Thursday, January 7, 2010

2009 Photo Faves

It's kind of fun to go back through the last year's worth of photos and remember some of our fun times. Here are some of my favorites from last year.

These first two, we took at Target with the kids. We let them try on hats and sun glasses. They had a great fun with their "modeling" stint.

Yes, I suppose this means we have a somewhat boring life. But you take your entertainment where you can get it.

I think this one is very sweet.

Ashley had a blast decorating Easter eggs. She's quite creative and loves to do "crafts," so this was a big thrill for her. And she was quite proud to do them all by herself.

This is one of my favorite photos of Luke. After a busy day on vacation, he fell asleep on the way to the car with his brand new bear. The bear has become his very best friend and favorite snuggly.
This picture is the wallpaper for my computer and everytime Luke sees it he says, "My bear is asleep just like me."

Doesn't that face say it all? Sheer joy on the merry-go-round at the fair.

My little sheep from the Christmas pageant at church. I love the pensive look.

See more great photos from other bloggers at

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ten Great Things About the Start of the New Year

1. SCHEDULES!!! I have a great job with lots and lots of time off around the holidays. And it was lots of fun and a great break, but I'm glad we're back to our regular schedules. Anyone with young kids knows they thrive on schedules and routines. A couple of weeks out of the regular routine was tiring for all of us. It feels good to be back to our normal routine.

2. Longer Days: Living up north has made me attuned to the shrinking daylight of the late fall. It's still dark before 5 now, but it takes a little bit longer each day for the darkness to take over. And I know in a few weeks, we'll be able to see a few slivers of light at 5 and beyond.

3. Healthy Food: I love holiday food, and I've pretty much given up on trying to resist the many goodies that crop up between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But now that the holidays are officially over, it's good to get back to more healthy eating habits. At this point, I don't even miss the sugar all that much.

4. A Fresh Start: I love the sense of promise the New Year holds with its emphasis on resolutions. So, yes, there will be the usual eat less, exercise more, lose weight, yell less at the kids, be a better person type resolutions. And some of them will fall by the wayside, I'm sure. But I like the feeling that I've got the chance to "start over" with all those areas in my life that I know need some work.

5. New Additions to the Wardrobe -- thanks to Christmas presents.

6. New books (both mine and the kids) -- again, thanks to Christmas presents.

7. Snowmen: We haven't built one yet (although we do now have lots of snow), but there is a little snowman family down the road from us that makes me smile everytime I drive by it. And, we've got plenty of snow, so I'm sure we'll have our own little snowman (or two or three) soon.

8. Winter Comforts -- warm fires on snowy afternoons, a mug of cocoa, hot tea, warm cider.

9. The Promise of Spring: Okay, I know that it's still four or five months away, but it's closer than it was a month ago.

10. We're that much closer to putting two-year-old temper and opposition behind us! While I know every age has it's challenges, I have to say that the second time through "the terrible twos" is just a little more tiring than I remember. I'm ready for a little less screaming and a little more cooperation.
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Friday, January 1, 2010

Remembering 2009.

One of my favorite year-end rituals is going back through the year just passed.

I go back through my calendar to transfer birthdays -- and inevitably end up looking at other entries on the calendar and remembering some of the events of the past year.

And I do engage in the tradition of setting New Year's resolutions -- not always a successful venture, but it's an acknowledgement of the fact that there are goals I'd like to work toward. Heck, sometimes I even manage to meet one or two of them, but it's always interesting to look back at the goals for the year before and to remember what seemed important at the beginning of the previous year.

And, before I record my new resolutions in my journal, I always read back through the entries from the past year. I'm often amazed at how things (both good and bad) that seemed so important at the time I recorded them have faded into a distant memory. I think that's a good lesson -- both in how all bad things eventually pass and in how hard it is for us to remember to treasure the good times.

So, the 2009 Blog Recap Carnival from the blog Musings of a Housewife seemed a great way to take a quick look at my blog for the past year.

So, I'm including the first line of the first post of each month for the past year. (Well, except for those months when things got busy and I didn't quite get around to blogging -- that's one of those new year's resolutions -- to blog on a more consistent schedule (like maybe at least weekly) this year!)

I've linked back to the original post in case you missed it, or want to re-read it.

"But I don't like timeout!" Ashley shouts from the step where she has been sent after throwing a toy across the room because she was told she could not watch television.

Some things don't change much in a year! Ashley still has quite a temper (and still argues about being sent to timeout). Although, she is less inclined to throw things now, and more likely to stomp her feet or simply argue (often quite loudly). I suppose that's an improvement.

Although, this post was really about Luke's newly discovered temper. And a year later, he has definitely mastered the art of the temper tantrum -- although, he still is more compliant than Ashley when he's angry.

Oops . . .  that was one of those months when I just didn't seem to get around to posting.

We have -- finally -- reclaimed our bed.

It doesn't seem possible that it's been a whole year since Ashley began sleeping in her own bed. Of course, it was only a short time later that Luke began making the nightly journey to our bed. And, I struggled with that for a while because I know Ashley felt very left out. But, then again, Luke was not even 2, and I wasn't quite ready to draw the line with him.

But, we have, once again reclaimed our bed.

Last week, we began telling Luke he had to sleep in his own bed. The first night was awful . . . he and I made many trips back to his room, accompanied by much sobbing and wailing on his part. (The timing of our decision was deliberate -- I had lots of time off work, so I figured if I wasn't sleeping at night, at least I'd be able to nap.)  But Luke has adjusted fairly well after that first night. We've had an occassional teary moment, but mostly he has delighted in telling me that he is a big boy because he sleeps in his bed.

Oops . . .  Another one of those blogless months.

Ashley has been excited for Mother's Day to arrive since last weekend when she went shopping for her father for Mother's Day gifts.

This was a post of a variety of reflections on Mother's Day . . . thoughts about my children's birthmother, about my parenting style, and the ways motherhood has changed me.

Hmmm. . . . there seems to be a pattern here for my ability to maintain a blogging schedule. Although, I'm happy to say that June was the last month that I didn't find time to do at least one post.

My "baby" turned 2 today.

Oh, dear, this one makes me a little teary just reading it. And, now, as he'll proudly tell you, he is 2 1/2. Where does the time go?

I think I'm fairly technically literate.

This post was prompted by an article about what parents do and don't know about the online lives of their children. Mine are still too young for this to be a big issue in our household, but I do sometimes wonder how I'll manage limit setting in a high tech world with children who may be more savvy than I am.

It's definitely beginning to seem like fall here in New England.

This is one of those posts that made me smile just to look at it again. There were several photos of the kids at the fair, and just seeing the pictures brought back memories of that fun day!

I don't often get to talk about my job.

I wrote this post about the program I work in at a social service agency. The program serves a group of young mothers in poverty and this year, the moms started a blog (

The kids and I stopped at a local diner for lunch yesterday.

I had forgotten all about this post, but it was definitely worth re-reading for it'slesson in finding the good in life and being grateful for what we have, rather than always wishing for things to be different.

"I want to see Christmas."

This was a frequent refrain in our house this holiday season -- and it helped me look for Christmas in our day-to-day life.

Happy 2010!!

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