Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fridge Water

The water dispenser in the fridge is broken. I've lived 38 of my 40 years without a water and/or ice dispenser on the fridge door, so you would think this is no big deal.

Wrong, my friends.

This is a HUGE deal.

The other night my five year-old went to get some water from the dispenser located on the fridge door. When it didn’t work, she turned to look at me...stunned.

The blank stare in her eyes said it all: “What should I do now Mom? I’m thirsty, and there’s no water.”

I have a college degree. I solve complex issues at the office every day. Yet, for a moment, I was stumped.

And then it came to me…

Aaaah, yes! We have a faucet in the kitchen that can be used for more than rinsing dirty dishes. We can actually drink water that comes from the kitchen faucet.

(Although the acceptability of the mineral content in the water of the Mountain Green “Cottonwoods Phase 1” subdivision as been a topic of great debate in the last year.)

We’re troubleshooting the fridge problem via Google (if you think life without water in the fridge door is tough, I can’t imagine trying to resolve any household issue without Google…we would actually have to locate an owner’s manual).

With any luck we’ll have the waterless fridge situation resolved shortly. Until then, I just hope nothing more significant than a light bulb goes out…I can’t spare the brain power!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Baby

My water broke at 8 a.m. on December 25, 2001. This came as a complete shock for several reasons:

  1. The baby’s due date was still 12 days away;
  2. I didn’t have any contractions or labor pains; and,
  3. It was Christmas morning…what the heck was the baby thinking?
My husband and I just stared at each other in disbelief. This was our first baby. In hindsight, it was a sign of things to come…the first lesson that children are full of surprises.

Ryan started making phone calls, sharing the news.

“Merry Christmas. Diana’s water broke so we’re headed to the hospital.”

Everyone, except for the doctor, thought we were joking.

L O N G story short, the best Christmas present we ever received was born at 9:03 p.m. on December 25th.

So far, Lauren likes her birthday on Christmas Day. One Christmas Eve, when she was about to become five years-old, someone asked her “Lauren, is tomorrow your birthday?”

Her response, “Yep, me and Jesus.”

I suppose if you’re got to choose to share a birthday with someone significant, it would be Him.

I have solicited advice over the years on how to handle the birthday-and-Christmas-all-in-one-day situation. This is what we’ve done so far…feel free to add your suggestions in the comment section of this blog.

  1. There is a birthday present under the tree on Christmas morning from Santa. It is wrapped in birthday paper, not Christmas paper.
  2. We don’t combine birthday presents and Christmas presents. We do Christmas presents in the morning and birthday presents at night.
  3. On the night on the 25th, we have a family birthday party, complete with cake and ice cream. There are usually games and even a piƱata.
  4. If she has a birthday party with friends, we hold it in January after the Christmas decorations are put away. If not, she chooses a special family activity to celebrate her birthday on a day other than December 25th. This year she wants us to all go to Tepanyaki for dinner. (Good choice Lauren!)

It always amazes me when Lauren tells someone “My birthday is on Christmas” and they respond “I bet you hate that.”

Really? C’mon people!!!

I’m busting my you-know-what-off to make the birthday-and-Christmas combo a success. And then some yahoo comes along and tells her that she’s getting a raw deal because she was born on December 25th.

There should be a support group for parents with Christmas babies. And our mission will be to stop the stupid things people say to our children about their birthday. We’ll even let parents who have babies born within a week of Christmas join the group.

Other communication points for our Christmas baby support group could be:

  1. Say “Happy Birthday” first and “Merry Christmas” second;
  2. Send a separate birthday card from your Christmas card; and,
  3. Never wrap birthday presents in Christmas paper or gift bags.

I could go on, but in the spirit of season I’ll jump off my soap box.

I wish a very happy birthday to everyone who was born in late December.

