Sunday, January 08, 2006

2005: All the other stuff besides books

I know, I've been a bad blogger. Like you all even care what all I read last year. I'm not especially motivated to post at the moment (or write at all, which would account for the fact that I still haven't finished my Nano novel from November -- argh), but I thought I would randomly recap the rest of my year -- you know, just for shits and giggles. Or whatever. To actually post something. So here goes...

Most Unexpected Development of the Year: I became one of those moms who is frequently seen marching around my kids' school in a self-important way, doing stuff. I always swore I would not become a PTA mom, and I maintain that I have yet to set foot in a PTA meeting since the inaugural one at the school when it first opened more than 4 years ago. Nevertheless, this year I am a co-chair of the Scholastic Book Fair, a committee chair for the Parents Night Out auction fundraiser (though that title is a bit misleading since my entire committee is made up of me), and I will have my own event at the end-of-the-year carnival. These things all came about as a result of my becoming friends with people who run things and my either being asked to do things or just being volunteered for them (thank you, Crazy Karin!). For the most part, I actually kind of enjoy it, so far (we'll see how I feel about running that event by myself though!). Anyway, like I said, unexpected.

Lowest Moment of the Year: I don't even having to think about this one. Throwing up and having to be taken back to my room in a wheelchair on the Bachelorette Cruise, by a landslide. This is a situation I did not expect to find myself in a month after my 35th birthday. It is something I hope to never repeat.

Best Moment of the Year: Lots of good stuff this year! Watching my BLB and the Bride get married, and being part of their wedding. Watching Mermaid sing in the school talent show, swim 60 laps in 60 minutes in a swim-a-thon this summer, and perform as the Witch of the East in "The Wizard of Oz," also this summer. Listening to her "get" playing the saxophone and get better and better. Watching Enthusio perform in "Winnie the Pooh" in the summer and "The Polar Express" in the winter, and seeing him make friends with the kids who moved in across the street. Frolicking in the ocean waves in Maui with Reasonable Man and the kids. Seeing Enthusio sitting with a book, reading to himself. Spending lots of time with friends, having dinner, shopping, playing Bunko, discussing books at book club, and just hanging out. Going running and feeling that peace of mind wash over me. Hitting 50K words before the end of November.

The Year in Parenting: As any regular reader of this space knows, with regard to my primary vocation as a stay-at-home mom, it's been kind of an up-and-down year. My daughter Mermaid is living a normal life as an 11-year-old girl in spite of her autism. She goes to school, plays the saxophone, swims on a swim team, does homework, rides her scooter around the neighborhood, has friends, goes to Girl Scout meetings and participates in life in a way I never would have imagined for her back when she was in preschool and things like toilet training and basic language skills were huge hurdles for us. I'm so thrilled to see the person she is becoming, especially knowing how far she's come.

Enthusio has had a rougher time of it. School has been a difficult and stressful place for him, in spite of his being very bright and doing well in academics. This year I had to face the fact that knowing what he was going through and loving him as much as I do weren't enough to fix the problems he was having with peers at school, and we got him a therapist. I feel good about the progress we're making, but it's so hard to see him struggling with feeling accepted and valued by kids his age. Still, I feel good about the person he is. I know if we keep working, we can find a way make things better for him. I'm as proud to be his mom as I am to be Mermaid's.

The Homefront, Literally: This year, we finally managed to plant a tree in front of the house that will eventually provide some shade and make summers more bearable in the west-facing side of the house. It only took us six years --way to go, us!

The Homefront, Less Literally: Other items accomplished around the house include having a gas line installed to the fireplace so we can have a gas-powered fire; new vinyl flooring in the upstairs bathrooms (that means the last of the pink-accented linoleum is gone!), and painting and redecorating the kids' bathroom. On a more depressing note, I've had the paint and most of the new decorative items for the master bathroom since the summer, but have yet to do anything with them. Boo!

Best Movie I Saw This Year: "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." "Sideways" was a very close second.

Best Family-Friendly Movie I Saw This Year: "March of the Penguins."

Favorite Celebrity Gossip/Event of the Year: You know it's Tom Cruise going batshit crazy. Isn't that everyone's favorite? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I didn't see his stupid "War of the Worlds" movie either. Really, I just feel sorry for Katie and the crazy-spawn.

Second Favorite: Nick and Jessica split up. Only because I just want them to be over all ready.

Technology I Embraced in 2005: A jump drive to go on my keychain.

Technology I Rejected in 2005: A PDA. When I realized my little 2-year calendar wasn't going to cut it anymore, everyone told me to just get a Palm Pilot or something like that. You know, I wasn't even tempted. Well, maybe a little bit. But I said no! The list of pieces of technology on which I'm already stupidly dependent (DSL, laptop, wi-fi, satellite TV, DVR, mp3s, iPod, etc.) is long enough, and guess what? I'm a housewife. I'll get a Palm Pilot when I get a career. I searched high and low for one of those "bigger than a wallet/smaller than a Trapper Keeper" organizer-type things that you used to see everywhere, and guess what? They don't make quite as many of them as they used to. But I found one for ten bucks, and three months later, it's still working fine for me. It even has a handy little zipper pouch for loose items -- I've never seen one of those in a PDA!

I can't think of anything else right now, so I guess that's it....

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