Sunday, December 26, 2010

Santa Claus Magic

The kids know who Santa Claus is.  How could you not?  They go to daycare and preschool, so they know about the guy with the white beard and the red coat.  Nala's daycare owner asked Kaio, "What did you ask Santa to bring you?"
He didn't know what she was talking about.  I told her that we don't give gifts from Santa at home.  I just never thought to perpetuate the Santa myth in my house.  It seemed silly.  Why should we pretend?  

Then something magical happened that made me change face and realize that next year we are going to embrace the Santa Claus Magic.  

Christmas eve Kaio was downstairs with my mom while I was baking a traditional Romanian holiday cake (only making it gluten free ;)) She comes upstairs to tell me that the TV just asked Kaio what he wanted from Santa Claus and he said responded to the TV, "A propeller airplane!"

She was freaking out,  "We have to get him a propeller airplane, he said that is what he wants from Santa."

Well there was not much that I could do at that point, being 5:30pm on Christmas eve just an hour before we were set to leave for my dad's Christmas Eve dinner.  Kaio did already have a wooden propeller airplane, and I thought I could box that up and gift to him.  lol.  as if he wouldn't remember it was already his.

A bit later when Mari returned home, I asked Kaio myself, "What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?"

Again, he responded he wanted a propeller airplane.  Then I started to really distress, like, oh no.  I guess that he really does want one.
I looked to Mari, "What do we do?"  
He half smiled with assurance, "Don't worry, I have something."  

There was the magic.  Two days ago Mari had visited a craft store to buy some candy for his coworkers and saw an airplane kit that he felt compelled to get for Kaio.  We don't usually exchange gifts.  The kids get plenty of gifts from extended family.  So why should we go out and purchase more toys?  Mari did not seek a toy for Nala.  Just this one model airplane that he thought Kaio would like.  Oh, and it happened to be a propeller airplane too.

I would have never guessed on the first shot that this would be Kaio's Santa wish.  He is so much more into trains than anything else.  So I really believe that Santa was out there, watching for his kids; making sure that all the little ones have their Christmas wishes come true.  Even if their parents don't believe.

On Christmas when we were almost done exchanging the gifts and when Kaio was siting down with his uncle building a Lego firetruck - and in-the-zone, I brought Kaio the bag and said it was from Santa.  He opened it and was slightly interested that it was a plane.  But when he saw the propellers, he turned ecstatic.  
Stop the press on the Lego truck, we've got to build this propeller plane now!

He carried it around all day, proud that Santa had heard him and brought him a plane.  "Look Santa Claus brought me a propeller airplane for Christmas!"  One little kid in a world of billions, getting his modest wish.

That was our magic.  And now I'm not going to consider Santa as a myth that we have to lie and pretend about.  I'm going to see this as an opportunity to imagine.  How often do we get to play out fantasy as adults anyways?  So I'm going to embrace the chance to role play and we will go all out next year.  Cookies and milk and all.  

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweet Long days

Mari's sisters took Kaio to Orlando with them to Epcot and Sea World.  That meant four days with only one kid.  is it bad for me to admit that life was sooo much easier for those few days?
He often talks in his sleep, and they said that while he slept one day he said, "I miss you mommy." I melted.

Nala really missed him.  She kept calling him on her pretend telephone.  "Hi Kako, you're in Florida with Boni...etc etc etc."

He is back home now.

We went to the Baltimore Science Center today.  And on the way home drove through the Symphony of Lights. The kids loved seeing so many Christmas lights.  We thought it was a bit overpriced though ($20).

Now I'm exhausted.  good night.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beware the December Baby

