Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

Since I just spent a few minutes perusing past years' New Year's Eve blog entries, I figured I should write down a few thoughts tonight. I love looking back over my blog and remembering what was going on each year. We celebrated early again tonight, taking the bus (still no train!) to Austin's First Night. And we ate wings for dinner. I guess that's our tradition now.

We had a BIG 2009, starting the year by adding a new family member! Mary Elizabeth was born January 8, and she has spent the past year reminding me that, despite my ego, I do not have this parenting thing all figured out. I just had Caroline figured out. :-) It is taking me a bit longer to figure out Miss Elizabeth. But, that is my goal for the new year-- to bring more order to our lives, routine. I tried to be a really laid back mama this time, but it just isn't working. For next year, Elizabeth and I will have our morning activities followed by nap, picking up sister and do something together followed by nap. I do see things getting a bit easier with her even over the last few days now that she has figured out walking and two molars have poked through. (I do anticipate those next two molars any moment now, so I know we're aren't smooth sailing just yet.)

Caroline's big change of 09 would have to be her glasses. Well, becoming a big sister and her glasses. She has just melded both into her identity so seamlessly. I am so proud of her. Sometimes, easily frustrated with her. Always amazed at her.

For John and me, our big 09 change has been transitioning from our beloved St. Matthew's to the new and growing St. Julian's Episcopal Church. I still have pangs of doubt about this significant decision, but I am so excited, too. I made a list last week of what is important to me in a church -- what I love at St. Matthew's -- and realized that I can have all of that, community, a social outlet, spiritual growth, at St. Julian's. (My two blog readers might be sick of my back and forth over this move, but really, it is such a big decision.)

Also on my mind this holiday season has been that I can fully celebrate (um, wine...champagne) this year since I am not pregnant. Last year, I was SO pregnant with Elizabeth, and the year before, I was halfway through a doomed pregnancy. Since so many of my holiday memories are tied to being pregnant these last two years, that lost baby boy has been on my mind and in my heart. So, tonight is the first New Year's Eve in three years that I am not wearing maternity pants and can indulge in the bubbly. :-)

Sure, next year, I want to be more organized, more healthy, more present in each moment. I'm not one for resolutions though. At least not at the beginning of the year. I enjoy many rebirths throughout the year and will wait until the gyms are not so crowded to tackle new goals.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Diversity hits home

I've never doubted the importance of showing human diversity in media, and after reading the chapter on discussing race with children in Nurture Shock, I've made it a point to actually point out diversity with Caroline. She and John just finished Meet Addie in the American Girl series. Addie is a young slave living just after the Emancipation Proclamation. I actually checked out Nurture Shock and this book at the same time, not even realizing what I'd learn from the race studies mentioned in the book about the importance of actually discussing, not ignoring, racial differences.

The thing is: kids notice. And they notice even more, I see now, when *they* are seeking to find someone portrayed who looks like they do. Now that Caroline has her glasses, she points out kids with glasses in picture books we read. I'm so glad those are there for her to see. Sometimes I've though it awkward to see books that seem to go overboard including diversity -- kids of various racial backgrounds, kids with various disabilities. I've always known it was important, but I guess until it was my child looking for a child "like her," it just didn't mean as much. Yes, the middle class, Christian, white girl has had a pretty easy life.

And thus is the nature of humans.

If you haven't taken a gander at Nurture Shock, do! I just discovered the writers' blog at newsweek and will be following that now.