program tonight, and today I went for my first run in over a month and managed to run 2 miles almost without stopping! It was slow, but I'm not going for speed, I'm just trying to get moving a bit more before the belly grows too much.

Oh, and I do go in for the big ultra sound in a little over a week, but I will not be announcing the gender of the baby until after Christmas so we can tell family in person. Just in case anyone was wondering. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Our lives are a musical

Most days around here it feels like there is a narrator narrating our lives. Of course, that’s what we get with an incredibly verbal four year old. One who also loves to sing. Most mornings my drive to drop off children and go to work is punctuated by a running dialogue mixed with song. It’s great.

Of course, convincing Nathaniel that he doesn’t need to speak for his brother is difficult. Nathaniel was teaching Aaron baby talk last week, saying things like “Wa wa” and “Bubba” instead of “water” and “brother.” I told Nathaniel that he needed to use real words or else Aaron would never learn how to speak right and he would be 20 years old saying, “wa wa”. With a mischievous look in his eyes Nathaniel said, “Aaron! Wa wa! Wa wa!” *sigh*

Here are a couple of videos of Nathaniel singing some Christmas songs and Aaron just grinning along happily.