Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 List of Banished Words

Ha! This is the list of banished words for 2012.  I didn't even know they did this, but it made me laugh out loud!

Here's what I think about the banished words:

Amazing: I was honestly really surprised to see this on the list.  I have no problems with the word amazing.  I guess the banishment comes from frequent use on reality TV shows, which I don't watch.

Baby Bump: This word is being banished for overuse in the actor/actress population.  Honestly, I like this phrase.  I would much rather have someone call my pregnant belly a baby bump than say something like, "Oh my God, you're huge!  Are you sure you're not having twins?"  Yes, people say things like this to pregnant women, all.the.time!  Hearing, "What a cute baby bump," is much more pleasant!

Shared Sacrifice: I agree with banishing this one.  This usually comes out of the mouths of people who don't share or sacrifice anything!

Occupy: I believe in the right to free speech and peaceful protests!  No other comment on this.

Blowback: This just sounds dirty to me. 

Man Cave: Oh, the popular man cave.  We saw a lot of "man caves" when we were house hunting.  Our man cave is currently being used as guest bedroom/storage room.  Sorry Hubster!

The New Normal: I hear this phrase a lot, especially at work.  This is an attempt to get the American public to think that the decline in the economy, the slump in the housing market, the massive unemployment rates are normal, and there's nothing they can do to change it.  But wait...

Pet Parent: Yeah, this needs to be banned.  There's nothing I can't stand more than seeing someone strolling their little dog in a stroller.  Dogs are meant to be walked, people!  They don't need a stroller.  Pet Parent.  I love my cat, but I'm his owner not his parent!

Win the Future: This phrase doesn't even make sense.  You can create your own future by making choices, but you can't "win" the future.

Trickeration: Never heard this word.  I guess it is used in sports.  I defer to Hubby on this one.

Ginormous: I like this word.  My 7 year old uses it a lot.  "Mom, look at this ginormous lollipop I have!"  So, no, I don't think it should be banned!

Thank You In Advance: I use this phrase and so do people I work with.  I actually have no problem with this phrase, though it has been coined condescending.  The way I look at it, anytime you are being thanked is a good thing!  Be gracious people!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Reflections: A Year in Review (Part II)

Reflections: Continued from Earlier in the Day:

July – My sister came to visit, and we had a wonderful time.  She fell in love with Darling Daughter.  Who wouldn’t?  After she left, Hubby, the three kids, and I drove up to Rhode Island.  Yes, drove, 24 hours in a car with 3 kids.  The trip went splendidly.  Portable DVD players are a gift from God.  It helped that earlier in the year we had bought a minivan, so the kids could be separated.  One of us sat in the back with them, and overall the ride up there was not hard.  Son# 1 had a hard time with the transition of being in a new place for the week.  We realized that the medicines he had been on were affecting his mood.  He had a major meltdown, and it was very hard on me (as I’m sure it was hard on him).  Still, we enjoyed visiting Hubby’s family, and seeing old friends.  We had not been up there in a long time (three years to be exact).

August – Son # 1 started first grade!  We decided to take him off all medication at the end of this month.  This was the best thing we could have done.  We saw almost immediate improvement in his moods.  He is still hyper, but the more growing he does the more he calms down.  We’ve also noticed that his hyperactivity is linked to his anxiety from changes and transitions.  He does not do well with change.  This is hard for his Mommy, who loves change and does not love routine!   He has shown us what a smart guy he is in school this year, and has begun to expand his love for math.  He also loves animals, reptiles, geography, and he’ll absorb any information having to do with these subjects.  I bought a wig for $50, and it fit my face so much better.  Everyone said it made me look sassy.  I began to build up my confidence again, and resolve the stress of losing my hair.  I noticed a lump in my thyroid while at work. 

September – I had the thyroid checked out and biopsied.  The result came back as a benign cyst with follicular cells.  It will have to be monitored every three months.  It was 2.3 cms, which is fairly large for a thyroid cyst, but the FNA (fine needle aspiration) reduced it, as it was mostly fluid filled with a little follicular debris.  (I went back today 12/29/11—and it is only 1.4 cms now, almost reduced in half).  For a few days, I worried about thyroid cancer.  Thyroid cancer is pretty much the best cancer you can have, but still it was a worry.  To think you have cancer is terrifying, even if it is the best cancer you can have.  I remember thinking about death.  I’m an over thinker, but this little health scare made me really look at my life and see the changes I need to make within myself in order to be a better person.  It made me more spiritual, and it made me more aware that when you are gone, you’re gone (from earth—I don’t know what happens when you die, but I like to believe there is some sort of afterlife).  Your legacy and how you treated others, this is how you'll be remembered.  I want to be thought of as a good wife, mother, and person, and so it’s time to start making changes while I can.

