Monday, December 15, 2014

We Believe - the yearly post

First off before I even get going on Santa and the elf on the shelf and what not I have got to say that first and foremost here is what I believe:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

I also believe in

I believe in the spirit of this season. I believe in the imaginations of children and you know what else?

I Heart Santa

I really do. I think he is kind and giving and jolly and I 100 percent believe in the magic of Santa.

Now I am going to talk about something that I hope no young eyes will read because this blog is not intended for young eyes. It is really intended for the eyes of people who have been tasked with the care of the young and I believe that this is a really timely topic.

This house believes first and foremost in the reason for this Season. We talk a lot about Jesus and the manger and all of the true meanings of Christmas. We talk about how lucky we are and all that God has given us.

We also believe in Santa.

We just don't really oversell Santa.

You won't find an elf on the shelf in this house. I just can't pull it off. You also won't hear my husband or I say to the children,

"Now you better be good or Santa won't come."

Just not going to happen. Once again - I just can't pull it off.

Three years ago (now four)- my then 9 year old - came to me and said,

"I need the truth Mommy - does Santa really come down the chimney and leave presents?"

Here is what I said:

Baby girl,

How are you getting so big so fast? I am your Mom and it is my job to lay it all out straight for you so here goes.

I love Christmas. I love this magical season. I believe that Mary and Joseph went and put a little baby in a manger that was sent to save us all. The Bible tells me the story and I have Faith that allows me to believe.

Santa is the same way. Tomorrow we can go to the library and check out books on the legend of Saint Nick. I believe that magical things happen this time of year and I never ever want you to forget it. I always, always, always want you to believe in magic.

"Yes Mommy but how does he fit down the Chimney? I don't understand how that is possible?"

Do you really think that a big guy comes down our chimney and puts all the presents there or do you think that Mommy and Daddy help with that?

"I think you help"

Yes - we help

"Where do you hide everything?" How do you get it all wrapped?"

You know what Ladybug? That is the most amazing secret and one day you will find out about it also. The most amazing thing about being a Mommy is that you get to create magic all the time. Now I get to have a secret Mommy workshop and make magical things happen. I get to work hard to see smiles on your faces on Christmas morning and it is the most precious gift that I have ever been given.

I love being a magic maker. One of the best parts of being a Mom - hands down.

She smiled and kissed me and went to bed happy. She asked me a couple of questions (in my ear of course we talked about the importance of keeping the secret to ourselves) about my Mommy magic and then

much like magic

The discussion was gone. There were no tears. There was no "why did you lie to me drama" just finished.

What is even funnier - it is "that which we will never speak of again." (Even to this day) ****2014 sidebar - of course she is 13 now but I LOVE that with the exception of a couple of funny "this might be worth mentioning to Santa" exchanges it remains a sacred topic that she respects. A secret to be cherished.*****

She is all about magic and Santa and believing and says that the friends in her class that are "bah humbug" as she calls it are missing it. It is like we answered her logistical questions but allowed her the space to imagine and dream.

So yes my friends - we believe and I am loving every minute of it!

Cute 2012 addition to this story. My second grader came RUNNING to me the other day and said "Um Mommy - isn't it Summer in Africa? I remember that right? Won't Santa get hot? How does that work?" 

Me: "Remember - they celebrate Kwanzaa in Africa? Let's read a book. Here I have one right here." (Because I am going to say this right here and now - 
Hello my name is Holly and I have a children's Christmas/Hannukah/kwanzaa/anything with a snowman book problem.)
So it is possible that I have a book
or two in this house relating to this or any holiday related subject.

Anyhoo - she was all
"PHEW - that makes total sense" 

We read a nice book about Kwanzaa and off we went. 

Another holiday crisis averted. 

For now......

****2014 update******

You know that second grader in the above story from 2012? Well she is now a fourth grader and I have never had a We Believe conversation with her because guess what - she BELIEVES. Without question - without concern - if a kid on a playground were to tell her something other than what she believes I think she would probably tell them to go fly a kite. She believes without reservation, question or concern. Her second grade brother of course just follows along blindly. It will be interesting to continue to share this post year after year and add to it with each child's experiences.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A birth story - thirteen years told.....

*******Post Warning - you know I usually digress - a lot? Well this whole post is basically one big digression so hang on to your hat and try to keep up because I am all over the place with this one!**************

(How is that strategy to keep you reading working? There is probably some blog guru somewhere having a terrible flutter at their typewriter as I continue to break lots of blog rules and suggestions)


We must start with a little back story. Husband and I were married in March of 2000. Our Pastor provided us with some wondeful marriage counseling. One of the things that he advised us was to wait one year before we started having kids.

(There is no real way to tell this story without including birth control details so - with apologies.....)

I was on the pill and stopped taking it in March of 2001.

I promptly contracted the Chicken Pox - yes the Chicken Pox.

What is worse is that we did not know right away that I had the Chicken Pox because we thought that maybe my body (this is why you should go to the dr and not self diagnose) was freaking out with hormones or something from stopping the pill
(I look back on this and I really can't believe it but anyway) so long story short - I had a raging fever and was very sick before I went to the doctor and we figured it out.

Now - where does this fit in with her birth story you ask? Well - all of this happened in March. We were going to San Antonio to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and it was on that vacation that we were going to "start trying". I do remember asking the doctor about the Chicken Pox and trying to have a baby - I was told once the pox were gone - I was good to go AND that it was a real blessing that I got the pox when I did and not after I was pregnant. Off we go to San Antonio and had a wonderful time.

