Friday, December 6, 2013

7 QT: St. Nick, Sickies, and Santa Squabbles

Happy St. Nicholas Day!!
 The big kids and I picked up some donuts on the way to work/school.  A feast day = you are required to feast, right?

It's the Winter Family Birthday Party this weekend.  
That means that any of the 20 nieces and nephews on my side who were born in the winter will be celebrated this Sunday.  We do about five family birthday parties each year - the September birthdays (celebrated around Labor Day), October birthdays (celebrated around Halloween), the Winter birthdays, the Spring birthdays, and the Summer birthdays.  

Each birthday kid gets a present from their godparents, and that's it!  No buying for each kid on every birthday, it's just too much!  And the kids don't know any different.  We do Christmas the same way...each kid only gets one present from my side of the family.  

'Tis the season for chapped lips!  This is what my kids look like when they go to bed, slathered with Eucerin.  

And we wonder why her hair is greasy in the morning.

It's time to pull out the humidifiers, but since it's usually Phil that cleans and fills them every couple days, he's not always gung-ho about starting that process.

So at work, when a student gets an in-school suspension (which is a rare occurrence) they sit at a desk right outside my office and do their school work for the day.  I have to stare at the back of their head all day, but it's usually not too bad.  Until yesterday's kid.  He had the worst cold.  He went through my whole tissue box and then got another one because he literally blew his nose and sneezed every 5 minutes.  I thought he was going to blow his brains out.  Guess where he threw his dirty tissues?  IN HIS BACKPACK!!!  Oh my gosh, so disgusting.  I gave him a trash can to use after I realized what he was doing.  

(PSA: Moms of school kids...clean out their backpacks every week.  Kids are gross.)

At one point, he was sucking on a cough drop and I could smell the vapors in my office, and I rationally thought to myself "If I can smell his cough drop, then I am breathing all his germy germs."  Everytime I left my office and had to walk by him, I would hold my breath.  I fully expect to be sick in 3 days time.

Speaking of germs, I got my flu shot on Wednesday.  
No, not that kind of shot, I wish!

It was actually very dramatic, as I was walking into the office to get the shot, I saw my doctor and we stopped and chatted for awhile.  He congratulated me on the pregnancy, and the medical assistant turned to me and said:
Me: Um, yes, that's what this gigantic belly is.
Her: You can't get a flu shot when you're pregnant.
Me: I thought it was recommended for pregnant ladies and the elderly.
Her: Hang on, I have to get the nurse.
(Me and Xander sit in the office for ten minutes, watching Mickey Mouse Christmas on Netflix on my phone.)
Doctor comes in: We are going to call your OB's office to make sure you can have this.
Me: Ok, I already checked with my midwife's office, and they said as long as I normally get it, I can continue to get it.
Doctor: We just want to double check.
(How obvious is it that pregnant women are just not very common?!?!?!?!  Sad.)
Xander and I continue to discuss how silly Donald Duck is.
Nurse: Ok, you can have this one.  You can't have the vial one, but the individual flu shot is fine.
Me: Ummmm, okay, at least I won't be paranoid now??  (Way to calm my nerves!)

So far, no side effects, and if I end up getting sick, I'm blaming the kid from suspension anyway.

Phil and I were cooking in the kitchen...

Maggie: Ooooh, the kissing part is coming soon!
Me: Nope, we're just cooking.
Maggie: The Kissing Part, coming soon to DVD.

Eamon's teacher called me yesterday afternoon to kindly inform me that some parents have told her that Eamon is telling their kids that Santa isn't real, and neither is Elf on the Shelf.

Part of me was all "You realize that Santa and Elf on the Shelf are NOT real, right? So exactly what is he doing wrong?"

But the more sensible part of me was all "AHHHHHHH, he is my 3rd son to get in trouble in 1st grade for doing this exact same thing!  I'll talk to him and tell him not to ruin Christmas for the other kids."

