Season's greetings, friends + family! We are a tad late in getting out our holiday well-wishes, but we are sending happy thoughts your way.
Having two kids makes the years go by faster and faster ... or maybe it's just because we're getting older? Whatever the reason, 2008 sped by and I'm actually surprised that 2009 is just a couple of days away. We had some exciting goings-on this year, mostly good and one a little nerve-wracking.
The kids continue to grow at an astounding pace. Maya turned three in November and, even after three years, we're still not sure where her personality comes from. She is strong-willed and has quite the independent streak. She's outgoing and fun-loving, but she's also trouble! I guess a good way to describe her is as a princess-loving tomboy. One thing I can say, she keeps us on our toes. Now, if only I knew how to harness her energy in a more positive way ...
Ian started third grade in September and is doing so well. He reads well above grade level and started the GATE program at school. He continues with his French lessons, and I think the language is starting to sink in. I predict just a few more years before he can take us around France! He still loves to play (and watch) sports; he finished his fourth season playing soccer and will play baseball in the spring. But first comes basketball (with [rupert] as his coach). To counterbalance outdoor activities, Ian also enjoys playing video games, especially on the Nintendo DS he got for Hanukkah.
[rupert] is in his second year of the PhD program at UCLA. He received a fellowship, which enabled him to stop working at Los Angeles Unified School District at the end of summer (the timing couldn't have been better, actually, with layoffs and such). He works part-time on campus, which means he doesn't have to drive between Westwood and downtown everyday. Our big scare came midyear when the doctor found that the right side of [rupert]'s thyroid was really enlarged. It was so large, in fact, that the endocrinologist was surprised he wasn't having problems breathing and swallowing. Long story short, [rupert] now only has half a thyroid, and -- thankfully -- the growth was benign.
As for me, most of the year passed without much incident. Until very recently the highlights of the year were two weekend getaways [rupert] and I went on without the kids (to NYC and Chicago) for family weddings. But then, just a few weeks ago, I got a job as the librarian at the elementary school I used to work at before Maya was born. I only worked one week before winter break started, but it is the best job I could ask for at this stage in my life. Now that I'm working, Maya will start preschool in January. We spent some time at the preschool yesterday and she seemed to enjoy it very much, but we'll have to see how she adjusts. Hopefully it will be a win-win situation for all of us.
Wishing you many delightful joys and wonderful discoveries in 2009,
[yucaree], [rupert], ian + maya