Without further ado,
2005: The Year Of The Baby Girl
- My brother-in-law, Tim, spent an extended Xmas holiday here, working on his music with Brendan, helping me take care of Ryan, and looking at me with increasing askance (is that a phrase?) as I became more pregnant and hormonal right before his very eyes.
- My other brother-in-law, Brian, spent the very first night of the New Year in Atlanta. If you get a chance, ask him what he and Brendan were doing in Grant Park around, oh, 1:30am! It's a funny story. Really!
- Did I mention that I was pregnant and hormonal?
- Despite the impending arrival of The Baby Girl, we had made zero progress in determining her name. (Not that anyone believed us.) The c-section was scheduled for March 30, but there was still a chance she would decide to arrive early.
- A baby shower was arranged for "the 12th." I didn't have a baby shower with Ryan (too hormonal), so this was my big chance. Friend and next-door-neighbor, Marlene, was to be the gracious hostess. I arranged for my sister, Karen, and my friend, Kelly, to come from out-of-town. Hooray!
- Ryan and I started an animal class at the Atlanta Zoo for preschoolers. For three weeks, we dropped Brendan off at his Big, Important Client's office in Buckhead and then went to the zoo where we got personal tours of special attractions, heard stories, did arts and crafts, and of course, met some animals up close and personal. Harrison the Bunny was a big fave. We also met a snake and a lizard. We further also got to see an elephant urinate for approximately 6.5 minutes without pause, all the while standing inside the awesomely pungent elephant house. My God, the smell. Ryan recalls the elephants. I recall trying (and succeeding) very, very hard not to throw up. Also, it rained every day we went.
- On or about the 5th, I contacted Marlene to finalize plans for the baby shower, because I really hadn't heard much. Marlene seemed a bit taken aback at my call. I was a tad taken aback at her taken-abackness, as the shower was a mere week away. Come to find out that while I had "the 12th" right, I had failed to place that number in the correct month. I rearranged for everyone to come back in *March*. Pregnancy hormones strike again!
- We had a fantastic hailstorm on the 27th. Ryan and I were nearly caught in it, but luckily decided to head home from our walk after we thought the geese were acting a little weird. Within five minutes of us going inside, actual, real-live, truly golf-ball-sized hail pummeled house and car loudly. ("Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail!") What fun! We even brought some inside for Ryan to play with (after the storm stopped). A big hit (ba-dum-bum).
- Still no progress on the name for The Baby Girl.
- On the 12th, I attended a baby shower at Marlene's! (Surprise!) It was nice. It was also the night Ryan fell asleep on the family room floor (waiting for me to come back home) and we photographed him with martini glasses and booze bottles.
- Ryan saw his first movie at a theater, The Incredibles. He just loved it. (Little did we know how many, many times we'd be watching that movie at home, as it came out on DVD shortly thereafter.) We took him to Robots the next week. He didn't seem to enjoy that as much. It wasn't as good a movie by a long shot. And he also wasn't feeling well, as he threw up on me four times later that evening while we were sitting on the couch. I don't think it was a critique of the movie, but....
- We took another zoo class and I schlepped my pregnant self all around the zoo for two of the classes. Brendan stepped in and took Ryan to the last class, the highlight of which was when the turtle peed all over the teacher just as she was showing him to Ryan and Brendan. Classic.
- Nonnie (aka, Pat, my mother-in-law) arrived the Friday before Easter, to give us time to "break her in" for the job of taking care of Ryan while we were in the hospital having the baby.
- Morgan Fiona Casey made her appearance right on schedule on March 30 at 11:10am. It's a good thing we had scheduled a c-section, since she probably would have been one anyway, what with being sideways and back downwards and all. I got to nurse her within an hour of her birth and hold her lots and lots all that day (in contrast to the ordeal we all had when Ryan was born). Ryan and Nonnie got along very swimmingly and All Was Right With The World.
- Back home with Morgan on the 2nd, after a merely 72 hours in the hospital! Nonnie stayed to assist in the transition and to hold the baby as much as possible (as a well-earned reward for the tough job of minding an active boy all alone for several days).
- Aaaahh. You just forget how little they are. How floppy they are. How lovely they smell. How often they poop.
- We spent a few blissful days together as a new Family of Four after Nonnie left and before my parents and sister and brother-in-law came.
- Ryan turned 3 on the 18th. 3! I ask you, is it fair that time moves so quickly? We had a small celebration that included building a backyard playset (thanks Brendan, Dad, and Daniel) and going to The Moose Place (in reality known as Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse) to hear the entire waitstaff sing the Bugabuga Birthday Chant. Of course, he got to Kiss The Moose! Oh yeah. And a Spider-Man cake that I decorated all by myself and looked really awesome. Just like the picture!
