Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011 Wrap-Up

I'm not quite sure what has happened with me on the blogging front. Yes, I now have two kids and things here are CRAZY, but I still spend a fair amount of time on the good ole Internets.

But blog I have not.

Apparently, now I blog like Yoda. Whatevs.

So lots has happened since July. I've actually had several things I've wanted to blog about, but I can't seem to stay focused. Maybe ADHD comes with your second child.

Let me begin where we left off--July, specifically the end of July.

I decide to be super spontaneous in July and travel to Maryland. This was not as random as it sounds, as my sister and her husband spent most of the summer in Maryland. I'm not quite sure what came over me, but I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to travel to DC.

So Eliot, who was four months at the time, and I flew to Dulles Airport. The little guy was a super trooper and slept most of our red eye there. I did not. The most fun part of the trip was going to the bathroom. It was at some point in the middle of the night, and we hit a bad patch of turbulence. Eliot and I just hung out on the toilet until it was over. I'm really glad he can't remember this.

Once we actually got to Maryland, we had a great time. I haven't spent that much time with my sister in YEARS, and it was great to get to know my nephew better. We lugged the kids to a ton of really cool places--Capitol Hill, the White House, the Washington and Lincoln memorials, and the Smithsonian. It was amazing.

And hot, freaking hot. I'm a delicate California girl, and I have never experience humidity like that. Humid weather is particularly bad when you are hung over, as I discovered after an impromptu night-on-the-town with Haley. A new term has arisen from that experience, coined by my brother-in-law--"You're gonna Hay-lery it." It was fun, but we paid for it the next day.

After my trip to DC, it was back to work. Literally, the next day.

August was all about beginnings. I began my second year as a VP, but this time I was not pregnant. So.much.easier. Justin got his job back. Plus, this year he gets to teach AP English.

The biggest event was Emerson starting Kindergarten. To say I was nervous is a complete understatement. (It turns out some of my concerns are valid, but I will get to that later.)

There was some drama at first. Emerson got the teacher that I have been warned about, but I am real sensitive about not coming off like a blowhard administrator, so I didn't fight to get Em out of the class. I told myself to have an open mind.

Justin and I accompanied Emerson to her first day of school, did some silly activities, and got to know her teachers. I had some concerns, but it seemed that the teachers knew their stuff. Plus, Emerson is one of those kids who might not know she has a mean teacher. She can sort of just float about it all.

So Emerson started school. Sigh...

As September is every year, this year it was all about balance. Justin and I work wacky hours during the school year, and it can be exhausting. I think we struck a good balance this fall, but it was a lot of work.

First, Eliot started crawling at five months. The term crawling may be an exaggeration since it was more of a pulling himself around. But that little guy got around fast. This was a huge shock to his parents, who can be quite lazy about baby proofing. We didn't have to do it with Em because she didn't move until 11 months. Well, Eliot is bound and determined to give us a run for our money.

Second, Em's transition to Kindergarten was not as smooth as I hoped for. She seemed to like it okay, but preliminary assessments revealed that she didn't know everything she should. Her teachers reported that she got really frustrated very easily. Now, her mother also got frustrated because these reports were made to me only after I emailed the teachers to follow up on comments that Em made to me. For example, Em got put on time out, so I emailed to find out what happened. At that time, the teachers let me know that she was having trouble.

Which brings us to October...

October was all about Emerson. I started to feel a lot of anxiety about her school experience, which was heightened by the fact that her school is on a modified traditional schedule, so they do not have school from Thanksgiving to January 3rd. Ugh.

We had Em's first report card and parent teacher conference. I was a little shocked. I knew that she was not showing her teachers was she knows, but according to her teachers she is very behind. They marked the box on the report card that they may possibly retain her.

Not gonna happen.

So I got clearance from my boss to spend a day in the class room. And I did. Lucky for me, they did three art projects that day. And I was in charge of that one. Yikes.

Now, some kids would behave differently if they knew their parents were in the room. Mine...not so much. I know for a fact that she behaves exactly the same for me as she does for her teachers. This is not a positive thing by the way.

But I was super impressed by Emerson that day. She played well with others, participated fully, followed directions, and tried her best. And I got to spy and check out the other kids' work. Em is right smack dab in the middle of her class mates. So I felt better.

Kind of...

November and December
These two months are really a blur of long work days, holidays, and child care. Em ended school on November 18th, so we spent a lot of time working with her on her letters, numbers, words, and patience.

Thanksgiving we spent in Redding, and Christmas we spent at my mom's in Concord. I really enjoy having a son and having him experience everything with us. However, I do not enjoy the travel. After this holiday season, it has become clear that we need to rethink our holiday travel plans. It is simply too difficult to lug around two kids and all our crap to other people's houses. Justin and I are thinking of ways to make it a little easier. We still want to spend time with family, but we do need to streamline our holiday experiences. The idea of spending next Christmas in Disneyland has been discussed and I think that is a great idea--no present wrapping, no shopping, just fun.

Well, my brief quiet time is over. Eliot has woken up, and Emerson needs help finding something. I should probably consider taking a shower...

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