The holiday spirit's a bit stiffed by the birthday mayhem.  Nala turned two years old this week and we threw a party for her at a local gym.  I made a quinoa flour butterfly cake, which she adored!  One parent even asked for the recipe, which made me feel good since Kaio's birthday cake this year kinda flopped.
The kids had a great time running around and climbing like wild monkeys.  We made them goodie bags with wooden crafts, finger puppets from Ikea, and fake tattoos.  Now today we've been making thank you cards for the folks that came.
The only bummer, which I expected, is that most of the presents are not keepers in my book and are going straight to Toys for Tots.  Disney Princess Memory Flash Cards, Toy Story TM something, Little People Castle, and cheap plastic stuff from China.  I'm worried about the potential toxins in these.  This year I made an Amazon wish list for each of the kids and sent to family, hoping this would ward off the toxic commercialized toys.  It, urr, helped.  But the Zuzu pets and pretend plastic cupcakes still ended up being gifted (the Zuzu pets are pretty cute, I must say).  It didn't help at all with the gifts from friends at daycare, of course, and I'm wondering if maybe I should have said something in the invitation.  Like, "wood toys only please."  But that just seems so pretentious.
The other issue with this December birthday is that in all the planning, I lost two weeks of Christmas prep.  Didn't send out Christmas cards and half-heartedly decorated the house.  Now, I'm scrambling send care packages and order gifts off the internet.  One of my friends suggested celebrating Nala's half birthday instead.  That way it would not blend with Christmas.  I think that is a fabulous idea.  Then we could have her birthday at a park instead of inside!  But, Mari thinks it is totally insane to change someone's birthday just for convenience!  I guess it does sound a bit absurd, but i really think it would be best for everyone.
Well, my lesson learned is better birth planning.  No more conceiving in March - May.  I'm going to aim to have my next kid born on a warm month.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I'm Mad at You

About a week ago Mari and I had a fight.  or, maybe not a fight because we did not argue about anything.  More like a disruption where I got so mad at him that I didn't talk to him for three days.  That is a really long time, right!  We are generally a pretty happy couple.  I'd even venture to say 90-95% of the time I'm super in love.  So this was the biggest disruption ever.
I'm happy to say that we worked it out and eventually talked it out.  It didn't take long once we started talking!  I guess I'm pretty stubborn.
So here is the deal.  Mari usually pics up Nala from daycare and I pick up Kaio from Montessori.  Every last day of the month Mari works really late and we usually coordinate someone else to pick her up.  I haven't picked her up on the end of the month in at least three months because it has fallen on days that I'm home with the kids anyways.  So this was not at the front of my mind when the end of the month November came.  Mari didn't pick up Nala from daycare and I get a call from the owner at 7pm wondering what is going on.  I didn't realize that it was the end of the month.  I didn't realize that he was not going to pick her up.  He never told me to go get her.  So when I got the call from Nala's daycare, I was completely blindsided.  I called him trying to figure out where he was, and when I called his work, and he answered: I flipped out!  It is so awful to think of Nala wondering where her parents have gone.  I started jumping up and down screaming about how I didn't know that I needed to pick her up.  He hung up on me after my first breath.  I called back and he hung up on me again.  So then I booked it all the way to daycare, just fuming.  I didn't get there until 7:30 at night.  This was the third time that he had not picked her up for some reason and expected me to know that I should do it - without telling me.  I was so mad.   We never agreed that I would always pick her up at the end of the month.  If I had known that was my responsibility then I would set a reminder on my calendar.  And, it is so easy for him to just IM me during the day to remind me.
When he came home and didn't apologize, or bring chocolates, I stayed mad.  I kept to myself and kept quiet.  It seems pretty silly now to hold it in like that.  But I wasn't going to initiate the conversation, he hung up on me twice already.  It was his turn to start talking.
When Saturday came, my friend called to confirm that we were going to dinner with her on Sunday.  I told her about the miscommunication fight.  She agreed that I had a right to be angry, but it needed to end at this point.  "You guys love each other so much, just go have some great make-up sex and figure out what you need to do so that it doesn't happen again."  She threatened to call him if I didn't go make up by the end of the day.  lol.
I was still stubborn though.  I didn't want to talk to him until he apologized to me!
Eventually he did ask what was going on.  "I'm mad at you"  sputtered out of me.
"I'm mad at you because you don't ask for help when you need it.  You don't realize all the things I have to keep track of already.  You inconvenienced Nala's daycare.  All you had to do was tell me to pick her up and I would have done it."
So we talked a bit.  Turns out that when I called him and started screaming, the new boss was sitting next to him.  That's why he hung up and that is why he was mad at me.  I think now he understands that my job has just become too consuming lately for me to retain information longer than a couple hours.  Making the connection that it is the end of the month and that means I have to pick up Nala when I don't usually do it... hmm I dropped the ball on that one.  That day at work was awful for me.  I accidentally deleted a huge website that my team had been working on for months. So I was distraught and just didn't think about it being the end of the month.
So yeah.  I'm going to set a reminder on my calendar!


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