October – This month was a blur.  It went by, and I was depressed most of the time.  We were looking for a house, but trying to make sure Son #1 stayed in the same school district, so that he would not have to change schools—a transition I didn’t want to deal with.  We found a house, then it fell through, then we had to find another one so that we could be out of our rental by the end of December.  The strain of the house hunting was hard for our marriage.  Hubby and I had (and have to) make an effort to keep up communication.  We’re notoriously bad communicators.  We started being more mindful of each other’s feelings.  I really made an effort to go to taekwondo three to four days a week, at night, so that I could test in December for my green belt.  The idea of sparring, and getting rid of pent up aggression called to me!  Plus, exercise made me feel better most of the time, so I could give my all to my relationships within my family. 

November – Son# 1 turned 7!  We had a spend-the-night party for him, in which 7 six and seven year olds descended on my house.  No one died, and they all fell asleep by about 11:30, so I’d call that a success.  We found a new, larger house, than the one before and closed on it.  We decided to move into the house in December.  I began writing again.  I started out just writing journal entries to myself.  Every day, I’d take a little time out to write.  I realized that I had all of these emotions that felt good to verbally throw-up on paper.  It helped me to sort out my feelings and to put them into words.  It also helped me realize how amazing my life is.  I am surrounded by beautiful, sweet children.  I have a husband who loves me and cares about me through thick and thin.  I have parents who will do anything for me.  I have friends who are always there when I need them.  I need to be gracious and accepting of those around me.  I need to stop looking at faults and quit criticizing, bring out the good in others, not the bad. 

December – We started out December with a move into our new house.  New house = New Beginning.  Renewed Happiness.  I am making more of an effort to be a better me.  I’m starting to pay more attention to my life, my health, and the needs of the people around me.  I have wonderful friends and an amazing family.  Reading back through my journal entries at the beginning of November, I can see that I was in a bad place, but I can also see how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve learned from this year of triumphs and challenges.    I feel like this year was a gift (from God, maybe?), in order for me to grow as a person, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

Looking forward to 2012...

Reflections: A Year in Review (Part 1)

It’s almost 2012.  That means it’s time to look back at 2011.  This is a long post, and I’ll break it into two segments and post one part today, and the other tomorrow:

January – The year started out with a bang, not a whimper.  We heard they were going to do layoffs at work.  Hubby also received a proposition from work to move to North Carolina, for more pay, but not quite enough unless I was laid off (with severance and unemployment).  We had a huge decision to make, and unfortunately the climax of the two events did not occur on the same day.  Hubby and I discussed it, listed pros and cons, and in the end I left it up to him.  It is his career, and we knew if he did not take it he could keep his job here—plus the pros and cons were equal and so at that point I felt like he ultimately needed to decide.  The moment culminated at my parents’ house.  We gathered in the Great Room, and Rob said he decided that we should stay here.  The support of the family outweighed the financial benefit.

I came into work the following Monday, and HR was laying people off.  I did not lose my job, but two of my departmental co-workers did, and so did my best friend.  It’s funny—I was relieved not to have lost my job, and at first I didn’t think that losing my department and my BFF would impact me that much, but it did.  I think this is when I first started feeling depressed.  Looking back—I started spending a lot more time in front of the television, on the computer, and just basically tuning out the world.  I felt lonely at work.  I felt the catastrophic effects of a change that I did not want, and it just felt like too much was happening all at once—spiraling out of my control.  Yes, I’m a control freak. 

But then after a few days of moping around at work and crying for my friends, I started to feel better.  My boss was supportive and talked with us, and no one was very productive for a few days.  Then we had to be productive because there were less people to do the same amount of work that had been done before.  Busyness can take a lot off your mind.   My friends (most of them) found work, and we stayed in touch (most of them), though our relationships began to change a bit, just part of life. 

