Oh, January, how you bring me down each and every year. At least it's happened so often that I now know it's coming, not that I seem to be able to do anything about it. It's dark. It's cold. It's wet. All the sparkle and shine of Christmas is gone from the world and spring still seems an eternity away.
January also gets me thinking big thoughts about CHANGING EVERYTHING, but of course once saner heads prevail in the sunnier month of February I usually realize I've got it pretty good.
Last year I was in such a dark place in January. Much darker than this year. Over Christmas was when we realized that public school wasn't what we wanted for Adeline but we hadn't found the right school for us and January was the month when we found the right place but were told that there was no space for Adeline. I was so desperate last January I was even considering homeschooling which I know can be great for some families but I just don't think it would have worked for us. This January we're making some decisions about preschool for Vivi (seriously - can you believe that???). She turns three in the summer (what??? my baby girl??? three???) and could start in the preschool program at Adeline's amazing and fabulous and wonderful school, but there are some buts... It's five half days a week and that just seems a lot to me for a wee three with a stay-at-home Mom and money is a big issue as well, as paying tuition for two is DAUNTING and can't be done on David's salary alone no matter how we crunch the numbers. I don't want to go out to work just to pay for Vivian to be in full day care and am hoping to continue being at home until she's in school full time at six if I can. Preschool is only slightly less than elementary even though it's half days, so it's a pretty big number. David has started work to get our basement ready for renters and I've moved all the junk from renovated a corner of our office/computer area/giant closet into a workable if not pretty crafting space, so I hope to earn half or more of Vivian's tuition by doing one or more craft fairs next Christmas and by resurrecting my etsy shop. It's hard to work after dark once the girls are in bed, but I'm going to have to find the motivation. And of course to go to school you have to be out of diapers and finished napping, and I don't know if that will happen by September. Our registration needed to be in by the end of this month so we've gone ahead and signed her up, but there is still time to make a final decision by the summer. We attended an Open House last week, and Vivi did seem very ready. Vivian marched right in and made herself completely at home, she chose activities from the shelves and worked on them with a lot of focus and most amazingly, she made conversation with all the teachers! Viv has really only said a couple of words to people outside our little family and she still often scowls at strangers who talk to her or she hides behind me, but on the Open House night she was obviously completely comfortable in her potential classroom as she was chatting away with the teachers and administration, and laughing and smiling with people while I just blended in to the background and watched her. This was HUGE for me and it almost brought a tear to my eye, thinking of how far she's come and feeling so grateful for the amazing school community that she'll be joining when she's ready. My baby girl was so sad and so scared for such a long time, but that night for the first time I saw her sparkle without me and I knew that she will feel safe and happy at school and that in her heart she finally knows that I'm not going to leave her.
Have I every told you that toilet training has been the WORST parenting job I've had so far and I am DREADING going through it again. Sure, maybe it will all be different with Viv but it was ...years... of drama with Adeline. I vowed never to go into the details here in a public space, but yeah... Whew.
January has also been a month of colds with two back to back ones for Vivian and David and one that seems to drag on endlessly for Adeline. At least I've stayed healthy so far...
Other January stuff... Adeline is doing skating lessons at school and has managed to skate approximately three inches, but she never gives up and she never stops having fun! I love that about her! She had wanted to go back to Rhythmic Gymnastics and was all signed up but then the class was cancelled so she decided to try karate instead. Adeline likes it a lot and seems to be picking it up quickly, but I must admit that at least where she's taking it it's way too violent for me. She loves to try new things - I think if I offer her something new after karate she'll be happy to move on.In January Adeline also prepared for and totally rocked her Grade One Royal Conservatory of Music exam. I was really proud of all the effort she put into it and how she never complained even though it felt like we spent WEEKS AND WEEKS just polishing her scales and arpeggios! Adeline has got a lot of violin happenings this spring and her playing has really had another great leap forward, so I'm excited to see where she's going to take it this year.
One of the bright spots in January has been how great Adeline and Vivian are getting along and how SUPER FUN their shared play has been for both of them lately. I love watching them play "Cockatiels Save Christmas" or "Karate Cats" or "Baby Animal Rescue". I love hearing them laugh together.
Six more days in January. I'll make it. Barely. February will be better, right?
I just looked for a photo to include with this post and realized I haven't even taken any pictures since Christmas. Now we know there's something wrong with me!!!