Monday, January 01, 2007

2006 Year In Review, part 1

2006 was a full and mostly happy year for all of us. My notes are sparse for some reason, so I will do my best to reconstruct the events as they unfolded.

2006: The Year of The Potty


  • We spent a quiet uneventful New Year's holiday at home--no partying in Atlanta for any of us! I believe we managed to get drunk though!
  • Business really began to pick up for Brendan, with lots of projects and recurring revenue in the form of hosting fees.
  • Brendan and I had so much fun watching Firefly on DVD that we were inspired to begin Season One of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. The series began a little slowly for Brendan, but to his credit he stuck with it. I found it very interesting, a refreshing departure from Blah TV. So nice to watch a show that deals with morality (another good example being Star Trek: TNG).
  • We got the disturbing news that my uncle was diagnosed with lung cancer.
  • Potty Training Attempt #1 began. With Ryan still showing no interest in moving out of diapers, I began to feel desperate that he might become the Exception to the No Child Goes To College In Diapers rule. After a brief struggle (3 days), we all decided to take a break, as Ryan had used the potty exactly 0 times. We parents scored a minor victory in the dressing and undressing category. Even that did not come without a monumental struggle. On one memorable occasion, Ryan literally kicked and screamed his pants off during a tantrum protesting my refusal to, wait for it, remove his pants. He desperately clung to the pants, toes in waistband, so as to have a continued "good reason" for the 45 minute tantrum. I was proud to have remained detached, perusing a magazine on the couch and trying not to laugh at him making sure his toes did not leave the edges of his pants. My humor was tempered by the realization that our potty struggles had just begun.
  • Morgan was pretty much on the Cute Baby plan, talking a little (first word was "ball"), biding her time while building strength, stamina, and coordination for the months to come....


  • The highlight of this month was our trip to Disney World, aka Heaven On Earth For A Hefty Price (currency accepted: US Dollars, Euros, Immortal Souls, and/or First Born Children). Brendan got 5 day passes for all of us as a Christmas gift and we decided to use them while at least Morgan was still eligible for free admission. Brian and Greg were kind enough to rearrange their busy travel schedules to meet us at the Magic Kingdom for a day. It was unseasonably cold, such that we were scrambling to purchase any items that could possibly be used to keep us warm, including beach towels and enormous sweatshirts. The 40 degree weather did considerably lessen our enjoyment, as we spent our days walking for miles and miles pushing strollers packed with whining kids for 10 hours. Good exercise, though.

    Highlights from Disney included:

    • Seeing The British Invasion, a Beatles cover band, always enjoyable
    • Morgan (and Brendan) getting pictures with Pooh and Tigger
    • Nobody freaking out on Pirates of the Carribbean
    • Finding unique and stunningly uncomfortable places to nurse the baby (with the exception of the Magic Kingdom's Baby Care Center, which had a comfortable darkened room with rockers and other cozy furnishings--located in the very front of the park, so not helpful in Booby Emergencies or if one happens to be in EPCOT).
    • Fireworks, always thrilling
    • Seeing Uncle Brian and Uncle Greg, of course
    • For Ryan, sneaking Oreo cookies at night in the hotel room and eating them in the sleeper sofa, an adventure he has enjoyed retelling approximately 986 times

  • Potty Training Attempt #2. Once returned from Orlando, we got back down to business about this potty thing. Again, seeming willingness. Again, no follow through. We tried to make things interesting by allowing him to watch DVDs on a portable player. He would sit there for anywhere from 30 minutes to a full hour with no results. I think once, he peed. Then when he decided he was bored, he'd peel his red little bottom from the Blue's Clues potty seat, don his Spider-Man underpants, and wet himself within 10 minutes. We abandoned attempt #2 after about 2 days.
  • That's about it for February.


  • Brendan and I finished the first three seasons of Buffy and since we didn't have any further seasons in our possession, we switched to 24 and that was WOW. Oh, but WOW. Morgan still hadn't taken to the idea of sleeping through the night and often spent much of each and every evening asleep downstairs on the couch. Although the "beep. boop. beep. boop. beeeeeeep." "24" logo and the "boop-boop-DE-oop" of the phone system at CTU often woke her up. She probably still dreams about it.
  • Our Snake Walk season began in earnest. They were out early this year, one surprising us on our daily walk by hanging out alongside the sidewalk with its head perched above the sidewalk, mouth open. It was about 3 feet in length, fairly wide in girth, dark in color, with a tail that tapered sharply. All signs pointing to a venomous snake (cottonmouth). Didn't care to get any closer to see if it had pits near the eyes or elongated pupils and or a better look at the head. That day we instituted a No Running Way Ahead of Mommy rule (at least in warm weather). Fortunately, Ryan was walking close to me (Morgan was in the stroller) at the time and stopped right away when I saw it and shouted, but still, I get all shivery just thinking about how close he was. Despite, or perhaps because of, our close encounter, we spent tons of time looking for and locating snakes on our walks. Ryan got very good at spotting them. I got very good at spotting them. Most of them are harmless--there's even one we still see hanging out near some rocks on warm days--she's friendly.
  • This was the month I officially became a Soccer Mom, taking over team management duties for Ryan's little guy soccer team. It was fun actually, and allowed me a measure of control over the snacks (for peanut-safety reasons). Once again, Ryan spent his games not so much playing soccer as running alongside the other kids. Morgan ached to join them; although she was not yet walking, she could shout "Ball!" enthusiastically.
  • We took the kids to see the trucks in Kennesaw one weekend, which I imagined would be super fun for all (some friends met us there, too) because there would be Real Fire Trucks and Police Cars and Ambulances and Bulldozers and all the PeopleGuys who come with such things. Alas, you'd have thought I was new or something. These vehicles make LOUD NOISES, OMG, LOUD and none of the kids really enjoyed it too much. They did enjoy the playground with sandpit nearby so it wasn't a total loss.
  • Morgan turned 1 on the 30th! I couldn't believe how quickly her first year went by! She got a Winnie the Pooh cake (made by me) and lots of presents and my parents came down for the occasion. Brendan and I got her a purple chair from Pottery Barn Kids with her name on it (Ryan has a similar one). Ryan sat on it and PEED on it and I was very upset with him, although now it's quite funny. It was very feline of him, I thought! So that's what Ryan gave to Morgan on the occasion of her 1st birthday. Sweet, huh?
  • Potty Training Attempt #3--3rd time's a charm. I'm not sure what finally convinced him, although we pointed out that he couldn't have swimming lessons until he was potty trained and did promise to take him out to a movie as a special treat once he proved he could stay clean and dry for several hours. A long road was still ahead, but the major obstacles (i.e., actually pooping and peeing in the potty, genuine willingness to do so, not arguing about it every single damn freaking time, etc.) had been cleared. He was very proud and I was very relieved at not having to lie to the pediatrician at his 4 year check up, which was quickly approaching.

Okay, this is taking quite a bit longer than I thought. Rather than over-blog and get burned out during the first 24 hours of the new year, I think I will just publish this in parts--so--hope you enjoyed the Quarter 1 results. More funny and hopefully interesting stuff to follow!

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