These 3 will remain Auburn "War Eagle" fans, instead of Tar Heels!

February – I signed Son #1 up for Taekwondo.  Looking back, this probably was not a great thing to do for his anger management.  He had not been in a sport for awhile though, and I wanted him to try something new.  So, he started at Tiger Rock, and so did one of my friend’s sons.  My friend, let’s just call her Miranda Grace, and I started to become closer.  We began to talk about life and love and happiness.  I feel blessed that she entered my life at this time, because I have really grown to love and depend on her this year.  I hope she thinks the same about me.  I began doing things for myself again—not just other people, and seeing the benefit of having friends away from work and away from home to help bring light into my life.  My camera broke this month too, and I had to send it off to be fixed, so February 2011 remains undocumented!

March – March was when I began to realize the Son # 1 was having some problems.  He was on medicine for ADHD, but it was making him tired.  When he was tired, he’d feel angry.  He began getting very angry when disciplined or during limit setting.  Hubby and I were at a loss for how to help him.  I didn’t understand why he felt so angry, when he had such a loving family.  My hair started falling out more.  It had been falling out since Darling Daughter was born, but I think the stress of the year was taking a toll on my immune system.  It first started falling out underneath a layer of hair on the right side of my head (probably around the middle-end of 2010).  Then, my bald spot in the back (that I’ve had since I was 5—it’s never completely gone away) started expanding.  Eventually I started losing the hair on the left side--it was still under a top layer of hair, but my hair just kept looking thinner and thinner.  Then my eyes started itching, and I lost my eyelashes.  Then one of my eyebrows started falling out.  I shaved the other one when it didn’t fall out all the way, and it never grew back. 

April – Son #2 turned 3.  I could not believe that my baby boy was 3.  Hubby and I started having problems.  Relationships are so up and down, and they just take a lot of work.  It is worth it.  It is worth it to have someone who is always there for you, who you can depend on, and who can depend on you.  Hubby and I had a few rough months, starting around April.  This made me realize later in the year, that I have a problem with forgiveness.  I always felt like I was not one to hold grudges but I am, just not in the normal way.  I seethe on things.  I let the ill feelings stay there, and then I end up resenting the person.  I’ll be nice to your face, and then inside I’ve felt all these emotions of hate and anger that I don’t let out.  It’s interesting, because Son # 1 let’s those emotions build up the same way, and then he explodes, but I had never exploded.  I just let those emotions sit there.  All the times I hadn’t forgiven people in my life and hadn’t forgiven myself for things I’d done and regretted, and then instead of being angry I’d feel depressed and withdraw myself from those people around me who love me, care about me, and want what’s best for me.  2012 will be a year in which I learn how to forgive--how to move on and let go, effectively, and not let it build up until I’m at the point of breaking down, like in 2011.

May – Darling Daughter started to walk.  Darling Daughter turned 1!  Darling Daughter started to wean, regardless of the fact that her mother did not want her to.  She was addicted to the bottle.  She loves her pacifier (still!).  She was/is afraid of crowds.  I started telling everyone in the world that I have alopecia areata.  I was really losing my hair at this time, and finally my Mom and I went down and ordered a wig.  I had a hard time with this, but I didn’t really let myself feel the emotions associated with the hair loss at that time.  I just kept on trucking, as I sometimes do.  My friend, Miranda Grace, convinced me to start Taekwondo around this time (or maybe this happened in April).
June – My new wig arrived, and when I put it on I felt like crying.  I looked like Loretta Lynn.  The color was wrong.  The hair was too big for me.  It wasn’t MY hair.  I wore it to work, and everyone complimented me.  Hubster complimented me too, but I just couldn’t take the compliment.  It was a hard adjustment for me, and even though I was really losing most of my hair, most days I still walked around with a baseball cap, unless I was at work.  Then I just tried to finagle the wig to work the best for me, with pony tail holders, and clips to pull it back.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Last year I jotted down some resolutions, on the last day of the year, December 31, 2010.  It’s time to see how I performed, and to set some up for this coming year.


Lose Weight
Yes, I put "achieved" in that little box, because I did lose 13 lbs in the last month of this year. 

Write Every Day
1/2 point
Ok--so I started writing every day in December.  Not exactly the writing EVERY DAY of 2011 that I was striving for.  So many I should get like 5/8ths of a point for this, really.

