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.
At the rate I’m going, I’ll be posting middle school videos on the eve of high school graduation. Regardless of my sloth and inactivity, I hope you enjoy a quick video from back at the beginning of summer. Spring wasn’t great. Well, the cold and rain was great for the peas (a bumper crop this year), but not great for little kids eager to break the bonds of winter and get outside in shorts and upsleeves (I hope Ce never stop using that term, I love it. Upsleeves along with cup sofa (coaster) are probably my favorite Ce-isms).
It was a dark and drab spring and most of Memorial Day weekend was pretty gray as well, but Monday dawned bright and mild and we were determined to make something of it. It was off to Boston for a day of exploring. It may have taken 20 years and untold billions but I can really say the Big Dig is kind of nice. Downtown is totally transformed and much more pedestrian friendly. There are new parks, playgrounds and gardens. You should really come and visit.
[Note: if you’re a parent and are seeing this whole enterprise as a transparent ploy to drain our kids of energy on the cheap and open the wine a little earlier on our return, then you are totally correct! And it totally worked!]
Have you ever driven a tank through midtown Manhattan on a Friday afternoon? How about blindfolded? That’s a rough, but very similar, analogy to visiting the Boston Children’s Museum on a Sunday at the end of February school vacation week.
We knew what were getting into, last year we’d learned the hard way to avoid peak times, but at this point, even during this mild winter, we’ve exhausted our supply of crafts, recipes, pet stores, food stores, libraries and tanning salons in a thirty mile wide radius to tire out Cecilia. It was the city or bust. We brought reinforcements in the form of the Almeidas and despite a few crying jags (names withheld) we managed to have a good time. Check it out:
[Ed. Note: If you catch me on an honest day or at the bottom of a scotch, I’ll readily admit that due to a crushing sense of embarrasment, I self-censor most photos on this site so that I rarely appear. One day a year, Michelle gets her revenge and digs through the pile and pulls out all the ones that make me cringe. Isn’t that what Father’s Day is all about?]
Most of you know him as Mike D, but in this house its Daddy. His name rings out from sun up to sun down. Now the public Mike is usually reserved, thoughtful, organized, and quick-witted. However, Cecilia and I have a secret to share. When no one else is around, Daddy is SILLY. With a capital S. At any point of the day you may see Daddy and Cecilia making up songs, practicing newly invented dances, or making rocket ships out of blankets and chairs. Cecilia can not get enough of it and whenever Daddy is in the room, she is sure to be his trusty toddling sidekick. She asks for Daddy to read her books, pick her up, or put her on his shoulders. She wants to run like Daddy, shave like Daddy, and dress like Daddy in work clothes each morning. She is truly a Daddy’s girl and I have got the pictures to prove it!
We don’t listen to a lot of kid’s music. In general, I feel today’s culture has become very kid-centric and when you have a child your world gets turned upside down enough without having to give up your music too. When we are in the car or making dinner, more often than not our ipod or radio is tuned to our music. I’m actually a little bit nervous of what I might do if I had to navigate the Jersey turnpike traffic along with three or four straight hours of Raffi or the Wiggles. Cecilia rarely seems to mind and it’s often funny to see which random tunes get her dancing (Arcade Fire is a favorite). She has the chorus to her namesake’s song down flat. It’s not that we deprive her and not that we don’t sing kid songs or nursery rhymes or watch Muppet Show Youtube clips. We do and if the Kid’s Hour is on the local station during dinner we don’t go out of our way to change it. It’s just that as fun and silly as most of the songs are, they are also insidious and scary little viruses that can get lodged in your ear canal and rot your brain.
Chelle captured (sort 0f – as usual she is bouncing around like a caffeinated water bug) a rare video of Cecilia in the wild singing her latest favorite. I dare you to listen and not find yourself humming it an hour later. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Here’s a quick video that show’s Cece in all her egg-y glory. Not sure she really understood the concept of dying eggs, but she did like rolling in the grass (and occasionally rolling over one) and finding some plastic eggs loaded with Cheerios. My one regret is missing out on getting some footage of her trying to tear the eggs apart. I was distracted playing referee between Cece and Lola. But by the grimace on her face you’d think she was trying to wrench time itself in half. Like everything she does it was very cute. At least to her parents. Just like it’s supposed to be.