Oh, and Merry Christmas too!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

All In The Spirit of Christmas

I try to get Christmas shopping finished early. I usually take advantage of my “free” time on Columbus and Veterans’ Day to shop ‘til I drop. Sounds great, right? Not when you have a determined five year-old in the mix.

In 2008 Barbie released The Diamond Castle DVD. We made the purchase and added it to the collection. About a year later I found a Barbie named Liana from the movie at Big Lots for $10 so I purchased it for my daughter.

(Background information: There is a series of Barbie animated movies that go straight to DVD. About one new movie is released each year. Then Barbie mass markets the dolls, playsets, accessories, books, etc., until the next movie is released.)

Fast forward to October 2010. I asked my five year-old, Jenna, what she wanted for Christmas. She said The Diamond Castle playset and the other Barbie from the movie named Alexa. I visited several different stores. Nothing. Then I go online to shop. I soon discovered that the castle originally retailed for about $95 but is no longer in production. It now goes on eBay and Amazon for up to $350 new, about $200 used. Barbie Alexa is going for about $50.

Are. You. Kidding. Me?

We already have other Barbie castles in the basement. In fact, I learned that the Barbie Twelve Dancing Princesses castle that we originally paid about $40 for is now going for $150 on eBay. These things are cheaply made…probably for about $5 in China.

So I put together a plan that included my husband and eight year-old daughter who is “in-the-know” when it comes to Santa. First we visited several stores so Jenna could show me The Diamond Castle playset. When we couldn’t find it, I told her it wasn’t available anymore.

Then, we all went to Costco where we saw the Barbie airplane, and convinced Jenna it was the coolest Barbie toy ever. I purchased it the next day and stashed it in the super secret hiding place.

I thought we were good-to-go until a few weeks ago when Jenna said, “Mom, I know that I can still get a Diamond Castle playset for Christmas because Santa’s elves can make anything.”

Yikes! She out-smarted me on that one. I changed the subject to the absolute awesomeness of the Barbie airplane.

Then on Tuesday night, at an office family Christmas party with Santa Claus as the guest-of-honor, I got another whammy.

After a chat with Santa, Jenna reported that Santa said the elves were working on her Diamond Castle playset and Barbie Alexa.

“What about the Barbie airplane?” I asked.

“I want that next year mom,” she replied.

Dang that Santa Claus!

After conferring with several family members, friends and associates, we devised a plan.

One of Santa’s elves would call Jenna and leave her a voicemail message. He would tell her that when Santa returned to the North Pole after the party he told the elves that he needed a Diamond Castle playset. However, Santa didn’t know that the elves weren’t making Diamond Castle playsets this year. So Santa told the elves that Jenna had been a very good girl, so to make her some other really cool toys that he would be deliver to her house for Christmas morning.

I recruited a co-worker to perpetuate this white lie to my daughter as “Joey,” an elf at Santa’s workshop. With script in hand, he called the house and left the message.

That night, we told Jenna that we had received a call from the North Pole. She was very excited as she listened to the message from Joey-the-elf. In fact, she was so excited that it took three times of listening to the message and then further explanation from me to help her understand that The Diamond Castle playset wasn’t going to happen.

And guess what? She was okay with it because she knew Santa was loading up his sleigh with other good stuff for her. Mission accomplished!

I was feeling like mother-of-the-year for resolving this issue in such a fine manner. Sure, it took some lying and deception. But hey, it was all in the spirit of Christmas.

Of course that feeling was short-lived. Today, on the way to her Christmas concert choir rehearsal, Jenna said to me, “Mom, I think Santa is bringing me a Barbie airplane from Christmas. And a princess kitchen.”

“What?” I responded, slightly panicked. “A princess kitchen?”

“Yes, mom. I had to add that to my list because they aren’t making The Diamond Castle playsets this year,” she continued. “And I KNOW that the elves are making kitchens because I’ve seen them in the stores.”


Monday, December 13, 2010


My five year-old keeps insisting that "Mom is the boss...not Dad". I've always known that she is brilliant! :)