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Raising Hellions 2011: A look back at an awesome year of awesomness

January 23, 2012

Hello everybody, it’s 2012.., if you’re a Mayan or incredibly gullible it’s  THE LAST YEAR EVER!!!!

Which means we’re overdue for our year end wrap up in the lives of the Hellions and their extended family.

Hellion #1: The Schmoo Abides.

This was another big year for Abby.  She started first grade in the spring at SCPA with all of the boundless enthusiasm that she brings to every endeavor she finds herself involved in.  She also began taking the bus this year, a step that made her feel really growed up. Now I just have to wait until she’s old enough to be left at the bus stop by herself and my mornings will become that much less stressful and complicated. It is my understanding that the school policy will grant me that freedom sometime after she is legally allowed to vote.

Abby also continues her after school piano instruction, placing her well on the path to being better at pretty much everything than I am.  She’s added an after school drawing class to her repertoire and continues to fill our house with an enormous amount of artwork. We’re thinking of adding a wing to the first floor to hold it all.  Abby also started reading all by herself, a fact she celebrates by reading every sign we drive past every day.  Which in no way grows annoying…really.

This  was also the year that the Schmoo began to really explore and expand her skeptical and inquisitive faculties, from a continuous stream of amateur science projects; most of which involve freezing and or melting things, to an intense desire to help with the Daddy’s cooking, to her ambitious attempt to entrap Santa into revealing himself , Abby has shown a remarkable ability to examine her world and ask difficult and interesting questions. She also took it upon herself to create our very own Doench family Solstice tradition “Breakfast for Dinner” on the longest night of the year.

Hellion #2: Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Carolina Rose had quite an eventful year, beginning with an early spring haircut that she applied all on her lonesome.  This led to a buzzcut that made her look like the cutest little lesbian 4 year old you’ll ever find for most of the year.  This did litle to discourage our middle child from being all middle childy all over us.

Whilst Abby’s contribution to the household is an increased interest in cooking, Carolina has developed a fascination with cleaning, her favorite afternoon activities are mopping the floor with the Swiffer WetJet and cleaning the windows.  This is definitely not coming from my side of the family.

School for the Peanut continues into her second year at Winton Montessori in Ms. K’s class.  Like Abby she makes friends almost effortlessly and seems to fit into the Montessori program well. We hope she isn’t too shaken up by the transfer to the more traditional approach at SPCA.

In other good news, sort of, Carolina was diagnosed with some minor sensory issues that will require a little PT to straighten out.  I say good news because thanks to my sister we have been able to get on top of the problem now, as opposed to 5th grade, which is when my sensory issues came to light.  That could make all the difference in the world to a developing kid.

Hellion #3: Grommit loves Cars.

What can I say about the third kid. Not too much has changed since last year, save that the messes have become larger and in many ways less sanitary.  He continues to be cute. He continues to be evil in equal proportion to said cuteness.

Ok, he did finally start talking in more than one syllable after our awesome pediatrician recommended some speech therapy. Now he can readily identify most colors, although a lot of them are “yawwow” at the moment. He can hold his own in demanding milk, peanut butter, and “watch teevee”.  And he has become irrationally attached to the cast of Pixar’s Cars franchise.  We’re all looking forward to his debut in preschool this fall, mostly because we intend to have him potty trained, or at least housebroken by then.

The Rest of the Family: The Girl continues to be sublimely great at all things she does, from knitting to improving the house, to whatever it is her company pays her all that money to do (I understand a fraction of my wife’s job, other than knowing that I could not even do the fraction that I understand.) The company kept her travel light last year,  a trend that will unfortunately end with week long trips to China and Brazil this year… HELP!

Whilst on our excellent vacation to The Outer Banks this summer with the Nelson clan, ending a mere week before the hurricane practically demolished the place, Naomi did dislocate her knee. Playing miniature golf.  It was equally painful and embarrassing.

The Boy (that’s me): This was a fair enough year in the Boy’s world.  The years have started to pick up a rhythm as the children take up more and more of my time. Part of growing up I guess.  And growing old.  Middle age is creeping up on me with padded feet and an expanding waistline.  Two gut punches this year.  In July the my mom suffered a very mild but still troubling stroke.  She’s making a complete recovery, but her incapacity was the last straw for Best Friends Quilt Shop, which closed over the winter after a decade of operations.  Then in October our circle of friends got a little smaller with the untimely death of my old high school pal, the Patron Saint of the After Party Chris Glandorf.  Bummer…

In my personal life I did reach  a cool milestone.  On my third try I conquered the 50,000 word mark in the annual National Novel Writing Month contest, banging out the first draft of a fantasy novel based on the classic D&D module “Keep on the Borderlands”. I had an awesome time with the project and I hope I can translate that creative energy into more writing, both here and offline.

Speaking of more writing, I have been graciously allowed to contribute to the most excellent blog Skeptic Family. Many thanks to my buddy Colin Thornton for the opportunity.  Anything I publish there will of course be crossposted here after I reinsert all of the curse words.

Well that’s all for this years Raising Hellions year end round up. Keep checking back for more fun updates. If fun updates cease, perhaps check the police blotter for “Local blogger sells entire family to gypsies”.

Love and peace and more Love…


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