Oh-so-(and not so)-quiet January

January 2011. Never too late for a review of the month, right?

Well, I've covered the snow--and it really covered us! (Ba-dum-pum.) It was a snowy January but I'm okay with that. It's what January is supposed to do, after all; it's a quieter, colder, snowier month. This January just over-achieved a bit.

Sometime in January our dishwasher decided it didn't want to drain anymore. We dug out the dish drying rack from under the sink and have gone back to the old fashioned art of washing and drying by hand, at least until I manage to get someone to come and fix it.

But, truly, I'm in no hurry. (Or at least not yet.) We didn't have a dishwasher until 2000, when we bought our first home and--surprise, surprise!--it's much more fun now that there are three additional dish-doers. I love hearing their music and laughter and shenanigans while they do the clean-up as a raucous but effective team. Lately the girls have rediscovered this song and it's their dish-doing anthem. See?

Yes, Maddy is getting taller than Lauren and they feel, respectively, victorious and frustrated about it. This clip makes me laugh because it really captures them with the silliness, good nature, and little blips of scuffles. Yep, that's life with those two. And for the record, I adore 12-year-old boys who wash dishes, even if they don't like to be filmed.

We celebrated G's birthday with a very quiet fanfare: a family dinner, pie, presents.  He recently read Born to Run so one of the things he got was a pair of Vibram's Five Finger shoes so he could give "barefoot" running a try once the snow is gone.  At the end of the month, we went to the John and Abigail Adams Benefit Ball again this year at the Museum of Fine Arts thrown by the Massachusetts Bar Association. Basically, it's prom for lawyers. Lots of great people-watching and a nice excuse to dress up and pretend to be comfortable with social air kissing.

Lauren, as of February 1st, finished her last scholarship/college application and completed midyear exams at school, which means she is officially a second semester senior.  I think we're both relieved.  I can finally back off on the friendly/nagging mom reminders about due dates, essays, follow-through, etc. and she can finally relax and lounge more. One day after clashing a bit over what needed to be done for looming deadlines and...I don't know...maybe family cleaning assignments she said "okay, fine" but her true feelings behind her gritted teeth were revealed as she blared Cee-Lo's "Forget You" (don't worry, it really was that version) as I walked away. I had to laugh. So, yes, we are glad those deadlines are past.

Maddy's singlehandedly revived the art of letter writing among her circle of friends, sending and receiving real, paper-and-stamp letters. Remember when mail was a big deal? When you watched for the mail man? We're back to those days around here and I love it. Miss M's still taking the high school by storm and by the time she gets home, she's wiped out and usually cuddles up on the couch for a good nap before tackling home work and practicing. Sam, too.

Sam decided to try out for the middle school musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," his first try at the theatah. All during the auditions he'd come home and say "I really love this! it's so fun to be on stage." He ended up getting called back three times for Charlie Brown and was both relieved and disappointed when the role went to a seasoned 8th grader (but mostly relieved). So Sam's in the Peanuts gang as Roy, with a few speaking parts in every scene, and having a blast. Who knew? This month he also has attended a couple of bar mitzvahs, played basketball, trained to be a soccer ref, and recently announced that he really really wants to be rich when he grows up. So good luck with that, our own little budding Alex P. Keaton, since we're not really known for our financial savvy. Buy high, sell low, right?