Facebook promoted a personal year-in-review this year that I thought was kind of lame, as it only included ten pictures. Not even 12, Facebook? But it’s enough to jog one’s memory. Like many others before it, this year went by very quickly, but we seemed to do a lot. For instance, in…
I take my recently unemployed self back to school to become a teacher. I do a week-long (6 days) intensive course at Seattle’s S-TESL (School of Teaching English as a Second Language.) It is the first time since high school that I have to be in class all day long (9-3), plus I have to commute at least 90 minutes on either end. Plus a shitload of homework. It’s a rough week, made rougher by the flu that was so thoughtfully shared with the class, and the teacher, by the student who sat next to me on the first day. At the mid-point of this hell-week, I think I’m going to get a brief respite and some much needed sleep, with a light homework load for the night. So, of course, that’s the night that Shaun decides to land in the ER by slicing off the tip of his finger with the mandoline. At least the cheesy potatoes turned out good. (That reminds me, we should try that recipe again.) I only do the one class as an intensive, and the rest of the quarter is spent in an online class, and observing an actual class at Pierce college. Online learning is rather meh, but excellent connections are made during this time. Speaking of connections, in…
I get to see my favorite author, Nick Hornby, in person, and buy his new book, Funny Girl. It is a massive let down from previous release, Juliet, Naked. I mean, you know how they say bad pizza is still good because it’s pizza? Well I feel the same about Nick Hornby, but this book is pretty low in my ranking of Hornby books. It’s just too easy, too happy, too perfect. But, forgive and forget. There will (I hope) be others.
Also in February, we get a sizable tax return that is really needed, as Shaun has been unemployed since July. Shaun also gets a new job, so we take a chunk of that tax return and go furniture shopping. On our list is either a new dining table or a new couch, whichever we find first/better. We pick a gorgeous table that is back ordered and won’t be delivered until March (really April.) What actually happens in…
Nothing happens in March. Judging by these posts, March is an awfully uneventful month. I should definitely prepare something to do for March 2016 since I will probably have time. At this point in the year, I’m unemployed but taking Sonja to preschool most of the time, which is especially nice when I’m not the working parent and get a whole two hours to myself. We’re also searching for a sitter as I gear up to return to work. I finally decide to set fire to the LinkedIn offices because they won’t stop sending me e-mails, then decide it would be wiser simply to delete my account. And thus I prove to the world that it is possible to get off of some form of social media. I also buy new dishes from Ikea and almost immediately regret it. See, I buy stoneware because these cool pasta bowls I got in college are stoneware and they’ve held up beautifully. Turns out the scratches you get on stark white stoneware look like cat hair. Sometimes, it is cat hair. How long do I have to wait before buying new dishes? Also, Sonja goes to a preschool friend’s Frozen-themed birthday party, and despite never having given a damn about Frozen before, I now have to listen to Let it Go 4,000 times. In the slightly more eventful month of…
I return to work for the test-scoring company I worked for in 2014, only this year I manage to finagle a supervisor position. It is fun and I make a few new friends, but the hours are a pain. Having decided that online classes were for the birds, I trek it from the workplace in Kent to school in North Seattle twice a week. I leave about 7:00 in the morning and get home around 10 at night, which means for two days straight, I don’t get to see Sonja. She’s fine when I’m not there, but there’s much extra clinginess when I am home. We also get a babysitter for a few hours a week. It’s the first time we have left her in the care of someone who is not family, and she absolutely adores the person we chose.
We also finally get our new dining room table. We immediately have to send it back because there’s a gap in the wood. When we get a good one, we notice that’s it’s super unstable on our carpeting, and I almost return it. Since I really don’t want to go through another two-month ordeal to get a table, I hem and haw and the table begins to settle into the carpeting. It’s mostly stable now and it is gorgeous. Almost worth the wait. Next, in…
Sonja has her “special day” at preschool. I struggle to get over a cough I’ve had for two months, right around the same time Betty Francis is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Fortunately for me, I live to see the ending of Mad Men, and it’s every bit as great as I’d hoped. David Letterman leaves me as well, and there is a huge void in my entertainment center. I also finish up with school and my job, so I take Sonja for a special day at the Tacoma Children’s Museum and immediately lose her. This is the first and hopefully last time that ever happens. She, not nearly as traumatized as me, has a great day. This is also the day we stop by the UBookstore in Tacoma and purchase Ketovey.
In June, we spend a day and all our cash at Wild Waves, née Enchanted Village. We also take Sonja to see Inside Out, during which someone cries an awful lot. Okay, fine, it’s me. I also sign her up for ballet lessons so that we have something to do. And gymnastics and swimming too. Ballet is by far her favorite, and she has been taking the same class now for six months.
July sees a few more outings, including to the beach and the zoo.
August sees the much-anticipated trip to Victoria, Canada. The trip that Sonja is still talking about. She asks me, on almost a daily basis, if we can go back to Canada. Or when it will be summer so we can go to Canada again. She wants to bring the same snacks, and go on the same ferry with the ice cream, and stay in the same hotel and watch TV.
Sonja and I also drive down to the southern end of the state to visit friends, and I cross off the last WA state Old Spaghetti Factory from my list.
And then, of course, there’s…
In which my baby turns four years old. A week before her party she attends her friend’s party and goes bowling for the first time. I land a pretty sweet teaching gig. And we actually, much to my amazement, go out and buy a couch. I didn’t think we’d get one this year after we bought the table, but we desperately need one. In terms of purchases, I put these couches between the Ikea dishes and the dining table. They are very comfortable but much darker in our living room than I thought. I don’t exactly regret them, but I’m not in love either. How long do I have to wait before buying a new couch? As the weather turns crisp and brisk, we head into….
Sonja starts another year of preschool. She goes on another field trip to a pumpkin patch. She goes trick or treating and screams and runs away from candy she doesn’t like. Again. I spend the last week of September and the first couple of October running between two teaching jobs. It’s a little hectic, but I survive. I get the sneaking suspicion that all of it would be manageable without a small child to care for. Speaking of which, Sonja has her 4-year well-child check, which doubles as my yearly therapy session. When Sonja refuses to take her head out of my chest and stop crying, I tell her, half-jokingly, that she is embarrassing me. The doctor assures me that her behavior is hers and not mine, and the sooner I realize that, the better off I’ll be. It’s a bit of a turning point for me.
We finally put our new table to good use by serving Thanksgiving dinner on it. Try as I might, I simply cannot remember to take photographs of food. You’re welcome, internet. In other news, Shaun turns another year older, an event for which I also lack pictures. In fact, I don’t think I have any pictures of November, so that means it didn’t happen, right?
I have almost the entire month of December off. We visit Santa Claus, his reindeer, and Caspar Babypants. We also take our friends to the crazy busy zoo lights at Point Defiance Zoo. Nearly a year after I quit a company I was pretty sure was ripping off its employees, I get a check for backpay and liquidated damages. Santa spoils the whole family, and I start writing this year in review. Happy New Year! Now let the events for the 2016 Year-in-Review roll!