I’m not entirely sure I want to remember the last half of 2014. It just doesn’t seem like a lot of good things happened, and when one is writing or reading a year-in-review, I think one wants to write or read good things. Somehow, even though I am a perennial pessimist, I cannot help but think that all the bad things are just paving the way to a much better 2015. So here is a look back at 2014, warts and all.
Sonja starts preschool. I enroll her in a crunchy co-op which meets once a week. Kids play in one room and parents have a discussion led by a parent-educator in an adjoining room. In the beginning it feels like, “eh, it’s something to do,” but by the end it seems to have been a good experience. The highlight was deciding to attempt potty-training earlier than I would have after hearing another mom describe her plan. At the next week’s discussion, the mom was describing all the difficulties she was having getting her son to understand the concept, and Sonja was good to go. Literally.
The annual Groundhog’s Day party is always the highlight of the month. This year’s party was small but as always fun and filled with good food. We let the kids watch “Finding Nemo” and my friend’s 5 month old started laughing at one of the scenes, which delighted her so much she said she was going to buy it.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t blog as much this year as usual or even take as many pictures, so March is a bit fuzzy. This is also when I started watching Deadwood, so that may have something to do with it.
We took Sonja to the Spring Fair which was a complete disaster. We overpaid for bad food, and we bought a ticket package for rides that we couldn’t even find. As we dragged a crabby two-and-a-half year old around the overly crowded plaza looking for kiddie land, I lost the tickets. It was a superbly beautiful day, at least, and we did find one ride, the Merry-Go-Round.
I finally tackle a project that had been driving me crazy since we moved in to the house. The closet doors in what became Sonja’s room were painted a deep maroon color and it was not a pleasant sight. So I took them down and painted them white, and Sonja helped me stick on some fun animal decals. I love painting, not because it’s totally tedious, but because it can do wonders to refresh the eyes.
It seems like every year we have some big purchase for the house which helps define the year (2013 – year of the gas range, 2012 – year of the bedroom furniture) but no such luck or misfortune befell us in 2014. The most I can say is that we finally repaired our fence which was taken about by a windstorm a few months earlier, and I bought an awesome tea kettle.
This is where the year starts to take an interesting turn. I take a short, full-time gig scoring standardized tests. It starts off a little weird, in that you must pass a test to qualify to score the tests, but as it goes on I begin to understand why they do what they do. I make some really great friends and have a pretty good time, plus it starts me thinking about teaching again.
The gig only lasts a month, as I began at the end of the scoring season, and by mid-
We take off for what is becoming an annual trip to Seaside, Oregon. We have a great time right up until lunch the day we leave, when my husband gets the phone call that he is being laid off from his job. This is where the years starts turning dark. It’s not so bad living la vida unemployment but it leads to a very unfortunate choice a couple months down the line.
Another birthday. I celebrate with friends for the first time in a few years, and it’s a great time. I should do that more often. We have a fun, sunny month wherein we get to do things we usually don’t get to do, like take the dog to the park in the afternoon on a weekday and dance at the Farmer’s Market.
Sonja turns three and the weather is great for her weekend party in the park. On the actual day of her birth, I have an interview, which I take as a good omen that I’ll get the job. I’m right about landing the job, but completely wrong about the omen.
Sonja starts a new crunchy co-op preschool that meets twice a week and does not have a parent discussion. Parents are allowed to leave as long as they are not the parent helper, but I don’t get to enjoy any of it for being at work. Grandma has to take her. Sonja is super excited about trick or treating this year, though it takes all month for her to decide on a costume. She finally picks (surprise!) Woody from Toy Story. When we go trick or treating, she looks completely dejected at houses that don’t have M&Ms or Hershey bars, and refuses any other candy. When we get to the house that offers her a popcorn ball, she screams her head off.
Sonja gets to see her first movie in the theater, Disney’s Big Hero 6. She has a great time and proves herself to be the most well-behaved three-year-old on the planet. Sonja is having a hard-time adjusting to me being at work, and I am too because the job is so miserable and the employees are treated like dirt by a company that doesn’t know what it’s doing and that couldn’t find its ass with two hands and a flashlight.
Sonja is so excited for Christmas and Santa. She wants to see Santa at the mall. No tears, until afterwards when we’re waiting in line for the photo and she realizes she told Santa she wanted a kitchen but forgot to tell him she also wanted a dinosaur. Lucky for her, Santa is omniscient and brings her both things anyway. I struggle to get through the holidays at work, finally deciding it’s just not worth it to be so unhappy. The day after Christmas, after most people have left the office, I clear the personal property off my desk, stuff it in the reusable Target bag I carry in my purse for just such an emergency, and head home. Monday morning I send a very brief email saying I won’t be returning. I’d never quit by e-mail before but I highly recommend it, especially when your manager only talks to you via email anyway. It’s never felt so good to be unemployed. Luckily I have a few tricks up my sleeve and I’m hoping the 2015 end-of-year report is nothing but good news.
Happy New Year!