Monday, January 2, 2012

Class of 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope you were all able to usher in 2012 with fireworks, family and friends, or simply with a kiss!  Me?  I celebrated the New Year by snoozing peacefully in my bed, lulled to sleep by the soothing sounds of late-night "Friends" reruns.  And while I didn't put much effort into welcoming 2012, I think it's only fair to bid 2011 a fond farewell.  This past year has been like a moody teenager, swinging from high to low and rolling its eyes at me while it begged for money.  So in keeping with the theme, here are the superlatives for the late, great 2008-- err, 2011.

Most Likely to Succeed

In January, Joel officially graduated with his Master's degree.  And while we were excited for his success and happy to see an end to the additional time committments his program required, everyone in the family has felt the additional pressure of being less educated.  Graham has been hurriedly studying his letters while Cael has mastered the proper spelling of "poop" and "toot".

Most Experimental 

In early March, and in an effort to provide another educational and motivational opportunity for the boys, we purchased an aquarium and quickly got to work stocking it.  When ready, we extended a warm welcome  (80 degrees warm) to three small tropical fish and one lively miniature frog.  Within two days, the frog was dead.  As it turns out, eating is a key component to livelihood when you're a frog, and we were not given the proper information to keep poor "Ribbit" in good jumping condition.  Armed with new knowledge (and some really gross bloodworms) we tossed a new frog in the tank.  The next day we tossed the frog into the toilet after finding him in the cat's clutches due to an unsuccessful escape attempt.  The third day we simply threw in the towel. 

Biggest Transformation

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Knowing how our kids love to play outside but also knowing exactly how short their attention spans are, we began a search last spring for some unique equipment for the boys to climb and explore and to become a permanent fixture in the yard.  We found the perfect thing-- a wooden firetruck that we affordably purchased on Craigslist and installed on the lawn before realizing that it was a splinter hazard and tremendous eyesore.  One week of sanding, trimming and painting gussied up the firetruck just in time to discover that the boys have no interest in firetrucks.  Yikes.

Best Idea

At the beginning of 2011, the idea of starting a blog was the last thing on my mind.  But after hearing several friends suggest I document my kids' antics for the courts for the future, I took a leap and wrote my first post in late May.  I never would have guessed that writing would become a daily creative outlet for me, that I would purchase my own website or that I'd be nominated for a blog award.  But it did happen, and for that I'm truly grateful!  I shouldn't be the only one that has to deal with the vortex of weirdness.

Loudest Whistle

2011 saw Cael's train fixation grow from an interest into a full-blown obsession.  And rather than encourage him to be "normal" and not quote a British cartoon train in everyday conversations, we pushed him over the edge with a dream-come-true ride on a real, live steam engine.  We were amazed by his intense and never-before-seen focus as we lived out his fantasy. 

Worst Fuel Economy

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In a rare Craigslist victory, Joel managed to sell our beloved Airstream trailer for almost three times what we'd spent thanks to a good deal and some sweat equity.  Sure, I almost suffocated in a bucket of paint after nearly succumbing to heat stroke, but a deal is a deal, and my husband is a man.  So with heavy hearts we waved goodbye to our trailer and its new owners.  We hoped that, in a year or two, we'd be able to replace her with something new and better.  Three weeks later we announced the addition of our Airstream motorhome.  Because after all, a deal is a deal.  And my husband?  He's still a man.  

Most Momentous

In early fall, my lip quivered as I sent my big boy off for his very first day of school.  It seemed like just days since I held his tiny newborn body in my arms, and I had to muster up some courage to let him take this next step on his own.  Today I can see that same quiver and look of reservation in the eyes of his teachers as they see us walking into his classroom.   What a full-circle moment.

Most Likely to Build an Ark

Home ownership has its ups and downs, but our home in particular seems to have settled on very low ground.  In the few years we've lived here we have experienced a number of floods, and October allowed us the unique opportunity to damage our upper and lower levels simultaneously thanks to a faulty dishwasher.  Although it was fixed after a couple of very cluttered weeks, I find it cathartic to mutter an occasional "go bust your buffers" in its direction when it threatens to malfunction. 

Cutest Conductor

While enjoying his stint on the steam engine during the summer, Cael picked up a train engineer's hat that became the inspiration for his Halloween costume.  Trick or -CHOO- Treat!

Mickiest Mouse

Becoming the youngest official Mouseketeer, Graham donned his black velvet ears and scavenged for food like any good mouse.  And while there were undoubtedly thousands of kids sporting similar or better Mickey costumes that night, Graham was by far my favorite.  Y?  Because we like him. 

Least Appealing Family Member

November saw the annual appearance of the "stomach flu fairy", who made her presence known at our home just in time to keep us from participating in the Thanksgiving festivities that I had been slated to host.  She put a damper on Joel's 29th birthday, caused Cael to lose sleep and forced us all into hiding as we quarantined ourselves away from friends and family.  Good riddance, fairy.  You're SO not invited to the reunion.

Least Likely to be President

In mid December, as the country's eyes were on the political scene and upcoming caucuses, one possible candidate was plummeting down the polls after revealing all of his crimes and discretions.  Threatened by the realization that Santa knew when he was being bad or good, Cael thought he could regain some ground by owning up to the skeletons in his closet.  Unfortunately, the only ballot I expect to see him on in 2012 is in the "Preschool Class Clown" general election.  He's a front-runner. 

Most Surprising

Apparently not wanting Christmas morning to pass us by without an opportunity to permanently scar our eldest son, Joel and I tricked an over-confident Cael into thinking that he hadn't received the Polar Express replica train set he'd been pining over for weeks.  When he opened the previously hidden box, Cael's excitement was tangible and his squeals were as loud as, well, a train.

And with that, we close the door on a big year.  I can only hope that 2012 brings as many smiles, milestones and memories.  But no more trains.  I'm all "chooed" out.

Happy New Year!

(Special thanks to my friend Shawna's blog and Young House Love for inspiring this post!)


  1. Great look-back! I especially loved the aquarium saga haha...sounds like your luck! :-)

  2. I loved this post! So original! I love reading your blog and I cant wait to read more in 2012. :)

  3. Shawna- We're still struggling with that darn tank! We can't keep the fish alive and it is always disgusting... wish we'd never started this experiment!

  4. Amanda- Thanks so much! I'm glad you like the blog, and there will be much more craziness in the coming year!


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.