- The beginning of May brought my first days of being all alone with 2 kids. I remember feeling very overwhelmed and dazed and the days seemed very long (although nothing untoward happened). Kind of like the feeling you get on the first day of a new job, before you really know what to do and who to eat with and you sit a your new, bare desk with your purse and some pens and lots of brand-new sticky notepads and stare at The Training Manual, counting the minutes until someone comes to get you for lunch. Yep. It was exactly like that.
- Brendan's dad, Kevin, and his girlfriend, Liz, came to our house for a visit. And we all had a very nice time. Ryan enjoyed going to the golf store with Grandpa Kevin. Surreal.
- My parents paid us a bonus visit shortly after Kevin left. Surreal.
- Brendan's Big Client decided to close its doors, as it had run out of money. Brendan got to file his first lawsuit. Ryan went with and learned about Judge PeopleGuys.
- Memorial Weekend brought us visits from Brendan's side of the family, to see the new baby and hang with The Little Man. I think we went bowling.
- The days from April and May are a bit blurry, due to New Baby Syndrome. Possibly more occurred than I have related here. Can't remember!
- The "Drool Across America Tour, Part Deux" took place in mid-June. We took Morgan and her Big Brother to Chicago to see their great-grandparents, great-aunts and -uncles, and various cousins (also great in their own way). The highlights include a fireworks show and spending time at Brendan's uncle's new (old) house on a lake. Heading south, we spent an afternoon in West Lafayette, Indiana, walking around the Purdue campus, taking pictures at McCutcheon Hall and wilting in the heat. In Indianapolis, we spent time at my grandfather's with my mom and brother, my uncles and their families. Ryan and our cousin, Tyler (5 years old), got along famously.
- Having renamed the tour the "Drool and Whine Across America Tour," we were all relieved to be back at home.
- On a sad note, our old friend and onetime tenant Buttercup passed on into bunny heaven. We solemnly informed the cats, who took the news as well as could be expected. Well, actually, they were pretty much the same as usual. But I know they think of him fondly from time to time.
- Did I mention the whining?
- We traveled (again? were we insane?) up to Sewanee, Tennessee to spend a very fun weekend at our friends' house. We got to meet a new friend, Jennifer, in person, and spend quality time with old friends. There were walks, frisbee golf, backyard wagon rides (for the kids), super-crazy-yummy food (courtesy of food guru Jennifer) and lots of wine. And lots of whine.
- We had the bestest funnest 4th of July ever. Back in November, we booked a room at a hotel in Buckhead, from which we thought it would be convenient to walk in order to catch the biggest fireworks display in Atlanta. It turned out that our hotel itself was absolutely perfect for fireworks-viewing, so we never left the building. We watched the show only a few steps away from our room, sipping wine and snuggling the kids. We were up so high that the fireworks were at our level. The only thing to mar our otherwise perfect evening was our own fault. We had forgotten to warn Ryan that the fireworks were not eternal, and thus, once the finale was over, the Terrible Sadness And Disappointment began. Yes, the whole hotel got to hear it, too! Surprisingly, the hotel PeopleGuys are allowing us back for 2006.
- My sister came for a visit during the second week, and much fun was had. Oh, and she finally got her eyeglasses back.
- On the next to last weekend, we rented a cozy house in Asheville, North Carolina with our friends, David and Kelly. We spent a fun, relaxing weekend that was doubly nice because we never once had to cut short an interesting conversation to go home because of kids. We just put them to bed (upstairs) and went right on drinking wine and talking! We also spent time at an outdoors bluegrass festival, met up with some of Kelly's family, and played outside with the little ones.
- I begin my outstanding, award-winning, enormously funny BLOG! Ha! (Thanks again, Jason.)
- Evidently, Kelly and David missed us too much, so they decided to move back to Atlanta from Tennessee. We were (and still are) pumped! Our weekly Objectivist meetings resumed and there's been much rejoicing. (yaaay.)
- I got an email from one of my best friends from high school, Lorrie, and was able to get back in touch with many old friends. Really, I think that was the highlight of the month.
- The final week found us on our annual excursion to the Outer Banks, North Carolina, where we rent an enormous beach house with old college chum, Charlie, and his in-laws. We learned that not only are Charlie and his wife expecting baby number two, but his wife's sister is expecting baby number three. 2005 is a banner year for all of us, reproduction-wise. Ryan enjoyed the pool at our beach house very much, as well as sleeping in the top bunk of a bunk bed (much to my horror). Morgan began to sit up on her own and her impish, sweetish, (and incidentally, she is also Swedish) personality began to emerge. We were fortunate to leave the Outer Banks before the remnants of Katrina got there. Watched the ghastly scenes on tv while feeding the baby. Awful.
