Tuesday, January 02, 2007

2006 Year In Review, part 2

Continuing our thrilling recounting of our family's adventures in 2006:

2006: The Year of The Potty


  • Morgan took her first steps a week after her birthday. It was amazing to see how much she had changed in just a year. She also had quite a vocabulary just like her brother. We were actually expecting her to not be very verbal as the second child is supposed to be not quite as talkative. We were mistaken in that assumption. Very.
  • Ryan turned 4 on the 18th. We celebrated the occasion at the Atlanta Zoo. It was a beautiful day for a birthday party, made extra-special by the presence of some special family in town from Chicago. The highlights of the party included actually getting Ryan on the train, the Spider-Man birthday cake (stayed up until 1am the night before to finish), and a visit from Thor, a rather large tortoise, who added a little somethin'-somethin' to the occasion when he peed on the zookeeper's lap.

    Evidently inspired by Thor's performance, Ryan kept up the peeing-on-the-birthday tradition (see March highlights) when he whipped it out and urinated on the patio at his favorite pizza restaurant during dinner that night. The other patrons were unamused and we fled in shame. In Ryan's defense, he had been trying to get our attention to take him to the potty and we had been too busy talking. Hmmm....I guess potty training is a team effort.
  • We hired our first "real" babysitter this month and began going to our weekly get togethers with our Objectivist group. It was nice to get out of the house, but the kids were unthrilled, to say the least!
  • We were delighted to see our friend and neighbor, Marlene, perform a stand up comedy act at an Atlanta comedy club. She was so funny and so were the other performers. I am inspired to take the class--just need to make the time!
  • My sister Karen came for a visit on her birthday (although there was no wayward peeing involved, thankfully)! Ryan especially enjoyed playing with some confetti she brought.


  • For Mother's Day, we rented a cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia for the long weekend. We took the kids for a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The last time Brendan and I rode the train, we were careful to ensure that our tickets were in the Adults Only section of the train, as we were still avoiding small children like the plague. This time, we cheerfully rode with our little ones who so enjoyed the ride that I found myself wondering what our big damn problem was.

    Our cabin was gorgeous--new and nicely decorated with moose (mooses?) everywhere. Morgan especially enjoyed the moose decor. The view from the balcony--oh! Once again, we found ourselves wishing we had purchased a cabin up there 6 years ago when we discovered Blue Ridge.

    Mother's Day morning was very memorable for all of us. Brendan took the kids so I could sleep in a bit (he's a nice one). I was jolted out sleep at 7:15am by the ear-piercing shrieks of my son from 3 floors down. Apparently, they were all admiring the hot tub and all its glories, when he leaned a bit too far forward and toppled headfirst into the hot tub, which was not so much "hot" as "frigid" since it wasn't turned on. I managed to get down three flights of stairs in 7 seconds without breaking an ankle to find both kids screaming and Brendan toweling off the boy (still in pajamas, mind you). This event has turned into another one of Ryan's classic stories and he will be happy to share with you if you hold still for more than 30 seconds.
  • Brendan's birthday was on the 17th, shortly after we returned from Blue Ridge. In keeping with family tradition, Morgan chose to contract a stomach virus which dehydrated her with frightening speed. She narrowly missed a hospital stay. I think this is 6 years in a row that someone managed to become dangerously ill or injured or had an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts so that any plans we had made for Brendan's birthday were totally shot. My advice is to stay away from us in mid-May and send your birthday wishes to Brendan from a safe distance.
  • Ryan "graduated" from The Music Class this month. It was bittersweet to think that Ryan was old enough to move on to the next level (which as of this writing he has chosen not to). I had been taking him to Music Class since he was 15 months old. At the same time, I was glad to be continuing forward (in the fall) with just Morgan for logistical reasons as well as to give Morgan a chance for some one-on-one time.
  • Comedy of Errors on the 26th: It was, to put it simply, just one of those awful days. I had 2 appointments scheduled and the sitter lined up to watch The People for me. I woke up that morning with an awful stomach bug, but decided to try to make it to my eye appointment anyway, since I really needed new glasses. The sitter was late (a rapidly developing trend) and I missed my appointment. I should have fired her then and there, but I was feeling so poorly that I had her come back in the afternoon while I napped (canceled my other appointment). After I woke up I went outside to discover hundreds of peanut shells littering my front yard, driveway, around my mailbox and the street in front of my house. Must have been there earlier. (At the time, our house was a popular hangout for the older kids in the neighborhood as the teenage girl across the street was "hot" so there was always a crowd of kids around, often eating.) I had to call Brendan home to clean it up (we wrote a nice but firm letter to our neighbors about it afterwards). After he went back to work and the sitter left, I was hanging out with the kids, watching Ryan jump all over the place like Daffy Duck on speed. Which is when he jumped up into the edge of an end table and severely injured his nose (never did have xrays to determine if it was actually broken; if it wasn't it was awfully close)! Brendan came back home and took him to Urgent Care, as it was now past 5pm. Shakespeare said it best (as per his usual): "When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions!"


  • This was a month of sickness--Ryan and Morgan both had stomach bugs and then colds. One day, they both just laid on the floor and watched Brum for about 8 hours straight, poor lethargic souls.
  • Business was really booming for Brendan with one of his biggest clients about to sign an agreement for a "retainer" of a sort. Regular income! What a thrill!
  • Maybe because of the illnesses or maybe not, Ryan went through a "potty challenge" phase where pooping in the potty was no longer something he wanted to do. He would go off and hide in various places in the house--behind the chair in the library, in the playroom, over in the corner of the family room. He called those areas "pooping spots" and was very upset that we would not allow the pooping in those spots anymore, only in the potty. He had some of his most aggressive tantrums EVER over these pooping spots. It was as if he missed them and was nostalgic in a way. Hmph. Still a ways to go--I still brought a change of clothes for him everywhere we went.
  • This was also the month I learned about how boys often get a surge of testosterone around the age of 4. Wow.
  • Those are the only things I wrote down for June, can you believe it? I do remember being very very busy with sick kids and the corresponding laundry. Ah well, we survived!

That's it for installment #2....more to come!

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