Every year seems to pass by faster than the last once you have children. It feels like 2012 just began!
In January, Jax and I stayed busy planning his 2nd birthday party and learning to read the alphabet and numbers 1-20. In February Jax celebrated his 2nd birthday with a sushi-themed party. March was a mellow month, with work and trips to the park. On the 17th, Danny and I celebrated 11 years of marriage. Wow! April was terrible. I got sick with a cold, then when I was finally feeling better, I got a terrible stomach bug. As soon as I recovered, my cold relapsed! I was finally better as May started.
In May we took our yearly road trip to the Outer Banks in NC. We bring the dogs and rent a house with friends for a week. I had expected it to be such a great trip for Jax – he was 2 and things like the beach, sand castles and swimming pools seemed perfect! But, I was very wrong. He was terrified of the sand, which meant I could only walk on the beach if I wore him in the carrier and dealt with tears. I could only go in the pool if someone was willing to play with him on the patio. He kept tripping and scraping his knees bloody on the trip. 5 times in 2 days!! The trip was bizarre and I often felt cut off from our friends when I stayed in the beach house playing with Jax. But, we made the best of it and I still enjoyed it.
In June we stayed busy. I worked, sewed a big gift for a friend’s 2-year-old and got a new point-and-shoot camera from Danny. In July, we took a mini road trip to Virginia Beach for my birthday weekend. We chose to stay in a kid-friendly hotel at one end of the boardwalk. It had many pools, but Jax was still too scared. He finally got over a lot of his fear of beaches, thanks to the many playgrounds they had in the middle of the sand. That month, my hair was finally long enough to switch from braids all over my head to just a few rows of hidden braids to add in extension hair. I mixed turquoise into the blond for fun!
In August I started homeschooling Jax more formally. I started with weekly lesson plans, but quickly found her learned better if I followed his lead and turned his daily interests into learning opportunities (in a kind of “unschooling” way.) I also worked on painting over his old nursery (*sniff*) to make a craft and school room. September was fairly quiet – just enjoying the last bit of summer and the beginning of autumn. I worked on painting a giant mural in Jax’s “big boy room“.
In October we went apple picking to start the fall season. I baked a lot of apple pies! We visited a corn maze and autumn festival, and Jax whined to go home the whole time. He was feeling very “two”. However, later in the month I took him to a huge park with several playgrounds. I convinced him to wander off on a nature trail and he LOVED it. Loved it so mach that he refused to go back to the playground and didn’t want to turn back to the car! I made him his Halloween costume – a train he could wear! I’m pretty sure the entire neighborhood was in love with him.
In November I did a lot of Christmas crafting. We didn’t have plans for Thanksgiving, so we got together with friends and ate dinner out. It was the first time I’d done that, but it actually worked out well. Danny and our friends got a traditional meal, I got a vegetarian risotto and Jax got spaghetti. We all enjoyed pumpkin pie! In December Jax had his photo taken with Santa. What a difference from 2010! Later in the month, we left Jax alone with a babysitter for the first time ever to go to Danny’s work holiday party! It was someone Jax loved, and we were home before bedtime, so it wasn’t stressful at all. The weekend before Christmas, we hosted a little get together to eat yummy Italian food and decorate gingerbread houses.
Christmas was quiet at the Segall house. We exchanged gifts with my brother’s family a few days early. I’d sewn my niece a custom My Little Pony plushie (Pinkie Pie, for those in the know!) On Christmas morning, we had a light breakfast of donuts and coffee (juice for the little guy) then opened gifts. We drove out to my dad’s place (he is in a retirement community that will allow him to move up into assisted living in the future as his Parkinson’s progresses) after presents. We gave him a photo album I had put together, then went down to his community’s Christmas brunch. Jax was thrilled to have eggs and strawberry pancakes, and adored hold hands and being carried by grandpa!
I rung in the new year quietly, with a little boy curled up beside me, having fallen asleep a half hour before the ball dropped. I still kissed him at midnight.