2018 Family Update, by Ben
As we start 2018 (and admit that updates to this blog have been less frequent than desired), I'd like to look back at where we've been and what we've done for those of you who weren't able to be here with us.
Moss hasn't been a baby for a while, but now he's our big kid 4 year old. He's still extremely sensitive and impulse driven, but has dropped much of his caution in favor of crashing, big jumps, and expressive movement. Last autumn we enrolled him in a parent participation preschool, where he's able to dump most of the energy that we were doing our best to absorb. His main interests are messy art crafts, woodworking, gardening, jumping up and down on a bouncy tire for 90 straight minutes, and tending to the chickens and rabbit that call the school home. He continues to work on reading and writing, though his letters always seem to come out backwards running right to left. He also took on a particular interest in building this year. After churning out a collection of original Duplo creations, we introduced him to proper Lego, with which he mostly builds fantastical multipurpose vehicles and machines. He's already mastered the climber he and Ly got for Christmas, and has figured out how to ride a pedal bike (starting and stopping notwithstanding). His current favorite activity at home is listening to audiobooks on the CD player in his room.
For a child of 3, Lyra is remarkably kind and thoughtful (when she's not being a wicked contrarian). And for a kid who probably lacks theory of mind, she shows considerable empathy and compassion for all living things. She loves her "treatures", and has almost mastered the /k/ phoneme enough to call them "creatures". She's not in school yet, so she's getting lots of Mommy/Lyra time that she hadn't had before, and will be joining Moss's school this September. Ly has become an exacting artist. She paints and draws her dreams, many of which involve Rinconada pool or fireworks at my friend Tom's house. Her painting and marker work is wildly expressive yet fastidious. Her work is now featured on the refrigerators of at least 3 private residences. In play, Lyra is cautious but carries herself with confidence and takes pride in her efforts. She's also become a climber, and figured out her scooter on her first day of cul de sac riding. While I hesitate to call them inseparable, Moss and Lyra have developed a sweet, eccentric partnership. They have a keen interest in coining bizarre names for inanimate and imaginary objects ("Duh" and "Guh" the dolls, "Pyfineboo" the paper skeleton, "Flocko" the rental van, "Leaf & Bean & Road" the scooter, "Pekoe" the boy made of rocks...). They regularly get married (which to them means they both wear hats and carry handbags), and regularly beat the ever-loving shit out of each other before calming down and using their words. They're both still coping with the move and losing Aoro, and talk about both regularly. I hope they've been able to prop one another up.
This year Calla continued her never-ending round-robin tour of every local playground, museum, farm, nature preserve, creek, forest, and beach with her sidekicks. She spent her personal time in voracious pursuit of any and all fiber arts, cooking, photography, reading, drawing, running, and yoga. She managed to finish Lyra's quilt and 3 Xmas stockings just in time for the holidays, and is designing 2 more larger pieced quilt projects. Learning how to make dresses from knit fabrics is next in the queue, along with knitting through her absurd yarn stash. For the second time since moving to California, Calla's brought a piano into the house (this time it is intact and doesn't require tuning!) and learning some new music in her spare time.
I spent most of this year dealing with a complicated project at work. In January, it was daunting; now it's often frustrating but seemingly tractable. It's been exciting and scary to take on a leadership position for something with an uncertain future, but there's been real progress and I got a promotion out of it. At home, I continued my tradition of making Halloween costumes (we were all bugs this year thanks to Ly's rollypoly inspiration) and have been learning to quilt with Cal. I've been trying to spend more time with Moss and Ly after the craziness of the first half of the year. I was so proud to see Moss's first bike ride; Lyra's face when she saw her freshly iced flower cake warmed my heart. I also decided to embrace my inner Southerner this year and added a pickemup truck to our 2 hound household. Calla and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversay this October (and are coming up on 15 years together this Spring). We've finally found some good baby sitters and have been making more time for each other independent of the kids. We're resuming our nights at the opera (how I miss the Lyric!) and trying to climb together. Calla took a quilting class in January that I found surprisingly compelling, and it's been refreshing to explore a creative interest together. Ly's also been eyeing the sewing machine.
As a family, we've had an eventful year. I ended up doing more travelling than expected for work at inopportune times, leaving Calla on her own with Moss and Ly both at home, on the road, and dealing with a surprise move. We were able to attend a reunion of the Roushes for a really special weekend with Calla's family in May, as well as Mimi K's 65th Riverboat Bonanza in September. We celebrated 6 California Trofatter birthdays and said goodbye to our beloved dog Aoro. We rang in the new year with old friends. So much can change in a year that seems at once to drag on and flash by. Activity and joy spend time like a prodigal; hurt hangs on the longest moments. In 2017, we grew as people and shrank in number, but I'd like to think the Trofatters haven't diminished. Here's to a new year!
Photos of March - December 2017
Ham and cheeeeese
Swing bed on a chilly day
"Let me be a tandaroo"
Arrow to the sun
off to OH
Solo airport parenting
Aaaaand now you're restrained
Hiding under Grandmimi's couch
fell onto the toy table corner
Last photo of Mister Boo
Lyra and Subi are sad about it
But they have each other
Tea break at Google
A working tea, though
💔 💔 💔
Space party favors
Still alien Moss, even though the alien paint is (sort of) gone
Where the doggos peeked out for 4 years
Yeah that's how I look when I eat mac and cheese too
Where can Moss be found at school: here...
Ly's nature photography
First day of school: before
First day of school: after
Lyra drew Subi and Aoro so she could always remember them
Driving a boat
13th anniversary. Laughing because he said my phone takes photos about as well as a potato
At the circus, first time eating cotton candy
How high can I get them?
Aaaaah, too high!
The Flash undies are purely conincidence
Outcome to both kids jumping in mud puddles for 5 minutes
spaceships and aliens
"the spaceship from 2001"
a happy spaceship with a radar dish
"I want a green sunflower apron"
Handy thing, having a crafty dad.
Happy new year!