Started in April or May, and I stuck with it!

Overall, I did ok especially considering I didn’t even start WORKING on two of these resolutions until December.  I did have a few more resolutions, but they involved financial things, so I’m not putting them on here.  Sorry—there’s only so much I can share in my life!

My goals this year look a little bit different; similar in idea, but maybe they’re more abstract.  Also, I think they are more attainable and just overall geared towards making myself a better person in 2012. 

Change my lifestyle: Achieve this by eating healthier foods, exercising more, and moving more.

Write every day: This is a hold over from last year, and it will be on all my list from now on.

Be a less selfish person: Be more courteous, help out more around the house, offer to do things for others.

Be more respectful of people around me.  Listen more, act more with kindness and patience.

Be a more loving, caring, and forgiving partner in my marriage.

Some of these, I’ve already started working on.  I just need to carry them over into next year and beyond.  These are not just resolutions for 2012, but resolutions for the rest of my life.

Back to the Grind

Today, I have to go back to work.  I've been home since last Saturday, and even though it was only two days off work it seemed like forever.  I feel so comfortable being home with the kids.  I absolutely love it.  I feel like we reconnect, and then it is over, and I am back to my busy life.  Luckily, school has not started again which actually helps me feel not so busy, plus we're in a mini-break from our many activities right now.  I'll spend most of today at work sorting through emails, in meetings, and then finishing off a spreadsheet.  It will go by fast.

I was looking through some photos I took over Christmas.  I haven't taken any since, because unfortunately I left my camera outside in the rain.  It's sitting in a bag of rice for a few days to soak up any water, and then we'll see if it still works.  If not, off to the Canon store it goes.  I, idiotically, left it outside after taking photos of the kids playing with their new soccer goal.  We don't really have the funds to buy a brand new camera right now, so hopefully the rice will do the trick.  Apparently, there are a lot of other idiots in the world who have done this, so I don't feel so bad!

Anyway, I digress.  I took some photos of Darling Daughter playing hide and go seek in our new house.  She's wearing a pink and white hat with a white bob on top that I used to wear in the winter to cover up my bald spots.  I don't have a fancy photo editor, like Photoshop (but I want it!), so I just played around with the 1960s effect on Picasa, and I just am in love with these photos. 

I love the way the effect makes the birds on her dress look.  So cute!  She is such a sweetheart, but she is clingy--and definitely a Momma's girl!  Yesterday, one of my friends came over who I hadn't seen in a long time, and Darling Daughter was disastrously disabled by her fear of strangers.  She followed me around, like a little shadow, grabbed my pants leg, stood in front of me saying, "Up" in her squeaky voice.  As soon as said friend left, she was fine.  I guess I'll just have really strong arms from holding 26 pounds of baby all break long!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Dream with Meaning

I had an interesting dream last night.  More and more, I wake up and don't remember my dreams, so I thought I'd jot this one down.

I was in college again, but not as a young 20-something, instead I was 40.  I was attending some ivy league school, and funnily my parents had dropped me off there.  I waited in the hallway, facing several brown doors, and when they creaked open the smell of old, musty wood drifted around the room.

I walked into class, and I sat next to a man who was also in his forties.  He looked like Lance Armstrong.  Our professor thought it would be fun to play a game, since it was the first day of school.  He passed out cards upside down.  Everyone in the room seemed to know what they were doing, including the man sitting next to me, but I was lost

The man sitting next to me turned over one of his cards that showed a black puppy running around with his tongue hanging out.  The professor then turned one of his cards over, and it was three people hugging.  The Lance Armstrong look-a-like won, and the professor had to take the two cards and put them face down.  This went on several turns, and I couldn't figure out what was going on.

Finally, the professor told me to turn over a card.  I picked a card with a solitary figure standing against a black background.

The professor just shook his head, "Don't you see?  That card doesn't represent happiness."

When I woke up, it really made me think.  I'm in control of my happiness.  It's almost as easy as picking a card out of the deck.  Sometimes we pick the wrong cards, and we have to find our way again.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Traditions: The Past Meeting the Present

I’m an early riser, like my father, and it gives me time to reflect on life, before the chaos of daily life begins.  In the wake of Christmas, I was just thinking about how amazing traditions are. 

