Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year Moments

We're officially declaring 2009 the "Year of the Airplane" here in the J-M household. The boys (led by Kyle, the leader of the dynamic duo, as usual) are officially completely obsessed with all-things-airplanes. Santa (and some others -- you know who you are!!!) made a significant augmentation to their Toy Airplane Collection. Which has only fueled the fire. They play with their airplanes daily (airplanes and their musical instruments are the two things they consistently play with every.-single.-day.). Airplanes airplanes airplanes. New Year's Eve Day was no different. K & O spent the bulk of the day playing with airplanes (photo above taken 12/31/08). Meera spent the bulk of her day watching them play with airplanes. Braydon and I spent the bulk of the day doing damage control. Par for the course. When we talked about New Year's Resolutions Kyle announced that his is to "do a good job sitting next to Mommy on airplanes" (???!?). Anyhoo...

I still haven't posted about Christmas. Because I still haven't had even an hour to sort through all the photos. Granted, there are 642 of them. (Yes, yes, we're ridiculously snap happy, but to our defense: we were on our NH Christmas trip for a full 8 days and we did do a lot of camera-worthy things while we were up there). I will try to get to the Christmas post ASAP. In the meantime...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We celebrated alone this year. Beth was supposed to come for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, but had to cancel due to the weather (understandably not wanting to drive in snow and wind all the way from Connecticut). Once we accepted our fate (Braydon kept repeating: "First and foremost we need to accept that we are not in our twenties anymore and we have three young children."), it really wasn't all that bad being totally alone with no plans.

This past fall, in one of many tiny but very memorable moments with Owen's current teacher (who I believe to be an absolutely brilliant woman), she said this one thing thing that has stuck with me ever since. I was saying to her that I cannot imagine how hard it must be to teach 4 year olds (they're so infuriating!). She was saying to me that she cannot imagine how hard it must be to teach college students (they're so infuriating!). Then she told me that she has this perspective on teaching that is about focusing on good moments (as opposed to trying to achieve whole good days or even portions of days). She talked about how groups of four year olds can't possibly be expected to all be even-keeled and well-behaved for whole days at a time, but if she has a moment or two in her classroom during each day that are good -- truly good moments -- then she considers her work day a smashing success. I loved this idea and explained right away that it is basically the same with college-age kids. Ever since our conversation I've been thinking a lot more about noticing (and celebrating) good moments, and -- most importantly -- not even expecting whole good days (or even portions of them). This has really helped me in my approach to time spent with our three kiddos.

Our New Year's Eve 2008 and New Year's Day 2009 were held together --loosely-- by a thin string of good (actually, great) moments. With lots of regular-to-be-expected-infuriating-and-frustrating-and-about-to-make-us-go-off-the-deep-end other moments. In between the good moments we had some meltdowns and some time-outs and we each lost it at least once (keep in mind: we've now been together as a family, with no school and very little work and with virtually no routine whatsoever, for almost two solid weeks ---- this is waaaay tooooo long for us). But the moments, the good moments, were GOOD. And ultimately, that is what we look forward to most in 2009: more good moments. All the other stuff... well, we'll do what we gotta do: we'll deal with it.

We had a little family New Year's Eve Celebration (at the pathetically early hour of around 5pm) and did lots of CHEERS! to the new year. Ever since Braydon and I went to France in the spring of 2003 (and were served -- much to our surprise -- BBQ potato chips with a fantastic bottle of champagne in an exquisite chateau in Burgundy [they explained in very sophisticated terms how BBQ chips were the best compliment to the champagne]), we have BBQ potato chips whenever we have a good bottle of champagne. The boys had their own bottle (and grapes, since they aren't big fans of chips). Meera had her little chewy-toy-thing with an ice cube in it (no champagne for her -- not even the fake stuff). And it was a very good moment. Standing in our kitchen, music blaring, toasts rolling off each other one after another... for a moment -- no matter how fleeting -- the excitement of it was truly as perfect as any New Year's Eve celebration I've participated in. Very soon after Meera came unglued and was too exhausted to even attempt to eat her baby-food dinner.



But everyone woke up cheery on this first morning of 2009. Our plans for going on a long walk were quickly dashed when we realized how cold the day was turning out to be (it never got above 15 degrees). But our other plans were -- for the most part -- realized. Today four of us never got out of our pajamas (Meera was changed, but only out of necessity due to a diaper situation). Braydon and the boys made fresh orange juice and fresh bread this morning. We had a "picnic lunch" on the floor of the family room while watching the Rose Bowl Parade. Little Miss was in bed at 6:00 and the bambinos were in bed by 6:30. Tonight Braydon and I are having take-out and watching a movie... continuing a long tradition of doing *nothing* (or at least, not much) on New Year's Day (two years ago I posted this about our New Year's Day tradition).




Amidst the mayhem and the madness there are moments to savor. We're hoping for lots of little moments in 2009 ----- for us and for all of you J-M Blog readers out there. Happy 2009!

14 comments:

Malia'sMama said...

May 2009 be even more amazing that 2008 for you... with none of the sadness/loss.

Jess said...

Thank you: I really appreciate your reminder to savor a moment rather than evaluate A Day.

And I can't wait 'til Monday, when routines resume. We are not meant to be at home together (indoors) for days on end. Glad to hear it's not just us!

Happy New Year, J-Ms.

Alisa N. said...

What a beautiful family and your boys looks soo happy. This is coming from an adoptee and 1st time Mom. Keep up the great work!

trish said...

Happy New Year!
Our day was very much the same as yours - chaos with sweet moments in between. We are going stir crazy with subzero temps during most of the holiday break.
Wishing you many happy moments in 2009. Can't wait to see what fun you had in NH.

ShannonC said...

Pajama Days are always my nephews favorite days. They've taken to having them at school every once and a while ???

So nice to have you all back. Happy New Year to the J-M crew

J-momma said...

found you via antiracistparent.org. love the blog header. and nice airplanes. that's exactly how my son is about cars.

JJJ said...

Your famiy is such an encouragement to us. We are going to keep reading about your little moments of 2009. Happy New Year from Manitoba Canada ... it's very cold up here too with lots of white wonderful snow.

Jeanette

Anonymous said...

Owen's teacher is so right! And I've long thought that any day where I learn at least one new thing or make some contribution to to the world is a good day. Your blog alone is a great contribution to so many.

Gail

Ani said...

what a lovely way to ring in the new year! happy new year to the 5 of you.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Moments to all 5 of you!
Maija (PAP from Denmark)

Adopting1Soon said...

This is such a wonderful blog. I'm enamored of your kids. How can I "follow" it? I see the "feed" thing, but I don't understand what that does. Is there any way to become a "follower" like many blogger sites have that option? Thanks!

me said...

Those little moments in between the craziness are so precious. Always good to know I'm not the only one having a hard time with the disruptions to "normal" life with a little one. Thanks for sharing.

Mark and Sarah said...

Seriously missing your frequent posts :) JM blog withdrawls out here on the blogosphere.

Hope all is well with your family as you get into a new routine.

Lucie @ Unconventional Origins said...

Happy new year to your lovely family!

My sons also love airplanes - they make tons of paper airplanes, and we covered their room in them!

I am a new reader from an interracial family and I am just loving your blog so far. I am excited to read more!