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Raising Hellions 2012 Year in Review… Electric Boogaloo 2 the Quickening

January 2, 2013

Happy New Year to all of you Raising Hellions readers. Seriously, both of you should give yourselves a big round of applause for sticking through another year of spotty posting, bad 80’s movie jokes and strange musical tastes.  I may not be the most reliable blogger on the intertubes, but at least I’m upfront about it.

But enough about my crippling creati

ve depression, let’s talk about the amazing year the Hellions had in 2012. Focus on the future I say! The next generation shall carry the day! Because you certainly don’t want to depend upon us Gen Xers… we kind of suck.

The Schmoo. 

The Schmoo turned seven in February and entered the second grade at SCPA, where she is in deep study to become a Diva, and a tortured artiste.  And maybe a president/scientist/shortstop  as well.  We are still calling for a very high ceiling on this talented little girl.  Or Big Girl. Holy fuck. I have a seven year old!

The Schmoo’s creative endeavors have plastered our house with artwork, small diorama’s, unfinished novella’s and what I think are the beginnings of a plan to foment a coup in Chile.  Note to self, stop letting that CIA kid come over for playdates.

She is an independent little kid, with a mind of her own that is sharp and

inquisitive.  She is also definitely my Lawful Good kid, with a clear sense of right and wrong and a tendency to fret and worry when others misbehave.

The Peanut.

The Peanut is five and started kindergarten at the big school downtown with her sister. Whilst the Peanut and Schmoo are still fast friends, the exposure to new kids at school has been really good for Carolina. She already has a clique of sorts, with fellow Northside Kids; Bix and Diego, and is well liked by her classmates. I must admit that I have no fucking clue how to react to such an alien situation, my own 1st grade experience haven been medicated away by my friends at the Bushmills Distillery.

Another eager and smart kid (a natural wiz at the maths), the Peanut is learning to read as we speak and will soon only need me for chauffeur duties  until she invents teleportation.  Peanut is Chaotic Good, in that she is much more interested in good outcomes and couldn’t give a hoot what rules get broken along the way.

The Grommit.

The Grommit… The Grommit is my Chaotic Evil child…

Ok, that’s not completely fair.

Linus has had an up and down year.  He is in his first year of preschool at the brand new Parker Woods Montessori, which is a mere three blocks from out house. Which means we walk to school most days, weather permitting. Or I walk and he rides on my shoulders most of the way.  If I have a heart attack on those steps we will all know who to blame.

The Grommit is also still having some speech related issues that can lead to some very frustrating conversation frustration.

He is also resisting potty training. Oh God please let my era of poop come to an end!

He’s lucky he’s cute.

The Rest of the Family.

The Girl is doing fine. Her high falutin job with an immense and impersonal megacorporation sent her whisking around the globe on too many occasions this year, including a two week stint in China that almost killed me. Her second career as  cabinet maker, part of her larger hobby of constantly remodeling our home, has reached fever pitch with the addition of two floor to ceiling closets built into our dining room, as well as the installation of 200 feet of picture railing throughout the house.

In travel news this year we met the Nelson family for extended summer vacation in  Custer State Park, South Dakota, with a stop in the Badlands on the way out and a stop at Arnolds Park, Iowa on the way back.  South Dakota was awesome. We saw bison, antelopes, mountain goats and GIANT PRESIDENTS carved into a mountain.  The girls got to take a mountain horse ride, fish in a creek, and wait in the parking lot of the Emergency Room in Rapid City  to see if surgery would be necessary to remove the bbq pork that had lodged itself in my acid reflux scarred esophagus. Luckily it wasn’t. The Nelson side of the family is doing fine, with everybody growing on schedule and nobody dying and everybody being cool and froody as usual.  Can’t wait to see what we all get into next.

The Doench family soldiers on. The Materfamilias has still struggled a bit with her health issues stemming from last years stroke. But she keeps herself busy sewing like the crazy old lady she is. Visit her Etsy Shop; Abigail’s Apparel, where she sews custom doll clothes for American Girl size dolls.  We also got a great surprise when we found out that my brother Jonathan Muggo and his lovely wife Aimee were expecting. Evidently they had been trying and failing… so they went the fertility doc route… so of course they are having TWINS in February.

The Blog and the Blogger.

The blog continues, even if only sporadically updated. I consider the Monday Muse series to be successful at its primary purpose, getting me writing on a schedule, even if it was just a blurb and a video. I still have some material I wish to  contribute to Skeptic Family in the near future, hoping to make that a weekly occurrence as well.  And I’m always looking for new subject matter. Expect some surprises in the new year.

Personally this year has been a bit of a mixed bag.  On the one hand I’m a bit creatively depressed, finding my writing lacking in frequency and quality, as well as neglecting my photography to an inexcusable extent.  At the same time I’m excited. After years of loyalty to Pentax I have found  renewed creative potential in the Micro 4/3 format of compact mirrorless cameras from Olympus.  The Mu-4/3 forums have been very helpful in making the transition. I picked up a used EP-1 and EP-l1 from their marketplace for a small investment and the rewards have been a pair of small, unobtrusive camera’s that deliver pretty good results for being older models. So this year I’m going to fully convert, selling my Pentax to purchase a top of the line Olympus OMD-E5.  The ability to have that much camera power carried around in the same purse I use for my iPad is the difference make for me. The old DSLR’s are just too heavy and clunky. In fact I will be doing a piece for Skeptic Family about digital photography with your kids where I plan to go into much more detail about the advantages of Micro 4/3 photography.

So Happy New Year Hellion Fans. The world didn’t end, but there is always next year. Maybe we’ll get lucky.

Peace, Love and Understanding…


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