We come back and I decide that I need to find a good OB/Gyn. I pretty much went in and talked to the girl at the front desk and told her that I needed someone who would be very calm with me and answer all of my questions and put up with my idiosyncrasies and would never ever in any way be mean to me. The girl was like "ok - I have the perfect doctor for you."

Turns out he totally was because he wound up delivering all three of my babies!

Anyway - off I go to the doctor and at the time I was a shy pee-er - you know - had a hard time going on command (now 14 years and 3 babies later - let me assure you - no longer a problem)

but once again I digress.....because I could not go in the cup - I talked to Dr Greve about what to do in order to help me get pregnant, we talked about starting folic acid then - you know - the pre pregnancy stuff.

FINALLY I go in the cup and I have my little "so you want to get pregnant bag of goodies" and was ready to walk out the door.

Denise (Dr. Greve's nurse whom I still love and see to this day) came out of the bathroom and said,
"Holly - you are never going to believe this!"

Yes - I was pregnant - I had been off the pill for about 2 seconds, and had the chicken pox and bam - pregnant. I just kept saying, "no way no WAY!" Then I turned to Dr. Greve and said,

"wow that was some pill!"

Of course I could not wait to tell husband so I called him at work. He knew I was at the appointment to find the OB and I just said,

"Guess what - I was going to think of some clever cute way to tell you this but I really can't think at all right now - I am pregnant!"

He said,

"Man Babe - when you decide to do something - you really don't mess around, do you?"

It was cute - while I was on the phone with him in the doctor's office the nurse just quietly came up and took the "so you want to get pregnant" bag out of my hand and put the "congratulations you are pregnant" bag in it, grinned, gave me a thumbs up, and walked out.

We were of course thrilled - my Mom guessed the second I called her and I think that Husband called his parents that night.

Now in order to break up this incredibly long story - I am inserting a few pics of her as a baby.

Hit the milk a little too hard this time
She loved our dogs! Sniff Logan and Lewis - miss them.
Bring in the Fire Chief!

Food - Good! (You can see the Ladybug Curl Mohawk starting here)
Baby girl driving the car - she was pretty little in this one

That was her sticker from Gymboree class on her head - she was being silly.

Now moving on to her actual birthday. I am convinced that her due date was December 8th. For whatever reason - we had her due date as December 2nd. I really did not know any better and I just thought that on December 2nd - she would just come. I was patient and never even dreamed of having her until December 2nd but when December 2nd came and she was still not here - I was VERY ready to have that baby!

I fell twice while pregnant with my ladybug - once hooking up a horse trailer and once on the bleachers at Scott's indoor soccer game - both times - I was basically perfectly fine. Couldn't knock that baby out of me with a baseball bat.

I pretty much kept trucking with her without even thinking about it - I did gain quite a bit of weight (45 pounds) so I was good and chubby.

Anyway - I remember - I was working at the auto auction and I was mad at one of my car dealers and I went stomping out on the lot to find a car and bring it in. One of the guys that worked on the lot hopped on a golf cart and tried to get me to get in - I refused - so he followed me slowly creeping behind the little round angry pregnant woman who could have gone into labor at any moment - all the way out to the back lot.

I stopped working on December 2nd - it was my due date (although I still say not the right one but anyway) and I felt I should stop working that day. I kept getting calls - "hey where are you? I need some numbers..." (auto auction talk). I kept saying I am about to have a baby!!!!!!!

We induced her on December 7th - which - in retrospect - I actually wished that we had waited. I think that we made her come earlier than she was ready but hindsight is of course - 20/20.

We went to the hospital at 6:00 in the morning and they started the inducing process.

Here is how the next part goes:

Nurse: Are you allergic to any medications?
Me: Nope
Nurse: ok I am going to give you penicillin in your iv
Me: Great
Fastforward 5 minutes

"Honey - my tongue feelth kinda funny...."

as my whole face was swelling up.

Nurse: "ok you are allergic to penicillin - don't ever take that again

Me: "otay" (ok in really fat tongue speak)

The day went on and on and on and on and finally at 9:15 that night - I was able to start pushing - an hour and a half later - she finally came into this world. At one point in the middle of the pushing - I actually fell asleep - yep - asleep - just for a second mind you. Husband thought that was hysterical.

Now I have to admit for the sake of telling the story accurately - she was so wonderful and I was so happy to see her but the whole experience was so different than with my younger two children. I was so traumatized and so tired and so unsure - it was so new and I look back on that time and wish that I had enjoyed it more which I know sounds crazy. I cried and cried after they took her to the nursery and I just remember feeling so so so tired. I tell this because I want to try and remember what the experience was like and that was a part of it.

The positives - she was so perfect - so beautiful - so tiny! She was 7 pounds 3 ounces when she was born and we brought her home to our warm Christmasy house. I remember just looking at her and thinking that I could not believe what we had created. I remember holding her so tight and feeling like she and I were on a journey together - partners - lost and found together. With her brother and sister - the journey was different - I was already the Mommy - I knew more and I was much more solid in that role.

With her
it was just

all firsts

I wouldn't change a thing

(except for maybe the penicillin thing - it does not feel good to have your face swell up like that)

but anyway

I digress.........