Last night, Phil talked to the 3 older boys and reminded them that even if they don't believe in Santa, some kids do, and we shouldn't take that away from them.  Eamon cried and cried and cried.  

It is so hard disciplining your kid when they didn't really do anything wrong.  (You can read about why we don't encourage Santa in the comments's just a personal decision).  Anyway, the whole thing makes me want to homeschool.

Alrighty, that's enough of my ramblings!  Have a wonderful December weekend everybody!


  1. Irish flu shot? Can I have one a day from now until Christmas? Thank you. And your son is doing his classmates, and their parents, a favor by revealing the truth about the Elf on the Shelf. Seriously, it's all anyone is pinning on Pinterest anymore. Another Irish flu shot please.

  2. Oh, I hope you don't get sick! Have some of that Zicam around, it really works. I think it's okay for pregnancy but double check! And pound the vitamin C because with that and the shot and being pregnant, your immune system could probably use it!
    That pic of Maggie is great. I've already had one bloody nose and my hair has been standing on end because it's so dry!

  3. I use lanolin on my lips, the kind you use for breastfeeding. I just put it on at night and it keeps my lips much better all day.

  4. Some things
    2) I love love LOVE how your family does birthdays. What a smart idea. It's a constant struggle with so many family members to try to decide how to celebrate things.
    3) Maggie is STUNNING
    4) I have a friend, who's son was hiding his sandwiches for lunch in a box in his closet for months. Kids are GROSS.
    7) I know you know this, but as a mom who loves the santa thing, I would be CRUSHED if a first grader told my kid santa wasn't real. It would make me want to homeschool. lol! What a tricky balance that must be for you...I can't imagine trying to respect other parent's decisions (i.e. santa) whilst wanting your kids to know the 'truth'. And, thus begins, Christmas wars! :) j/k

    1. I really believed in Santa, and my parents encouraged it. My dad would call the North Pole on Christmas Eve and we would listen on the phone to the Christmas music playing while they were working...we left out cookies...presents were labelled "From Santa"...etc, etc.

      Then in second grade, Sarah Grime told me that Santa wasn't real.

      My world was DEVESTATED. I'm serious. I couldn't believe my parents lied to me. I wondered what else they lied about. I worried about poor kids on Christmas, how were they supposed to get gifts if it was the parents that had to buy them?

      So, when we started having kids, we decided we would just never push the Santa thing. We've never ever told them he's fake (until they were old enough to start saying it themselves) but we also never say that Santa is bringing the presents, etc. They just get presents on Christmas morning. It's worked fine in our family, and when they were old enough to decided they didn't believe in Santa (they had heard all about him at school, on TV, etc) it didn't devastate them like it had me. And they could never think we lied to them, because we hadn't.

      Problem is, they all get a little cocky and decided to let their friends in on the secret of the fake Santa when they are 7, and then they get in trouble. We always find out they don't believe AFTER they tell their friends, because we never want to ruin it for them if they do believe.

      It is a very hard thing to discern and discipline when we're sort of the odd parents that doesn't push all the Santa stuff. Not trying to get in any Santa War, just sharing our story :)

      I hope your kids don't find out until they are much older!

    2. Growing up my parents did what you are doing, just never said either way. It had never occurred to me that other kids really believed in Santa. It wouldn't have made sense in my world. My very best friend was extremely poor and got used presents partially lost and broken for Christmas. We had refugees living with us and close to us who had nothing. Every Christmas my mom would pack enormous boxes full of more lavish gifts than she gave her own children for poor families she knew. The richer kids at school, after Christmas break, would brag about the lavish gifts that Santa had brought them, and I never suspected they actually believed it was really Santa (they probably did.)

      On Christmas, we hung stockings and it was a "tradition" that Santa brought what was inside. It was every bit as magical as any Christmas any other child ever had. It was happy, wonderful, joyous, magical. My parents never explained there really wasn't a Santa. They never told us there was. We never believed there was some reason you needed to believe he was a real physical man with a sleigh to make it every bit as wondrous.

