Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The year in children

2008 is treating us well thus far. Today was Mark’s last day home for holiday break and we went out for my holiday employee lunch at Rangoon. We started this tradition last year after Mark had his departmental work lunch and I was all jealous, mopey and remarking “but nobody takes ME to lunch for a job well done.” No drama queens here. So over Burmese food we discussed 2007 - we’ve experienced a lot of growth and doubled our output. As for goals for 2008 – more growing, learning and loving while holding it all together. Or at least trying real hard while enjoying the ride. Oh, and we’ve got to create and maintain a more regimented budget. Please kill me. (Again – no drama.) I don’t consider myself a shopper or a spendthrift but I absolutely abhor having to account for every cent so this will be quite a challenge.

As for New Year’s Eve, this year we decided to check out First Night Haddonfield after I heard an ad on KYW saying that they have a countdown and fireworks at 9 pm. We weren’t sure until the afternoon if we were really up for going but we pulled it together and had a really nice time. Some of the performances were too packed for us to see but since the fireworks were the main goal going to some of the shows was a bonus. Noah nodded off during an acapella show (hysterically funny acapella faces) and had to be prodded repeatedly to wake up for the fireworks while Ray stayed awake during the show when I’d have preferred him to be napping (typical!) The fireworks display was small but great because we were right underneath it rather than the typical miles away. And the best part is that we took the Patco train to Haddonfield so we didn’t even have to deal with the nightmarish traffic to get out of there. I’d totally consider doing the same next year.

New Years Day is my mom’s birthday so we typically see her and eat the requisite lucky pork and sauerkraut (we are of PA Dutch descent though I didn’t realize until adulthood that this tradition was regional) but this year she ditched us for her new in-laws. Therefore I was forced to make a pork roast my damn self and accidentally made enough to feed 10. Aside from the fact that our house is a wreck, I was wishing we had invited people over to eat. We ate the same thing for dinner again tonight even though I dislike leftover pork as much as I love sauerkraut on top of mashed potatoes – but hopefully we will be twice as lucky. And because Noah obviously did not enjoy sauerkraut last night I didn’t put any on his plate this evening. His response - “Where is my sour crap?”

I have to admit it. I’m feeling a bit burnt out. Just tired a lot and wanting a break that feels impossible. I hate missing time with my kids so instead I am daydreaming of freezing time so that I could pull myself outside of it to have a quiet lunch, read a book and take a nap. I’m sure some of this feeling has to do with post-Christmas crash so hopefully I’ll be able to get myself and the house in some semblance of order soon.

And in the world of giant infants – Ray is still a frontrunner. He’s just more and more massive, squishy and sweet. But he’s no fat, lazy baby – the boy is strong and seriously on the move. He is slithering and rolling all over the place and I have no doubt he’ll be crawling in the next month. He’s also grabbing on to anything he can get his death-like grip on and shoving it in his mouth. And if you take it away from him – he turns from good natured cuddly bear to vicious maneater. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. The only hope of escaping his wrath is to get Noah to smile at him and he melts into a puddle.

Noah is THREE now. And three is, above all else, EMOTIONAL! I was comparing parenting notes with my friend Wendy the other week when I noticed her looking at me with an expression of grave concern on her face. It was then that I realized that she took my saying that Noah’s three year old mood swings seemed ridiculously bipolar to mean that I really thought he was bipolar. HA! No. THREE is bipolar. Ecstatically goofily happy one second and the next OH THE HUMANITY! He can’t possibly bear these atrocities for one more second. And what puts him over the edge is typically the most ridiculously small thing. But crazy mood swings aside – THREE is so incredibly smart and charming. Noah says the most amazingly astute things followed by the most loving and then the most cute. Three year olds seem to me a case study in extremes. And then there is the learning. Picking things up out of nowhere, mastering them in seconds. Noah can write his name now and is letter and number obsessed. I keep thinking back to when I taught first grade in the poorest section of the city and how so many of the kids came to school not even knowing their alphabet. And all I can think of is how those kids must have been kept in a box. Must have been so neglected, so traumatized, so overwhelmed by troubled home lives. That is the only way to explain a three year old not learning even the slightest letter lesson by accident. Kids seem so naturally hungry for learning at this age. Noah wants to know everything and more. I’d love to bottle it and put it in my coffee.


lonna said...

I'm sorry that I have not been commenting. Life has been crazy with all three of us home and the holidays.

I hope that your three old keeps learning. Dermot has decided that learning is boring, I think. He will write his name at daycare, but he won't do anything with us. I think that he's already picking up that school stuff should stay at school. I'm trying to push the learning is fun and you can do stuff with it angle, but I'm not making much headway yet. We'll see.

I'm glad to see that your kids are doing so well. They have certainly both changed so much from 1-1-07, huh?

Also, I loved the Christmas card and the pictures in your blog. It's so great to see your family being so in love with each other.

Katiemagic said...

I love the employee lunch! Nice work in 2007 guys.

We just did a strict budget too. SUCKS. But also helps. Yuck.

I'm looking forward to more videos of all of you in the coming year.

Missuz J said...

Laughed out loud at the "sour crap."