Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Years Updates, Of Sorts

Oops! 2012 already!

I didn't stay up 'til midnight (turned out I was awake then, however, because Elise let out a single yelp at 11:40 and after I lay quietly for a while, eyes shut, Colin came to bed after gaming, and I realized it was already 12:07).  Yep, rang in this year in style, that's right.

Still haven't gotten around to resolutions, or goals, or whatever.  Can't promise to blog every day (ha!) or do one of those 365 (366!) photo things, since I've already missed some days.  Dum de dum.

This year could totally turn our lives upside-down...or it could not.  Colin is graduating in May, and he'll either do a post-doc here afterwards, or be offered an assistant professor position somewhere else, which would mean moving and starting our real settled life as a family.  Of course, the prospect of the latter gets me downright giddy.  But I can't put all my eggs in that basket!
I had a scary incident in the car the other night. I was driving to a Bible study at our church, and it turned out the roads were a lot icier than I'd thought, because I skidded and ended up completely about-facing.  On the five-lane main road in town.  Thank God no other cars were near me; I could have easily killed someone, including myself.  And thank God Elise wasn't with me, or I'd have felt a million times more terrified and guilty than I already did.  Turns out the Bible study was canceled anyway, because the lady who leads it was rear-ended (and also, thankfully, was unscathed).
We went to South Carolina this year for Christmas.  Colin's parents are retired near Hilton Head, so we joined them and his two older sisters (one from CT, one from VA) for about a week.  We had a lovely (and warm!) stay.  We drove both ways overnight, which I'd highly recommend to anyone with a baby/toddler who sleeps in a carseat with a 12- to 13-hour drive ahead of them.  It was exhausting, obviously, but completely worth the minimal disruption of Elise's schedule.

Hold up, bird!
Highlights included Christmas Mass (of course, but I do really love the church down there), taking Elise to the beach, watching Lord of the Rings, hanging out and playing board games, and even getting a little date time with my hoo!  We hadn't done it since March, folks!  So it was high time.  We went to a little chapel, shopped at the outlets, and had some awesome Mexican food.  Yippee!
Elise won't nap without a sleep-inducing car ride anymore.  The last couple days I've refused to indulge her, hoping that she would be able to relax and fall asleep without it.  Nope. Today I caved, bundled her into the car, chauffeured her along one of our typical routes around the rich-people-houses street, and delicately transferred her inside so she can nap as I type up this magnificent blog post.
Yesterday I felt like I was a pretty good mama most of the day, attentive and gentle and all that, probably in response to how grateful I felt for still being alive after the icy scare the previous night. Today I've forgotten all about it and behaved terribly.  We went to a consignment store for jollies this morning, and just before we were about to leave I checked out the jewelry.  Snap!  Elise pulled a necklace right off its tag, breaking it.  And it wasn't a pretty necklace, it was a hideous orange monstrosity.  I was positively fuming over having to "spend my last dollar" on this piece of garbage (I don't carry much cash: it was $3.50).  It was a great example of how I'm a poor, lousy sinner of a mother who gets angry with her toddler for being curious.
My husband was able to take off two weeks from work for the holidays!  In my wretched ungratefulness, I tend to focus on all the negatives of being the wife of a graduate student and forget all about the positives -- great working conditions, the opportunity for my husband to learn constantly while working, and the flexibility!  It was beyond glorious to be all three of us together so much.  Elise and I sure miss him now that he's back to the grindstone.
But, um, his dissertation defense is next month?!  Can it be true?!!!!!
Happy new year, and best wishes for 2012!


  1. Thank you for this post! It was exactly what I needed to hear. I have been such an ungrateful wife since we've moved. All I've done is dwell on the negative instead of focusing on the positive. Being a SAHM, 1000 miles from family and friends, and a husband who works 12 hour days has started to being out the worst in me (i'm sure my hormones aren't helpin much). My only goal for this new year is find the good in things.

    I'm excited for the things to come for you guys in 2012! Being a settled family would be so wonderful, I bet!

  2. Oh, where do I start!?? At least your long absence has ended with such a busy post. ;)

    *I shockingly stayed up until 2am on NYE. Equally party-filled as Gary and I sat next to each other on the couch each reading separate books.

    *Is it seriously 366 this year? Did I not do my research. Sigh.

    *Oh! I cannot wait to find out what 2012 will bring for you! Though I can admit to being a little selfish with hoping it doesn't take you even further from here. ;)

    *Beyond thankful that the roads were empty. Ice scares me.

    *Aww. What joy that picture of Elise tromping on the beach brought me! Love it. :)

    *I am so glad she slept for you on your travels in the car. At 15 months when we took Cam to NC, we had a similar plan. I believe we left at 10pmish or something. He was up ALL NIGHT. He might have slept for 20 minutes of every hour. We did our trip back in the daytime and he was ever so much more cooperative.

    *Outlets and Mexican food! Be still my heart. Sounds awesome!

    *Cam is down to the only-car-ride-induced naps. He shocked me yesterday with crawling into his bed at noon while I was putting Riley down and taking a nice long nap of his own! So there is still hope, however rare it is. lol.

    *I am definitely guilty of anger and frustration at my toddler's curiosity. It's actually hard to believe he's almost not a toddler. I'm much more forgiving of the baby. It's so much easier to recognize her innocence in the face of his "maturity."

    *Two weeks of Colin! That is incredible! Allow me to be jealous. My 'having-Gary-for-an-incredible-amount-of-time' this winter was the fact that Gary got 3 day weekends two weeks in a row! (Normally with him working Saturdays we only get Sunday together. So having Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off...just leaves me speechless. Not to mention reminds me of how much a better mother I am when I have at least those few days of 'relief' each week.)

    Good luck, Colin, on the defense! :D

  3. I also often think about the negative of life as the wife of a grad student, but there are many, many positives as well that I will miss once my husband gets a "real" job - the ability to take time off and to have a flexible schedule is chief among them! When I was pregnant and going to midwife appointments once a week toward the end, I felt so grateful that he could work around them and never missed one!

  4. I'm glad you had a nice little vacation! And it's so good to focus on the positive :) Here's to a wonderful 2012, wherever it will take you!

  5. Hey, just wanted you to know I tagged you in my post today! :)

  6. My husband is graduating in May, too. I can't believe it - we're actually, maybe, going to be like real grown-ups! I giggled when I read about your preferred route through past the rich people's houses. That's my destination, as well, when I need the car to put my daughter down for a nap. Thankfully, she's never formed a habit of needing the car for naps, and I hope for your sake, Elise won't need car rides every day. Then again, whatever works, as long as you get that precious nap! Happy 2012!