      I did the same with my children. When my oldest was in kindergarten the aid brought him out to me after school and very angrily proclaimed that he had announced Santa wasn't real. I replied, "Well he's not." I really didn't think anything of it. But I learned. I really had no idea people would be offended by this, I simply didn't know. And neither did my son. He was actually shocked when he discovered that kids thought it was someone bringing them magical gifts, and stated the fact.

      I do have respect for how others want to raise their kids, and carry on their traditions, and so from that day forward I did teach my kids that they were never to instruct kids on Santa or any other thing.

      Forgive long comment!!!

    3. Ya, it's funny, my parents (when they told us) very much went with the 'Santa is real, he is the feeling you get when you give generously'. So it wasn't even kind of scarring for any of us, and my dad still says, 'Santa is real, I don't know why people say He isn't'. We think of it as a symbol to teach the kids about giving. Our favorite thing Christmas decoration is this massive puzzle a student put together for me. It's Santa, taking a nap, dreaming of the nativity. In our house, Santa is someone who prepares the way for Jesus. On Christmas morning, each kid gets three from us, one from Jesus and one from Santa. It's not over emphasized or under emphasized...but I do love the imagination that comes from it all :) I'm going to do a post on how we blend Santa, Jesus, Advent and the 'holidays' next week.
      Poor girl having your heart broken. I am SURE if I had an experience like that I would want no part of Santa at.all. But in our family, he always wrote a note to us telling us how much Jesus loves us and graces/etc... for us they went hand and hand, but all pointed to the kingdom!

  5. I can totally get behind teaching kids to respect people concerning santa...but the elf is a bit much for On thanksgiving I mentioned in your comments that I got into a debate about the elf thing...well, I accidentally said, "I don't want to move around a stupid stuffed creeper elf" in front of the nieces and nephews...well DID I GET CHEWED OUT! Even though I just sat there a bit stunned by the response I couldn't help but laugh by the idea that i was supposed to pretend a stuffed doll was real. I do not get that. Santa--I have no problem with...he was real (st. nick) but elves now too ?

    and I was going to say, wait? didn't your other sons get into trouble for telling about santa too? Oh my that is too funny that 3 now are such "troublemakers"! Geez those Martin boys!
    I wouldn't discipline them for that, --just say, that overall, we have to respect what others believe and be polite,

  6. Flu shots are totally fine for preggos, just can't have the inhaled nasal mist. The flu shot has the protein from the killed virus, but the inhaled mist is made from a live virus. I kind of can't believe that your doctor didn't know this. Sorry, I guess that sounds bad. I'm not trying to make your doctor out to be an idiot. Maybe I'm just used to seeing one doc - my family doc also takes care of my pregnancies so she has to make sure she knows what's the what for pregnant ladies.

    And man, that Santa thing is tough. I can see how it's hard for the boys to just go along with what everyone says about Santa when what they know is different (and correct).

    We do Santa because Rob and I both grew up with Santa, but we also don't overdo it. Our parents were the same way, and I never felt like they lied to me. We don't write letters to Santa because I don't want the kids focusing on what they are getting, and they know that Christmas is the celebration of Jesus' birth. So far, they all "believe" except for Francie, and she was totally calm with finding out that Santa wasn't real. Hopefully the other kids are the same.

    1. I know, he's a really thorough doctor, and my impression was that he had never had a pregnant lady come in for the flu shot. Which just goes to show how few pregnant women there are in our area.

      I'm so on board with parents doing Santa, not doing Santa, whatever. It totally depends on the personalities involved, and my crazy arse personality made me so upset and hurt that I was lied to, but my kids might have totally been fin with it. Phil grew up believing and doesn't even remember when/how he found out. But he's totally laid back, that's why I love him!