- Also, I should mention that we spent a couple of days in Raleigh, North Carolina with my parents on the way to OBX. We visited the Disney Store (Ryan scored a Buzz Lightyear) and the Vermont Teddy Bear Store (Ryan scored a teddy bear, named, I'm not kidding, "Soft Bunny Bear" who wears a Spider-Man costume). Morgan scored clothes.
- On our way home from the Outer Banks, Morgan laughed hard--at Ryan's antics--for the first time. Always a bit reticent with her laughter and smiles, this event broke the ice for much hoopla to come.
- This month, Ryan did not begin preschool, as we are really serious about not sending him to school. But he began gymnastics, which he loves, and music class (a perennial favorite). We took regular field trips to the zoo (where he was the one urinating--on the sidewalk--this time) and the park. I got him scissors and he learned how to cut paper. Trust me, he'll be fine.
- We celebrated our 10th anniversary on the 16th. That's like, a decade. We had never imagined that we'd have two kids on our 10th anniversary. I think we imagined that we'd have fabulously wonderful jobs (we do, but of a different, non-cubicle sort) and be vacationing in Ireland. Maybe Ireland next year.
- Ryan began soccer this month. He really had lots of fun, especially lying in the grass and even running around somewhat near the ball from time to time. He particularly enjoyed wearing the uniform. Ryan continued gymnastics, although we switched gyms, as the teacher at the former place was "too yelly."
- In the Ryan-Is-Really-Growing-Up category, he visited the dentist for the first time. He was very brave and rather calm about it all. His teeth got glowing reviews.
- My mother-in-law came for a visit mid-month to love on the baby and see Ryan play soccer. She and Ryan decorated the house for Halloween. I mean, decorated. Seriously, if you need something decorated, hire Ryan and his Nonnie.
- Morgan was really beginning to enjoy music class, especially the way her drool dazzled in the light off of the instruments she had carefully placed into her mouth. Another harbinger of things to come.
- My sister and her hubby rented a mountain cabin in North Georgia, and kindly invited us for a visit. We opted for just a day visit instead of spending the night, as Little Girl sleep had become very unpredictable. It was very pretty up there in the fall. We had an awesome meal and talked and played SuDoKu.
- I played SuDoKu. And played. And played.
- Brendan and I struck The Bargain. I would actually cook four dinners per week in exchange for Cleaning PeopleGuys to visit our house every other week and do things to make it look clean. So far, I've been pretty good at upholding my end of the deal.
- The Halloween bash at my house was lots of fun and I hope to do it every year.
- Did I mention SuDoKu?
- The soccer season finished up the first week. Ryan was extremely disappointed that it wasn't going to continue ad infinitum. I signed him up for the spring session.
- On the 21st, I turned 35. Gee, that sounds old. Good thing I still have an immature sense of humor. Hee hee!
- We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday back in Asheville, North Carolina with most of Brendan's immediate family. We did some Christmas there, too. Ryan got a Fireman PeopleGuy outfit. Morgan got a pushcart. The house was Christmas-y and beautiful. Brendan and I got to have a date and see a movie.
- Seems like there should have been more in November, but I must have blocked out memories in a pre-holiday organizational frenzy. I use the term "organizational" very loosely.
- I know there was SuDoKu.
- Morgan became officially, really, truly, and frighteningly mobile. Ryan wanted us to find her a new home. Or a new home for me and the baby.
- Ryan continued to excel at gymnastics, taking particular pleasure in such daredevil feats as cartwheels and swinging from a bar. He never turned down an offer to demonstrate his skills in any environment. Even environments with sharp knives or Baby Girls or other hazards.
- Charlie's son was born on the 16th. Lots and lots of babies this year. My, my.
- We were introduced to and watched Firefly. Yes, this event in and of itself is so important that it warrants its own bullet point in the Important Events of the Year. (Thanks, Aquinas, Kelly, David, John David, and Jason.) It was, in a word, shiny. To soothe our own anguish caused by getting hooked on a three-year-old tv show that only produced 14 episodes before it was cancelled, we delightedly, callously, with malice and forethought introduced my sister and brother-in-law to the series over Christmas. Pay it forward.
- We spent Christmas here (we're so over traveling) with my parents and sibs. We were really delighted that my brother actually came, since we haven't seen much of him in recent years. Ryan had so much fun with the aunt and uncles and was extra, super sad when they all departed. He got to make Christmas cookies and open thousands of presents and boss everyone around and generally was the center of attention. Except when he wasn't (insert cuteness from The Baby Girl here). But then, he usually had a way of ensuring that he became the center of attention anyway (insert cute/daring/loud/whining/silly act from The Little Man here).
Wow! If you made it this far, I'm impressed. Present this code word--gorram--to me for a free cookie.
We had a wonderful year and are looking forward to many exciting developments for 2006!