So long, 2010
For some reason, I feel compelled to look back over the last year today. Probably because I have seen a million other blogs doing the same thing and I am nothing if not a bandwagon-jumper. So here we are.
I started the year with a newborn and now I have an almost-toddler. At this time last year, I was nursing around the clock and carrying an extra 25 pounds around. Now, I’m done nursing and I’m down 30 pounds. Thank God for the breastfeeding caloric burn because I haven’t worked out a day since 2005 and I am 15 pounds below what I weighed before I got pregnant with Jack.
We went on an insane number of vacations. Wisconsin Dells, Lake Tahoe, Phoenix, New York, Miami, Washington DC, Disney, Kauai, Aspen, the Maldives and a bunch of weekends at the lake in Wisconsin. Thanks to our parents, we took some of these trips without the kids. Come to think of it, we took the trips WITH the kids thanks to their help, as well. We are extremely lucky to have this kind of support system and we thank our lucky stars every time we go away that our kids are safe and well-cared for. Also, they’re probably happier with the grandmas than with us because the grandmas give them toys and let them have syrup on their pancakes.
I basically raised three kids by myself. OK, slight exaggeration. I did hire a babysitter in March who came twice a week for two hours to help with dinner, bath and bedtime. Sara was the reason I wasn’t hospitalized in a mental ward this year, so big thanks to her. (Alas, she is studying abroad this semester and won’t be back until July. We miss her already. Thankfully, we have a substitute sitter in her absence. Well, good for me, not so much for the Trader Joe’s wine aisle because they are losing out on sales.) This was a trying year with Josh traveling to DC four days a week and three kids at home, one a needy newborn, but we managed. And by “managed” I mean “no one died and everyone was fed each day.”
I finished my book proposal and landed an agent. Aside from the whole “raising three kids” thing, this was clearly my biggest accomplishment. Almost all 20,000 words were written in the Starbucks down the street, so I’m thinking they should name me Customer of the Year. Or at least sell my book at the counter when it comes out. (That is definitely a when, not an if.) I am ridiculously excited about what 2011 has in store for my writing career and have anointed it “The Year of the Book Deal.” I’m looking forward both to finishing my book and beginning another. Ambition, it’s a good thing.
Jack learned to read and write. This is shameless bragging on my part, but he is such a smart kid. He can read, he can write, he can do math, he knows fractions and sign-language and can sing a song naming all the continents and another listing all the countries in North and South America. His behavior improved so much at school from last spring to this fall and he’s a hilarious kid who makes me laugh every day. He loves his sisters, although he has a funny way of showing love to Emmie. Apparently, nothing says I love you like a good kidney punch. But he’s quite sweet with Maeve, so I guess he is capable of sibling harmony.
Emmie started school. More shameless bragging, but she might be even smarter than Jack. She knows all her letters and the sounds they make. She knows all her numbers and can count to 50 (I suspect she can count higher, but unfortunately for her, I can never make it higher than that before some crisis with her brother or sister requires my immediate attention.) She loves school, loves her friends and teachers and loves having snack. She’s quite a good listener, I am told, proving she does actually know how to not throw toys at other people’s heads as a form of retaliation. As part of getting her ready for school, we had to potty train her. I think I am emotionally scarred from this one after basically forcing her to sit on the potty screaming her fool head off, but it worked. Now, if we could just get her pooping in the potty… I guess we had to leave something for 2011, didn’t we?
Maeve turned 1. She wins the award for biggest changes in the last year. She went from a sleepy blob to an almost-walking-talking little girl. She emphatically shakes her head no, signs “more” and “all done” with great gusto, climbs stairs any chance she gets, walks with her pushtoys, stands unassisted for several seconds, claps on demand, has four teeth, out-eats her sister at every meal and sleeps through the night. She loves her siblings, her Mommy, her Daddy and any dogs she comes across. She’s generally a delight to be around and so much fun. Except when she’s teething. Then all bets are off.
My reproductive years came to an end. With Josh’s vasectomy in October, my child-bearing years are behind me. I have a whole post I am working on about that for next week, but suffice it to say I am happy. Our family is complete with three kids and it was his turn to go under the scalpel for once. I can’t thank him enough for letting me observe and write about the procedure because it provided, quite possibly, the best blog material ever. Because really, who doesn’t want to read about my husband’s balls ON THE INTERNET?
So that’s it. A pretty good 2010, in retrospect. We lost my grandmother and a dear family friend in the last year, but all in all, we are very lucky. We have our health, our home and our happiness.
So Happy New Year to you and yours. We’ll be celebrating kid-style at 7 with “sparkly” apple juice (as Jack called it) and noisemakers. We’ll be celebrating adult-style at midnight with a Black Keys concert. See you in 2011…