Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A New Year

Happy New Year!

I hope that however you celebrated, you rang in the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 happily.  Andrew and I learned years ago that really what we want to do on New Year's Eve is, just like most evenings, to spend time together as a family and get a good night's sleep.  The last time we went "out" for New Years we looked at each other at about 10:30 PM and said, "What are we doing here!?" Then went home and got into our pajamas.

So last night was a low-key affair. I bought us all some silly hats and noisemakers, made a family friendly dinner (macaroni and cheese with peas and chicken). We had a "fancy" dessert- chocolate fondue!, and toasted with bubbly (champagne for grownups, ginger ale for kids).  It was lovely, and everyone was in bed not much later than usual.  As a special gift for New Year's, Lily went to sleep without hysterics and stayed asleep (although she did transfer to our bed) all night.

Now it is early afternoon, and I'm enjoying a quiet day, courtesy of nap time and some enforced "quiet time" for our big boy. Everybody has got a cold and is a little extra grumpy and in need of rest. It's already getting dark out, which always surprises me. Somehow by New Year I forget that winter is really just getting started and summer is a long, long way off. In my head I'm already planning the kids' birthday party in April and arranging our summer vacation. Sigh, I'm getting ahead of myself.

As a teacher, my real "new year" is September. This is when our routines, our daily lives and our calendars really change.  Even our clothes transform: we put on school uniforms, real shoes and carry backpacks.  We banish the flip flops and the beach stained t-shirts.  We might have a new teacher, a new classroom, new students, new friends, new co-workers, a new boss.  Life gets a bit more serious and a lot more busy.  January is just another flip of the calendar page.  Our daily routines don't change, just the date.  So I always find it a bit hard to get excited for another New Year.

But, 2013 is going to bring some changes for our family.  We will be approaching our 2nd year as a family of 4.  Lily has passed the milestone of being in a family longer than she was in an orphanage.  Daniel will pass the milestone of speaking English longer than he spoke either of his African languages.   Andrew and I will approach the milestone of being parents longer than we were striving to be parents.

I'm hoping for a few things this coming year. I'm hoping for more harmony and peace in our home. (This will mostly hinge on my ability to keep cool when challenged with messes or defiant behavior.) I'm hoping to finally completely banish diapers from our home, as well as the final pieces of baby gear we are holding onto but using much less frequently: the high chair, the stroller.  I'm looking forward to having two big kids. (As much as I mourn no longer having a baby, it is amazing to see the person our baby girl is growing into being. And oh, so much easier to have a more independent child!)

My one New Year resolution I've already started acting upon. We are breaking up with processed food. Kicking the goldfish habit. This morning I threw out all the leftover Christmas chocolate and processed goodies that were cluttering up our freezer and cabinets.  This gave me a momentary pang, but only momentary.

How are you welcoming 2013?

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