Archives for December 2007

Auld Lang Syne

As I write this, we’re in the dying hours of 2007. I’m trying to think of something pithy to write, some witty and astute observations, some phrase to sum up the year. I’m not having a lot of luck.

2007 was a good year for our family, but I’m hard-pressed to come up with any defining moments. This is not a bad thing. Life-altering events can really upset the old apple cart. I am not someone who likes an upset apple cart. I like knowing what I will have for breakfast tomorrow, what I will be doing at 6:30pm on Wednesday evening, and who will be home for dinner. So an uneventful year, spent with the people I love most, well that’s just fine by me. Daily life with Hannah and Jon and Dorothy the Crazy Cat is eventful enough all on its own, thank you.

Here’s to uneventful years. And to seeing what 2008 has in store for us all. May it be another good year, spent with those we care about.

Now I’m off for a very uneventful New Year’s celebration. Jon and I will sit on the couch and watch the ball drop (although, really, it’s already down), and maybe drink some ginger ale. Because that’s just how we suburbanites with small kids roll, yo. Happy New Year!

Long Overdue

So, I haven’t been writing much lately. Before Christmas I was frantically knitting so that I would finish up my gifts on time. And since then, well, I haven’t really felt like spending an hour in front of the computer editing photos and getting everything organized. Finally the shame has overtaken me, though, and I have some material to submit.

By my count, I completed some 60 projects this year, and I won’t have any more to add before 2008, so that’s the total. Now you all know what I’ve been doing with myself this year.

And now, for the main event. Here are some photos of our holiday season so far. It’s been busy, but so much fun. Hannah’s been spoiled rotten, Jon and I are contemplating an addition to the house to contain the toys, and we’re all simply bathing in chocolate. I hope you’re all enjoying the best of the season as well. 🙂

Amber built the gingerbread foundation

'Rehearsing' with Dad

The family, on ice

Hannah and Uncle Aidan do some finger painting

Grandpa and the ballerina

Charlie bit my finger

Apparently this is the catch phrase of the week amongst the 12 year old set. These are the things I learn killing time before we start the show on Hockey Night in Canada…

Hannah Going to Bed

This is Hannah as of two minutes ago, we’re on our way to bed. You can tell me if it’s going well or not 🙂

Hannah and the Pull-up Hat
Hannah and the Pull-up Hat

Please Don’t Send in the SWAT Team

Hannah managed to dial 911 on me today. She was pressing some buttons on the phone, so I hung it up. Then it rang, calling me back. I hung it up, and it rang again, so I said hello. I was met with a recording that repeated, over and over, “You are connected to 911, stay on the line.”

So, what could I do? I stayed on the line, and then sheepishly explained to two people that my toddler did the dialing. Yes, everything is fine here. No, we do not need the police. I resisted the urge to joke, played it straight, and had a very stern talk with my kid. Her response? “It’s OK Mama, I’ll give you a hug to make you feel better.” Something tells me that she wouldn’t be so calm once a uniformed officer (or two) showed up on our doorstep. Thanks, kid.

Story of My Life

I have been making a concerted effort to head out the door for the past 15 minutes. I want to finish off my Christmas shopping and buy some groceries. Why am I still sitting here? Because Hannah took off all her clothes (she was fully dressed when I told her it was time to go) and insists she can’t leave the house becuase of the Big Bad Wolf. So I’m left with a toddler, not a stitch of clothes, and no hope of getting out the door anytime soon.

Saints preserve me.

Update:
It’s been another 10 minutes and Hannah is now wearing underwear and one sandal (on the wrong foot). It’s not sandal weather. She wants to go to the store, “But not yet.”

Frugality

I am currently reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn. I’m only about halfway through, but this book is massive – 900+ pages on ways to save money. The ideas range from one extreme to the next, and I probably find only about 10 – 20% of them applicable or useful to me. For example, I would not be willing to donate my body to science in order to save on funeral costs. But I did boil down my last chicken carcass to make soup, which Jon actually ate and complimented me on.

What is interesting for me, though, is the whole mindset the book espouses. The idea that saving money is an end in itself, a pursuit that can bring personal satisfaction and maybe even financial freedom. That paying attention to where your money is going is important, whether it’s $2 or $20,000. That conspicuous consumption is a real problem in our society. Commercials on television tell us to ‘indulge’, that we ‘deserve it’, that buying things will bring happiness, fulfillment, and maybe even love. These messages are simply not true, and I can get behind someone who lists 20 things to do with an old milk carton.

As for me, by making some small changes we’re saving money on food and eating better. I’m not looking to quit my job and buy an old farmhouse, I don’t use public transit, and I do enjoy the occasional restaurant meal. But I’m paying more attention to the money that I spend, and I feel good about that. Money can’t buy happiness, and spending everything that comes in is a sure-fire path to debt. Jon and I are savers, and this is an ethic I want to pass on. I hope that Hannah can see me comparing prices in the grocery store and buying second-hand clothes, and learn something about using her resources wisely.

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