Wednesday, December 07, 2005

little of this, little of that

*Why is it that everyone is picking on Christmas sweaters and I still like them?

*Is it wrong that I took a sip of my Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte this morning and breathed deeply, thinking "Ah...a happy place" while feeling a moment of thankfulness that Gracie was in school and Katie was in Mother's Day Out? Is it wrong to enjoy the time I have alone? As a 'stay at home mom,' I feel guilty for enjoying putting Katie in MDO. Even though about 95% of the time she's there, I am at Gracie's school volunteering, I do find the occasional moment (like
2 1/2 hours last week!) to be alone.

*Gracie told me yesterday that she wanted to write a book. She does this often so I didn't think much of it. I figured it would be the same type of book: folded papers, stapled together, a picture on each page with a word or sentence below. I went about my business in the kitchen then looked over to find her on her 3rd page! 3 pretty full pages of sentences & questions that made sense. I was floored! She took it to school and Miss S loved it! I have thought she was a great teacher from the beginning, but today she earned even more points in my book! When I went in to help this morning, she told me how wonderful the book was. I agreed with her, of course! She said, "It's good enough to be published!" (well, maybe that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but was good for a 5 year old!) I told her that my dream has always been to write a children's book and Gracie may beat me to it. This afternoon, I was going through Gracie's folder. Miss S had put a little note in there telling Gracie how much she loved her book and that she thought Gracie might enjoy these blank books she had found. One of them I had seen at a store before. It was thick paper cut into the shape of a house and it was all blank. The other one, though, I had never seen. It was a hardback book with a pencil type drawing on the front & back covers with blank pages inside. It was designed for the "author" to color in the cover as they wanted and then fill up the pages with their story. Gracie's eyes got as big as saucers looking at those books! She said, "It's like a real book!" She was so excited and got right to work filling it up with her story called "My Frends Book." (I think that's how she spelled it.) In the story she wrote yesterday, Gracie had asked Miss S (whom the story was apparently written a letter, really) if "Clue" (pronounced Clooey) was being good. (Clue is her dog.) Miss S had responded that Clue has been okay but has been trying to eat the ornaments off of her Christmas tree. She included 2 pictures of her dog that Gracie could have. I am just so impressed that she took the time to provide such validation & encouragement to Gracie in this area of great interest to her.

*Katie has really been trying my patience lately. I love that little girl more than words can express, but she has been lately. (I just can't think of a good word for it!) Honestly, when I picked her up at MDO, they said she'd been "good as gold." I promise you, she was fussing before I even got her out the door. What is it about being with me??? Taking her to a store is not so much fun. She'll start to complain about something and I cringe just waiting for the fit that's about to come. We're not against spanking, but in a store it's a little hard to do that! Also, I can just lean close and threaten that, and she screws up that pretty little mouth and lets loose! I am going to be doing some major duty praying (should have been doing that already!) that this attitude gets better. She is cutting a tooth, but she should still know how to act better than she's been acting. *sigh* I do remember great times of frustration with Gracie over one thing or another, and I keep thinking, "This too shall pass!"

*Chris & I are going on an overnight date Friday! I am so excited! My parents are coming late tomorrow night and we'll leave Friday morning after dropping Gracie off at school. We're going about 3 hours away to an Alison Krauss concert. We had a garage sale last weekend and made ALOT, so we're staying in a fancy-schmancy hotel! I'm so excited!

*Christmas decorations are up for the most part. finally

*I get to chaperone a field trip next week! Gracie's class is going to the high school to hear the chorus perform "holiday songs." Oh, good grief! Just call it Christmas! The middle school is just right across the street from her school with the high school just right behind it, so it's a walking field trip. We do have to cross a very busy street, but there's a cross walk we'll use. It'll be a good little jaunt for 4 classes of Kindergarten. I'm looking forward to it.

*We told Gracie that Santa Claus is just pretend. Please don't bash me if you think she's too young, but we'd been struggling with the whole Santa idea for awhile now. (Chris more than me.) The other day, she asked me a rather point blank question while listening to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." I tried to answer vaguely, but she kept pushing me, so finally I explained that Santa is pretend just like Cinderella and Nemo and Snow White. I explained that we can still have lots of fun pretending about him and reading stories about him and watching movies about him and singing songs about him, etc. I assured her that she'd still get presents (that Mommy & Daddy buy) and she'd still have to go to bed and be quiet so Mommy & Daddy could set out her presents, etc. Later, Chris told her that "Santa" would like chocolate chip cookies for his snack. She giggled about that, knowing that's Daddy's favorite treat. She was a little confused and got a little upset after Chris got home and they talked about it some more. I'm still not sure she completely believes us, but we feel pretty good about having done it. I know I had tears in my eyes, and I think Chris did to, when she got a little upset, but with her, I think it was the right thing to do. It was just hard watching her lose that little bit of innocence. With Katie, we may wait longer. Gracie is just such a literal child! I have stressed over & over that she shouldn't tell any of her friends because they might think he's real and it would make them & their parents sad if she told them "the big girl secret." (I don't want any parents yelling at me because she let the cat out of the bag~yikes!)