When I was little, every Christmas Eve my parents would make something disgusting for dinner: oyster stew (yes, I like it now, but as a child I thought it was disgusting).  I generally would not eat.  We would open one present from under the tree, the anticipation building throughout the day for that special moment, to know what we had received! 
After opening presents, we would normally hop into the car to go look at Christmas lights.  There was always one particular house down in a neighborhood near ASU that was decked out with so many Christmas lights, blow up Santas and reindeers in the yard, and it just made me giddy with excitement!

After arriving home, we would gather around my Dad’s piano (a Wurlitzer back then) to sing Christmas carols.  None of us have great voices, but we would just belt out those tunes, laughing and giggling the whole time! 

After singing, we sat on the white couch in the living room and Dad would read “The Night Before Christmas,” and the bible story: Luke 2:1-20.  We were just itching to crawl into bed at this point, so that we could wake up the next day to see what Santa had brought.

I would pass the night, tossing and turning, dreaming about waking up to the presents and candy!  One year I even threw up, because I was so excited! Usually around 3 or 4, I would creep out of bed and wake up my sisters and brother.  We would sit on the landing on top of the stairs, just listening to see if Mom and Dad would ever wake up.  We’d usually sit up there for a few hours before they’d open their bedroom door, located at the bottom of the stairs, and tell us to come on down.  Sometimes, they’d make us sit in the breakfast room and eat before seeing what Santa brought (and no matter what, he’d always put an orange in our stockings!).

These traditions make for great memories.  Repeating the same tradition year after year helps you hold onto parts of the past that are important.  We’re resuming a lot of these traditions now, with our family and I hope they have just as wonderful memories of their past Christmases as I do.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning

Here is a video from this Christmas morning, Sunday, December 25, 2011.  The kids really enjoyed themselves, and of course they ended up getting everything they wanted. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Need vs. Want

I recently read an interesting post on the Deliberate Receiving Blog.  This is a great blog to gain perspective on your life, obviously something I’m looking for.  She basically says don’t need your wants, and then they will come to you.  I’m not sure I agree with this, but it’s an interesting thought.

It really made me think about Need Vs. Want.  A lot of us have the tendency of saying we need something, when we really just want something, and I thought this might be a good topic to discuss right around Christmas time, when our wants tend to outweigh our needs.

Basic Needs include the following:
1.       Water
2.       Food
3.       Shelter
4.       Clothing

These are some Wants:
1.       Love
2.       iPhone 4GS
3.       Lots of Money
4.       Big House

Ok, so Love really can go on both lists.  I mean, newborns need to be loved.  They need to be cared for and that requires some amount of unconditional love.  As you get older, I think Love becomes a Want.  You Want to feel like someone loves you and that you love them back.  It definitely changes.  You’re always looking for that unconditional “mother” love that you felt as a child.

I found myself recently thinking, “I really NEED a new computer or I really NEED the new iPhone 4GS.”  This statement is erroneous.  I WANT a new computer.  I WANT something that will not shut down on me every 5 minutes, and I WANT an awesome new phone! 

When I think this way, I like to correct myself by thinking of people who live in developing countries and don’t even have their basic NEEDS met.  Their NEEDS and WANTS are intertwined.  They NEED and WANT food and shelter.  They WANT and NEED clean water and clothing.  When I think about my WANTS, and I feel like I don’t have ENOUGH, then I just like to jolt myself back into reality and realize that I don’t NEED for anything, I just WANT a lot.

Post Script:
After I wrote this post (a few days ago), my family sat down to watch "A Christmas Carol."  (By the way, if you have small children you may want to screen the Jim Carrey version before letting your kiddos watch it--it is quite scary!).  Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol back in 1843, but many of the themes from this book hold true today.  I didn't remember when the Ghost of Christmas Present is leaving Scrooge to make way for the Ghost of Things to Come, he shows Scrooge the children of man: Ignorance and WANT.  WANT has destroyed Scrooge's life.  Sure, he has plenty of money, but he has no one to share it with, and he is ignorant to other people's NEEDS.  He has pushed everyone in his life away from him to get what he WANTS.  In the end, he learns that he NEEDS to be more charitable, in order to help someone he cares about deep down,Bob Cratchit, provide the basic NEEDS for his family.  He realizes in the end that not giving into WANT will lead him to have a more meaningful life (and of course escape an afterlife in chains!). 