  7. LOL Loved the school stories. Makes me miss my old school teaching days...just a bit. Happy feast day to you! We had a TERRIBLE ice and sleet storm last night. I'm quite depressed to see so many plants, shrubs, and my beloved maple tree cracked, broken, ruined, stuck to the ground. Some in multiple pieces. I was trying to keep the joy for my children, but it is hard. At least we still have power. Many do not. My kids were amazed that St. Nick could deliver in this stuff. :)

  8. We smother our kids' mouths in vaseline and chappy they are!
    Elf.....can't stand him! I told my school aged kids he was not real when they came home from school one day, and my kindergartener, told me, yes he is mom.....
    Santa - I do not push it or deny it. I let them believe what they want to believe. I know my 9 yr old is questioning in his head about Santa, but yet he is not ready to "stop believing", so I just let it be. For my kids I know they would be sad to know the truth and but part of their sadness would come from other children still "getting to believe" and they do not.
    Thanks for you blog - I love how you keep it real! God Bless your family!

  9. Interesting!! Didn't your kids know that other kids believe and you told them not to share that at school, right!!?? Cause I would be the parent who loves the "spirit" of Santa or St. Nick. and I would have been the sad mother. are kids. They are a tough crowd and grow up without too many battle wounds. You seem like a sweet sensitive soul. Maggies eyes are just so blue!!

  10. Growing up I used to think that Santa was an angel because I saw some episode of Highway to Heaven where Santa was an angel. I don't think I believed it strongly though and I was never devestated when I found out the truth because my parents didn't put all that much effort into the whole Santa thing. I mean, they didn't even wrap our Christmas presents for crying out loud...we got our presents places in large garbage bags..and sometimes we would get used things (like from yard sale...used books), so I gradually just figured it out on my own. We basically do Santa pretty much like you...we don't push it or talk about it and we don't talk about gifts being from Santa. As far as I know, my kids have never told amother kid that Santa isn't real. But, we homeschool, so there is less opportunity and honestly, a lot of other families we know don't "do" Santa either. We chose not to do Santa for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I didn't want the pressure of it. There hae been years we could afford more presents or more lavish presents and years when we couldn't afford much at all, and our kids understand that because they don't believe in a magical person that can give us whatever we want.

  11. I laughed when I saw those Irish flu shots - someone is a genius!
    We're not doing Santa. I grew up with it, Joe did not. My mom ended up telling us when I (the oldest) was preparing for my First Communion, and she wasn't comfortable with teaching me that Jesus was truly present in the Eucharist while also telling us that Santa, the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy were real. When we found out the truth, we just pretended Santa was real for the fun of it. :) I hope my kids won't ruin it for anyone else, because I respect other parents' right to teach what they want to their kids, but we won't be teaching ours that Santa is real. We are teaching about St. Nicholas, and that he was the original Santa, etc etc, so that they will have an idea of what this is all about, not just getting presents. (hopefully!!)

  12. Oh, I needed that Irish flu shot last week.. that is too funny~
    And I hope you don't get sick from that kido at school.You are right some kids are just gross. I try taking Airboune tablets when I am around large crowds I don't know if it is okay for pregnant women. but good for you and getting that flu shot. I recommend also getting the whopping cough vaccine. Here in town there has already been many baby fatalities because of whopping cough so dangerous....

  13. We do Santa from the standpoint of the spirit of Christmas, but my kids also know about St. Nicholas and that Santa is based on him. They figure it out soon enough on their own and we never encourage or discourage "belief". When my older kids didn't believe anymore, they actually loved getting in on the magic of Christmas for the little ones (stockings, etc.), so it's all worked out well. So many families have so many different traditions, that I don't see what all the fuss is about! And a suggestion for the chapped lips - coconut oil. The actual product - just smear it on their lips. Totally natural and tastes yummy. Works REALLY well for any sort of skin issue - chapping, dryness, rashes, etc. Way better than any chemically product.


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