29 September 2011

Snapshot in Words 2011

Our photos are full of celebrations, vacations, and family adventures. But the memories I find myself already sifting through the past to find are the ones that I didn't think to photograph. I don't ever want to forget the unique texture and tones that make up our family's life from one hour, day, or season to the next.

When our children all grow up and move away I want to remember how our family runs right now, what we do from day-to-day, what we like, and what we don't. What makes us tick. Sure, I write about thoughts and events here, but the day-to-day stuff, not so much.

So, last year, I started a new tradition of writing up a little "snapshot" of life in our family. A synopsis of life as we knew it. After going back through those snippets of information, I couldn't believe how many details have changed in one short year. (Last year's is here.)

Here's my 2011 snapshot of life as it is right now in our family:

Blake always wants to know what the plan for the day is. The first thing he asks me each morning is, "What are we going to do today?" On days when I haven't quite thought through our agenda in advance, he pesters me until I can come up with an concrete hour-by-hour plan. If the plan doesn't include some sort of outing away from home, Blake is utterly disappointed.

We have officially become a two-pizza family. Making homemade pizza is basically a weekly occurrence at our house, and one just isn't enough anymore. I'm already catching a glimpse of what it will be like to feed future teenage boys.

Preschool is in full swing for Blake. We have found our rhythm and it's working for us. He tells me every detail about school on the way home and I love it. I can't believe how much his handwriting has already improved in the first month of school.

I am shocked at how much I can get accomplished during the three hours Blake is at preschool. I love having Nash all to myself, even if he is being dragged from one errand to the next. One morning last week, we ran nine errands in total.

We finally jumped on the bandwagon and signed up for texting plans. I wasn't a fan of the impersonal communication at first, but I have to admit, we are full-fledged texters now. Sometimes it is just easier.

Blake's all-time favorite activity is to pile up all the couch cushions or bed pillows and turn them into some sort of pretend locomotive. He invites Troy and me to ride on his bus/car/train/airplane, buckles us in, and serves us snacks while we await our destination.

Troy is studying for the GMAT. Every time I catch him going over calculus formulas I am so grateful that it isn't me who is doing the studying. It is just not the season in my life right now for intense grammar and mathematics.

Nash is a serious screamer. The blood curdling variety. All day long. Sometimes we think that our ear drums are going to burst.

Blake loves to play on the computer. He can successfully turn it on, type in the password, open the internet, and navigate to Disney Jr. I think children these days are just born with innate technology chips in their brains.

One of my favorite things about Nashy is the sound he makes for a cat. He shakes his head back and forth and moans "meow" as if he is in agony. Sometimes I show him pictures of cats just so I can chuckle about his adorable expression.

Speaking of cats, we have a stray one that likes to hang out in our backyard. Troy and I used to plot ways to get rid of it, until some neighbors told us that he was probably a good mouser, and that's why we've never had a mouse in our house. I now have much more loving thoughts towards that ugly cat.

Blake and Nash's bath time always includes imaginary stories about two heros, Eblakeity and Enashity. They, along with their dog, Scraggamuffin, and their parrot, Rosy, save the day time and time again. The storyteller (me) is frequently challenged to come up with creative plots and opportunities for rescuing people in distress.

I started cutting the boys' hair myself. Sometimes it doesn't turn out quite even, but thankfully, it grows back out. It bothers me when hair starts to grow over their ears, so instead of taking both of them to a salon every 6 weeks, I now take matters into my own hands.

Troy is traveling less this year and we are thankful for that.

Blake has become fluent in a new language. It's called "Whinese."

We do our best to make it to church on time. Troy always has meetings before church, so I am usually frantically scurrying to get myself ready and the boys bathed and dressed in ironed shirts and ties. I set a goal every week to leave our house by 20 minutes to the hour (our church is less than a mile away), but without fail, we never seem to get out the door before 5 minutes to the hour. There is always a shoe that is too tight or a bathroom emergency or hold up on packing the right snacks.

We have a "warm fuzzy jar" that sits on our kitchen counter. Blake adds a fuzzy pom-pom ball to the jar whenever I catch him sharing, saying something kind, demonstrating independence, following directions, etc. He sure loves to please me, and I love to pick out his positive actions. About every three weeks, he fills up the jar with warm fuzzies and earns his idea of the ultimate reward; a redbox rental and candy from the gas station.

Nash has invented his own unique sign language. He uses signs frequently, just not the standard ones that we taught him. We have to go through a little sign language decoding session whenever we have sitter.

Blake rarely wears pants or underwear for the hours we are at home. It helps tremendously to allow him to be successful at potty training (and keeps me from ripping my hair out). But whenever the doorbell rings, I make a mad dash up the stairs for his underwear drawer, because no one really wants to see that.

I'm convinced that Nash is going to be potty trained before Blake. He is already showing interest. Sometimes I think I'd rather wait until he is six though.

Our house has become a major money pit. Just when I think one more thing couldn't possibly break down, it does. This year alone, we have had three flooding issues in our basement. A burst pipe, a sewage back-up, and a leaking dishwasher. Then there's the furnace that has broken down 4 separate times and the A/C compressor that had to be replaced. We have spent many nights either without heat or without air conditioning. We have been forced to replace the garbage disposal, garage door motor and belt, and dishwasher. And like every other summer, we have had sprinkler system repairs to deal with. That doesn't even include the myriad of issues our vehicles have visited the mechanic for. So, when the transmission went out on our lawn mower last week, it didn't even phase us.

Hide-and-seek is Blake's favorite game. Without fail, he copies every place that I previously hid in when it is his turn to hide. Then, he announces where he is hiding while I am searching, despite my efforts to teach him about the suspense element.

Some of my friends started a book club and I have cultivated a new found love for novels. The majority of the books sitting on my nightstand in the past were parenting books or how-to books. I have really enjoyed expanding my horizons. And I feel so refreshed after a night out socializing with book club friends.

Sometimes I cheat and read the last few pages of a book so that I don't have to completely put my life on hold to find out what happens (I did this for the third Hunger Games book). Troy can't believe that I skip ahead; he thinks that completely ruins the book. I've just never really been one for surprises. When I know what is going to happen in the end, I can finish the book at my own pace without staying up into all hours of the night because the suspense is killing me.

Troy gets really animated during college football games. It always makes me smile when I find that he has set six football games to record each Saturday. He gets through them quickly by fast forwarding through all of the commercials and time-outs.

Blake's naps have become few and far between. He naps maybe once or twice a week now, and I have a feeling that his last nap is not too far off into the future.

Speaking of "lasts," if you want to read a heartwrenching children's book about savoring the often-fleeting "lasts" (because parents so often focus on the milestones that make up childrens' "firsts"), check out Let Me Hold You Longer. I just cannot get through that book without tears welling up. The poignancy touches me deeply.

Blake and Nash are going to welcome their first cousin in March! We are thrilled for Troy's sister Tricia and her husband Jacob to enter into the world of parenting.

Life is good.


3 comments:

  1. I love this!! I'm going to copy you. :)

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  2. I like these posts, even if I do know most of it already. "Whinese," hahahaha. Funny, Skyler is fluent in that one as well.

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  3. Hahaha, this entire post had me cracking up. So many of the things you say bring me back to my own childhood. I started feeling all nostalgic!

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