This provided a classic example of how being aware of our NEEDS and other peoples' NEEDS can help us lead better lives. 

A Christmas Poem

Our Christmas tree is up,

And now the little ones can hardly wait until Santa shows up!

They've written their lists, and they've checked them twice, to make sure everything is there because Santa's so nice!

Mommy and Daddy have wrapped the presents and placed them here:

Now we're all looking forward to some Christmas cheer!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Patience and Selflessness

Selfish people are not patient.  Patience is a virtue, so why wasn’t I blessed with it?  I try every day to have patience and to be less selfish.  As I’m listening to a child scream, kick his legs on the floor, throw a toy across the room, I ask my inner self for patience so I don’t act in anger.  I find myself having limited patience with the kids.  At bedtime, if they won’t go to sleep, then I get mad.  I feel like they are infringing upon my precious alone time.   I hurry them into the bed and through clenched teeth I yell, “Just stay in bed!”  A lack of patience promotes anger, not only in me, but in the kids too.  It’s me being impatient with the kids, so I can get on with my own life.

In the US, we’re always striving for the next best thing.  This is a “me, me, me” culture.  We want something better, we want it faster, and generally we want more of it.  The mentality is that selfishness and impatience is rewarded.  This makes it very hard to strive for selflessness and patience in our lives.
As I find myself searching, I can’t help but remember Shel Silverstein’s great poem, “Ladies First.”
Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first,”
Pushing in front of the ice cream line.
Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first,”
Grabbing the ketchup at dinnertime.
Climbing on the morning bus
She’d shove right by all of us
And there’d be a tiff or a fight or a fuss
When Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first.”

Pamela Purse screamed, “Ladies first,”
When we went off on our jungle trip.
Pamela Purse said her thirst was worse
And guzzled our water, every sip.
And when we got grabbed by that wild savage band,
Who tied us together and made us all stand
In a long line in front of the King of the land-
A cannibal known as Fry-‘Em-Up Dan,
Who sat on his throne in a bib so grand
With a lick of his lips and a fork in his hand,
As he tried to decide who’d be first in the pan-
From back of the line, in that shrill voice of hers,
Pamela Purse yelled, “Ladies first.”

As I child I used to imagine Cannibal Dan, grabbing me and eating me up.  Being the baby,
I had learned to become somewhat selfish.  I’ll admit it I was even a bit spoiled, like Pamela Purse.  We all learn how to share as children, in essence how not to be selfish, but sometimes we also learn how to be selfish.

When we are born, our parents selflessly give us everything.  As newborns, we depend on the care of our parents and the nurturing, the patience, the self-less giving.  As we grow we learn to share with others.  We also learn that we have wants, and in order to fulfill them we have to be a little bit selfish.  My question is: Why can’t we give more of ourselves to others around us?  We need to learn to be less selfish and more patient with people in our lives.  We need to teach our children to give of themselves, to become selfless.  We can do this by living these values.  This is still something that I’m learning, re-teaching myself how to be selfless and not selfish like Pamela Purse. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Santa Won't Come

Threats of no presents don’t work with this boy.  He must know that he is on the “Nice” list, and no amount of Mommy saying, “Santa won’t bring you presents,” would bother him.

Yesterday, Son # 2 was having quite the fit.  He wanted to go to his grandma’s house instead of daycare.  Who wouldn’t want to go over there, right?  I led him down the stairs and told him we’d call his grandmother so she could explain that she had a doctor’s appointment.  This seemed to do the trick for a moment.

After a quiet and calm conversation with his grandmother, he settled down enough to sit at the kitchen table for some breakfast.   He then became ornery again, though, saying that he was going to throw his juice if he didn’t have a juice box with breakfast.  Daddy and I stuck to our guns, though, and we did not give in.

I looked in Son #2’s eyes and said, “You know Santa is watching you, right?”

He looked up at me with his huge blue eyes and a scowl on his face.

“Don’t you want Santa to visit you?”

“NO!” Son #2 said emphatically, as he began to reach for the cup.

“If you do that, Santa might not bring you presents.”


What do you do then?  I just looked down at my cereal, continued eating, and five minutes later Son #2 was his usual, chirpy self.
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