Wednesday, January 07, 2009

2008 Year In Review

Before I can write about my 2009 goals, I simply must wrap up 2008. Since the year I found out that Ryan was coming (2001), I've been writing a Year in Review, mostly so I can remember the places we've been and other milestones. As I get older (ack!), it's hard to remember things like: was it 4th of July 1999 or 2000 that we spent in Maine, freezing our butts off? I'm glad I started this tradition, because little did I realize how having kids would make it even more challenging to recall such trivia! The blog is a perfect venue for my Years in Review (if you care, here's 2007, 2006 part I, 2006 part II, 2006 part III, 2006 part IV, and 2005, which are on the blog).

Without further ado:

2008: The Year of The Other Baby Boy

  • I can't even remember how we rang in the New Year. I suspect that my pregnant self didn't quite make it to midnight.
  • We traveled to Boston to see some old college friends (and very briefly, my aunt and uncle). It was wonderful fun, even though Ryan was not allowed to bring his authentic genuine Civil War musket on the airplane.
  • Morgan showed signs of potty training. Hooray!
  • We told the older kids about the impending arrival of a new brother or sister. Ryan, as you might expect, was extremely intrigued and excited. Morgan, being by nature somewhat more reticent to express her feelings about anything, was quietly making plans to trick us later in the year.
  • We spent a good deal of time at the cabin, interviewing new management companies, since our old one dropped us because we were 2 miles over the county line. Curses! We found a decent company, but what a pain! Also, we got the hot tub rewired, so that the water heats up nice and quick. Totally worth the investment.
  • Brendan's grandmother, known to all as "Mimi," had a fall and ended up in the hospital.
  • We received our second piece-of-crap "survey" from the Census Bureau. You may follow the links on the sidebar to learn more.

  • We found out: It's a BOY! We didn't really care about gender one way or the other, but were just very glad that there was ONE healthy baby in there.
  • We did many field trips this month, including a special evening at the Southern Museum to go see The General.
  • Brendan flew down to Florida to visit Mimi for a couple of days. Somehow, I managed just fine with my pregnant self and the two kids. Little. Did. I. Know.
  • Morgan became obsessed with Starfall this month. Looking back, I see how the puzzle obsession of the previous 3-5 months morphed into this reading obsession--it's all puzzles and patterns. Seriously--we couldn't get her off the computer. She did manage to get almost all the way potty trained, though.
  • Ryan started watching Starfall over Morgan's shoulder--and it amazed me how quickly he picked it up. We also spent some time with Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. He was getting the concept, but didn't seem to want to pursue it much further. No worries. I'm patient.

  • Brendan returned from Florida with the flu. The actual influenza-flu. We think he must have picked it up on the plane. Anyway, he spent a week in self-imposed quarantine in the guest bedroom, since I can't think of words to describe to you how much I DIDN'T want to get the flu while pregnant and also possibly having to take care of two sick kids. Since Brendan is Type I diabetic, he got the Tamiflu and so did the kids. Nobody else got sick, but they were very sad they couldn't see Daddy. I would go up and leave food outside his bedroom, and the only positive sign we had of his existence was the smell of Lysol, which he used everywhere he touched!
  • We got to tour a chocolate shop that caters to people with food allergies. Yay!
  • Morgan was potty-trained! Double Yay!
  • Ryan started Chess class at the Georgia Enrichment Program for Homeschoolers (GA-EPH) and enjoyed it quite a bit.
  • Morgan took Homeschool Soccer at Noonday Park and enjoyed herself quite a bit, too!
  • Morgan celebrated her 3rd birthday with a Build-A-Bear party at the mall. Super. Fun.
  • Sadly, Mimi passed away on Morgan's birthday. She was an amazing lady--funny and sweet, and I'll never forget her.
  • We said "Kthxbye" to the Census Bureau lady who came to our house. (YAY!)