*Katie's new words are "ook" (look) and I promise that today she pointed at the Christmas tree and said "pitty" (pretty). I also think she was counting today! I have been counting when we walk down the front steps and it really sounded like she was counting....and not just repeating me but actually saying the number that came next. Maybe I'm crazy, but I think she did!

*Why is it that some Christians don't mention the birth of Jesus at Christmas at all? I know we're commanded to observe Jesus' death, burial & resurrection and not specifically commanded to observe His birth, but is it wrong? We have talked about it with Gracie. We have told her that we don't know for sure when He was born but that some people like to specifically remember it at this time of year We have talked alot about how the most important thing about Jesus is that He died for our sins and then rose again! I just feel like talking about Jesus' birth is so ignored by so many at this time of year just because they're afraid it's wrong to talk about it. Surely God won't get upset if we remember Jesus' birth, will He? By all means, his death burial & resurrection is the most important, but I'd say the birth was a pretty special day, too. Am I wrong? Being raised in the CofC, I feel like maybe we miss the boat on some things sometimes.


Kristen said...

I loved reading all about what is going on in your life -- blogs are so fun that way.

Enjoy your weekend alone together. That hotel looks nice and the concert sounds like a fun time too.

And Kudos to Gracie on the may already have a budding author on your hands!

elizabeth said...

No kids and a drink from little slice of heaven!

I truly believe that alone time for me makes me a better mama. Enjoy your time!

SG said...

My cousin Robby was little, he told his whole kindergarten class that there was no Santa and made kids cry!
I think from things she has said that Kolby has figured the Santa thing out, but in our house, Santa brings presents as long as you believe. So Kolby is not going to admit anything!!!

Alissa said...

Good for Gracie and her books. That is a great thing for her to love to do.

Take a deep breath with will get better. You are good with her.

Enjoy your trip. Melissa told me how you made out at the yard sale! Next time you have one, I will have to join in too! I could use a few extra bucks!

Don't feel bad about the Santa thing...I think we are very close to that with Aidan...I just can't make myself lie about something so relatively insignificant. Adam has been pushing for it for a while anyway. Sounds like you did a great job! Remind me to tell you about super heroes and "real" super heroes.

MDM said...

Very fun reading your blog today! My big one does not believe in Santa, and I feel like she kinda never has! She is such a creative little person and it surprises me that she just could never get her hands around it, but oh well. She has been reminded lately that others believe, so keep it zipped up!

I love Allison Kraus so much! Enjoy her and Chris in that cool hotel!!

I bet Katie will be getting through this stuff soon. I know it is hard when your older one did not give you the same older one did not, but Zoe did. Now, my girls are so similar and layed back.

Deana Nall said...

I felt guilty when I put Julia in MDO at 18 months. But over time, I realized that I am a better mother when I am not with my child every moment of every day. She got to play with kids her age and I got to clean the house, go to the store, use the bathroom, etc. without a child hanging from my arm. She ended up going to that school for four years and she cried the day she graduated. Now she's insisting I put Jenna in as soon as possible. Which I am. I'm saying all that to say -- don't feel guilty. You need that time.

Kate said...

I'm so proud of Gracie for writing! It is a lost art--and it will be so helpful for her in the future. Of course, she sees you "writing" all of the time, and the is the best influence of all.

Katie and Bryson must be going through the same phase. It seems that he wants to arch his back and scream anytime he has to be on the changing table or crawl further than two feet (that's right, he's still not walking!). When did we decide we have to have molars anyway--he chews just fine without them?!

I would also like to make a comment about the Christmas sweaters (wink wink). Christmas decorations are great, but you must not consider yourself a tree and decorate yourself. Subtle is good. ;-)

Malia said...

I totally agree with Elizabeth's comment. In fact just yesterday...

We have a series of books that were written by the mom and illustrated by her daughter. Hmmm, maybe Gracie could write and you could illustrate!

I admire your decision about the Santa Claus thing. I don't know what we will do. I know it won't be this year. I think I may just let Sweetpea figure it out for herself, that's what I did. I wasn't traumatized by realizing my parents had lied or anything like that. I have a feeling she'll naturally come the correct conclusion, she's really practical so I wouldn't be surprised if she figures it out by next year.

I grew up CofC and I could never understand why we didn't or rather wouldn't talk about baby Jesus at Christmas time. It seemed so natural to me. I'm very glad that I now attend a church that embraces it. My favorite Christmas books to read to Sweetpea are the ones about the birth of Jesus.

Melissa said...
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