Kids vs. 2016

In my mind, this year will always stand in contrast to 2015 and in every respect this year was a vast, vast improvement. This year would have had to go way off the rails to match ’15’s insanity. But in and of itself, it was a pretty good year, all around.

There were no extended hospital stays. No crazy medical maladies. No roofing disasters. It took most of the year, but as of right now, there are no contractors, contractor materials, or in-progress projects in the house for the first time in two years. It sometimes feels almost too quiet. I think Dash misses his worker friends.

Instead, 2016 brought travel. There was a big trip to California where we hit up San Francisco and Discovery Bay then down to San Diego and finally Anaheim for the girls first taste of Disney. There were also numerous trips to the Cape, some with friends and some with family. And while we stayed local for Christmas, we did navigate the Beltway for Thanksgiving in D.C.

There were small, every day victories, too. We haven’t changed sheets at 3 a.m. in quite awhile so I think we are past that potty training parenting hurdle. There were also rock star parties, karate birthdays and new schools. There were chapter books to read and letters to learn. Half marathons to race and triathlons to win. There were many domino nights and pizza-making parties. There were a lot of friends and a lot of laughs.

Can’t really complain about a life full of those things.

In the end, 2016 was mostly routine and I loved every minute of it.

Here’s the proof:

Happy New Year!

Cecilia vs. Second Grade

Cecilia is now officially a second grader. The bus came (and stopped this year) and off she went, a new grade and a new school.

She was alternately bursting with chatter and quietly withdrawn this morning, a bundle of nervous excitement. When she arrived home, it was all smiles and criss-crossing stories about her first day. I’m sure by November we will be able to piece together some semblance of her normal classroom routine, but for now, pictures of the morning….

(Note: It was pajama day at day care for Ally. Four out of five days we are with it enough to get her formally dressed before leaving the house.)

 

Kids vs. 2015

It was not the easiest year. Looking back, it was actually a pretty tough year and I won’t be all that upset to see it in the rearview mirror later tonight.

There were highs: unpacking in a new house, family vacations, birthday cakes, crazy toddler dance parties, sand dollars, mud flats, learning to read, an inspiring 101 year-old roommate, Tumblebus and good food.

There was also some life-changing, crazy lows: endless snow, ice dams, insurance, sub-contractors, (still ongoing) construction, pickle juice, ambulances, hospitals and a (chronic, but treatable) diagnosis.

Despite all of that, we still managed to get a few good photos:

Sometimes life can feel small, especially insulated inside the world of small children. Each day is a routine and sometimes that routine, including the predictable whining and crying, drive you to the edge of sanity. Or so it feels. 2015 taught me those little moments aren’t anywhere near the edge. Here’s to a return to the routine in 2016.

Happy New Year.

Kids vs. Easter Eggs

It is still cold and raw here in Boston and while we can see most of our grass, it’s still way too cold to toss the kids out the door in the morning to “explore their new yard.” But at this point in the winter (I refuse to acknowledge spring before we at least crack 50 on a regular basis), we’ve completely exhausted most feasible indoor distraction options that last long enough for one of us to finish a cup of coffee while it’s hot. We are desperate. Which explains how we ended up at the grocery store Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.

About four years ago, we stumbled on an Easter egg hunt in our local supermarket, of all places. That first one was a bit of a train wreck. No organization, a very late bunny appearance and a rather unprepared staff in general. So our expectations were very low, still, it was new and different and we hoped would capture the girls’ attention for at least 15 minutes.

We were therefor pleasantly surprised to find that while the crowds have gotten no bigger and the bunny is still terrifying to Ce, the logistics definitely had improved. The girls had a great time stuffing their faces with free mini donuts and then careening around (rather bewildered) customers pulling eggs off the shelves. Allison was genuinely confused at first but she’s very good at doing exactly as big sister does, so she managed to to figure it out pretty quick.

We followed it up by dying some eggs of our own. Not a bad Saturday morning after all.

Kids vs. Year in Review

We started the year in Maui and are ending it emptying a moving a truck in a new house.

In between was family 5ks, 5 years old, monkey bars, Easter dresses, planting peas, one less day care bill, Sesame Place, triathlons, PawSox, trips to the Cape, puppy cousins, blueberries, 10 year anniversary, Bermuda, open houses, first day of school, missed buses, piles of leaves, more monkey bars, Thanksgiving in DC, one last Christmas, moving boxes (and more moving boxes).

Here are our favorite moments of 2014:

A pretty good year. I hope yours was, too. Happy New Year.