  • Brendan traveled to Chicago for Mimi's funeral. I wish I could have gone, but my doctor didn't want me traveling at that point in my pregnancy (although I think I could have pushed the issue), plus we thought it would be best for Ryan and Morgan for us to stay home and keep to our routine.
  • We stayed busy with chess and soccer and music class throughout the month, even though I was growing enormously pregnant by the second. It's all kind of a blur, really.
  • Brendan's family came to town for Ryan's 6th birthday. We went to Medieval Times (fun, but pricey) and probably did some other things, too. It's getting difficult for me to remember!
  • Both Morgan and Ryan had food allergy testing. Morgan is officially not allergic to any foods, and Ryan passed his tree nut tests, so it's "just" peanuts for him! Good to know!

  • Let's see, I know things happened this month. Hmmmm....
  • Mother's Day--it was an uneventful Mother's Day, which is a refreshing change of pace for me.
  • Brendan's birthday--oh yeah! We saw Jon Stewart perform. He was cute, but not hilarious.
  • My aunt Patty was in town on business, so we got to see her. She's a good kid and I love her a lot.
  • Marietta Greek Festival--they're not just purveyors of great food, they're also a client!
  • We had our annual Messy Party.
  • I seem to remember many OB appointments, and cherishing baby kicks, and snuggling with Morgan, and both Ryan and Morgan kissing my belly before bedtime. Sweet memories.

  • The first couple of weeks are a blur because of the final preparations for the baby. Spending extra time with the Big Kids, getting ready for my mother- and sister-in-law to arrive, preparing the kids for being away from us for a night. Doctor's appointments. The heat of a thousand suns (it was very hot!).
  • Sean Riordan Casey arrived right on schedule on June 20. Missed the solstice by a couple of hours, but I'm counting it! It took them 20 minutes to get him out, which is really not the normal c-section procedure. He made up for all the pain I was in by being the Platonic Form of Cuteness and Sweetness. :o)
  • The last couple of weeks are a blur because, you know, there was a brand new baby! My last little one--it's bittersweet. (But mostly sweet!)

  • My sister came for the first week of July and wasn't that nice of her? :o)
  • There was a 4th of July party here, and a birthday party for a friend on the 27th. I think there was cake, but I was too sleep-deprived to trust my memory.
  • My parents and maternal grandfather (George) came to visit us and the new baby. It was a special visit, and my grandfather was so smitten with Morgan he actually offered to buy her a puppy!
  • I officially joined HEIR (Home Education Information Resource) as a Board Member, and worked the HEIR booth at the GA Homeschool Expo. I also got to nurse a new baby in front of the approximately 8,000 people attending the Expo. I think everyone in Georgia has seen my boobs by now. Oh well.
  • It was hot and I had a new baby, so we did nothing else this month. I suspect the older kids watched a really enormous amount of television, but I can't confirm.
  • Oh yeah! Brendan's brother Tim came for a visit at the tail-end of this month! See? I can remember stuff!

  • Morgan started ballet and tap this month, attending a studio recommended to me by many of my neighbors (who have older girls). She is really enjoying it.
  • Chess, Robotics, and Music Class also started this month.
  • A big storm knocked down half of our birch tree--how exciting!
  • Morgan decided to punish us for having Sean by regressing in the potty department. Not back to Square One, but back to Square Zero. At least she didn't "accidentally" drop a shoe on his head (Ryan did that to her). Still. What a pain.
  • I filled out our official homeschooling paperwork since Ryan was 6. It was, and remains, a weird thing to do (I have to do it each month).
  • Because we're homeschoolers, we can take vacation whenever we want! So we took our annual vacation in the Outer Banks, NC with our friends. If the kids went to a public school, we'd have to stop this vacation, and that would be no fun. So right away, this homeschooling thing pays off! Yeah!

  • Our activities continued full-force this month, including swimming, which they both took all year long.
  • Ryan also added taekwondo to his schedule. LOVES. IT.
  • Morgan started soccer again. LOVES. IT.
  • We braved the airlines again to fly to Chicago for a special birthday celebration for Brendan's grandfather ("Papa"). It was short and sweet and fun.
  • Oh I'm sure we did other things, too, but I had a new baby, so I have a good excuse for not remembering what they were.
  • Oh yeah--Brendan's big project with his Big Client began to wrap up.
  • And we also ran out of gasoline in Atlanta.

