Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010 in review

Well, December mostly sucked--between the three of us we were sick for three weeks, leaving little time for blogging--or cooking & cleaning for that matter. So I'm working on getting back on track this week, but the good news is that I'm energized and optimistic. Today is the Day of Massive Laundry. Tomorrow shall perhaps be the Day of Kitchen Cleansing and Organization. Oh, I get little frissons of ennui and horror just thinking about it!

2010 has been, for the most part, a great year in our little family. There have been challenges and stresses, but we've overcome them. R had a fabulous year at work, where he still loves what he does and respects and likes his co-workers. We know from experience what a huge difference this makes in quality of life, and I am so grateful for his job. We were lucky enough to be able to see ALL our family this year, including meeting my sweet little niece for the very first time, and making a visit out to see both sides of the family in California.

We realized Sam has some speech delay and articulation issues, and while this was not fun or easy to come to terms with, we are so grateful that his delays are relatively minor and don't impact his health in any way. He is making great strides in speech therapy and loves his teacher. He continues to amaze his parents in ways both good and bad--he's exhibiting a flair for art and engineering, not to mention breaking toilets.

The hardest part of the year was without question losing my grandfather. It still seems impossible to believe he is gone, but he went out at the top of his game. I am so grateful he didn't suffer the indignity and pain of a long decline. I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity to get to know him as an adult, and  seeing him get to know his great-grandson was amazing. In fact, the last time we saw him he gave Sam one of his most prized possessions--his New York Yankees hat. It is going to mean so much to Sam when he is old enough to understand.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas gifts

In which I list the amazing Christmas gifts I've gotten for my family in lieu of a post which requires actual creativity. I'm pretty sure no one in the fam reads this, but I won't be listing what I got for my husband or some of the tech-savier members of the family, just in case.

For the boy:

  • socks. I know, but he keeps losing his socks, and I figured they'd fill up some room in the stocking. 
  • a small wooden shuttle. He's been OBSESSED with the Mater's Tall Tales, and one of his favorites is Moon Mater. He loves that space shuttle so much, and this was only a dollar at Target.
  • Butterfly Land: This was actually a two-for at Costco. It includes a butterfly cage AND a ladybug habitat, along with coupons for the critters themselves. Sam adores "buddyflies" and I'm so excited about getting to show him the whole metamorphosis process and then letting him release the butterflies. Easily my favorite gift for him.
  • Sundry toys, including some cars, a Mickey Mouse doll, some playing cards, and a set of keys. Nothing very big or expensive. 
For the grandparents:

  • photobooks. This is such a great way of sharing Sam's year with grandparents who live across the country. It's especially nice that Sam managed to spend some time with both families this year, including all his cousins. 
For the nieces:

  • One of the six-year-olds is getting a Disney princess watch with three different faces covers. The covers also convert to necklaces. 
  • The other six-year-old is getting some earrings, since she got her ears pierced over the summer
  • the littlest one is getting a pillow pet! Her big sister got one a few months ago and I'm sure she's been dying for one as well.
For the nephews:

  • The younger one is getting The Book of Three, which is the start of Lloyd Alexander's Prydian Chronicles (The Black Cauldron books). This was one of my all-time favorite series when I was a kid. I hope he loves it as much as I do.
  • The older one is getting Stephen Ambrose's book Band of Brothers. He's very into military things, and I thought this would appeal to him. 

Um, this post took 3 DAYS to complete. My world has narrowed to wiping a toddler nose and trying vainly to get fluids and food into the sick child. Now the mister and I are getting sick too. He's upstairs with a migraine and I'm stuck on child duty, and it is all I can do to drag up the last dregs of patience to deal with sick toddler demands. Add in the fact that I think I'm getting sick too, which always results in a bad asthma flare at this time of year. I suppose the thing to do is to grit my teeth and make sure the house is cleaned today and get some grocery supplies in, and then just hunker down for the next few days. Thank god all my Christmas shopping is done. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lame excuses

Once again, my blog posting is thwarted. I have a sick little bunny curled up next to me, and it is probably only a matter of time before he crawls into my lap. I'm wondering if I'll wind up digging into his Christmas presents to cheer him up today.

Speaking of presents: I want to preface this by saying I'm incredibly grateful to our family for wanting to shower Sam with gifts. But I've been a little bit troubled that I seem to be telling everyone what to get for him. I get it: we live so far from our family that they don't really have a sense of what he plays with, and they want to get him something he likes. And it's not as though I don't do the same thing. But it makes me feel a little grubby, like I'm ordering people to get him things. I've definitely tried to give multiple suggestions so people still feel like they're getting him something on their own. I suppose I shouldn't complain, since as I said, I've done the same thing. And it's not as if Sam knows, so he's still getting surprised.

This weekend I think I'll have my annual Christmas cookie non-baking, when I think about how I should really bake cookies for friends & family and then not do it. It is a wonderful tradition, full of guilt and failed potential. I highly recommend it to all procrastinators and slackers.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


This week I've learned:

  • Watching my child decorate the Christmas tree will be a highlight of the year.
  • Helping my child light the Chanukah candles is a wonderful moment
  • We are so lucky to be able to celebrate two wonderful holidays in winter.
  • That I haven't had enough time this week to sit down and do a real blog post. Later this week I promise!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A nice home

After years of denial, I am finally ready to admit it: I keep a nice home.

I might not keep a home that is always clean, and I definitely don't keep a neat and organized home. But I keep a nice home, nonetheless. The floors are usually vacuumed, and the toilets are cleaned several times a week. And I used to think that that kind of stuff was what people meant when they say "she keeps a nice home." But I've changed my mind.

My home is full of warmth, laughter, and love. Friends are always welcome for a meal or just a chat. The meal might be a takeout pizza, but I'll be sure to have your favorite drink on hand. Or make cookies just for you. If you're in trouble, come to my home. We'll take you in, feed you up, and not let you go until you feel better. If you need someone to celebrate with, come to us. People in my home love hearing about your good news, and we're always ready to smile with you.

I'll probably never be a real balabusta, but I think I've managed to create a nice home anyway.