  • Activities, activities, activities. Unloading/loading kids into the minivan, snacks, diaper changes, . . . blur. Figuring out three-kid-logistics = crazy. As in, I'M crazy now. :o)
  • Somewhere in this timeframe, I discovered Facebook, since I'm always looking for things to do while I'm nursing the baby.
  • Our annual Halloween party was fun, as always! It feels as if I spent the entire month of October preparing for the party (which is true) and therefore I did nothing else for the rest of the month (also true).
  • My grandfather, George, suffered a stroke at the end of the month.

  • My grandfather passed away on the 9th. I'm so glad he got to meet Sean.
  • Sean and I traveled to Indy for the funeral stuff. I'm glad I went, but it was hard on the older kids and Brendan, especially with all of this Big Client work that needs to be done quick.
  • Our friends got married and Ryan and Morgan got to be a part of the wedding party. Yippee!!!!
  • There was Thanksgiving and I turned 38 and we went up to the cabin for the first time since about March.
  • My parents, sister, and brother-in-law came for Thanksgiving. It was nice.
  • We received the distressing news that my other grandfather is ailing.

  • My other grandfather (Rex) has been moved into hospice. (As of this writing, he is still alive.) I realize how fortunate both Brendan and I are to have had so many grandparents with us for so long. We started off 2008 with 5 grandparents between us, and 2 passed away, one is very ill. This is, of course, very sad and distressing, but we're also quite glad to have had them with us for so long.
  • Somehow, I got most of my Christmas shopping done!
  • We went to Chicago for Christmas and saw Papa and the rest of Brendan's family. We enjoyed a nice long visit, and the traveling went well. We don't want to MOVE from this house for at least another 3 or 4 months, though!
  • Ryan stayed up with us and rang in the New Year. That was very nice!

And there you have it! Just when I think that I do "nothing" or am "boring," I write up something like this and realize just how interesting and busy my life really is. 2008 was a year of more extreme ups and downs for us, from a new baby and the deaths of family members. We grew closer to friends and family and I am more focused than ever on my goals. Maybe I'll even get time to write up my goals here on the blog! :o)


Stella said...

What is a Messy Party? I am deeply intrigued.

Tenure said...

I've been following your antics (well, your kids' antics really) over the last year and it's been very amusing. It's kind of put me of any romantic notion of having kids though - at least, any idea that being an Objectivist prevents your kids from being mental.

You'll probably like Outnumbered, btw. I got it for my mum on DVD, and if you find any time to watch it, I think you'll like it too:

Daniel said...

Nice list! And I'm glad to see someone else writes out their years.

I do a less inclusive but more in-depth one each year, talking about the major things I did or learned. Started at 25 with the goal of writing four quality pages a year, so that I have a nice 100 page book when I'm 50.

Also am an Objectivist that just started up a new blog called The Nearby Pen.

It's new but some thoughts on the food of the gods--cocoa--along with a bunch of quotes from the first season of Art Attack are up already...

Rational Jenn said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

The Messy Party has become an annual spring thing. It began with two of my kids plus a friend, a kiddie pool, some paint, and bubbles. Now it's expanded to include more friends and popsicles, glitter, and mud. Basically, we take the kids to the backyard, strip them down, put every messy thing imaginable in front of them, and let them go to town! Here are some pictures: (scroll down for the Messy Party pictures)


It's popular, as you can see! Everyone's invited, and grownups are welcome to get messy, too!

Tenure, thanks, as always, for stopping by. We're definitely aiming for non-mental kids--only time will tell! :o)

Welcome, Daniel! Congratulations on the blog--I'll add it to my list to keep up with! I like your idea of writing about the things you have learned. I wonder how I can incorporate that as well. Hmmmm....definitely something to think about!