A Great Christmas

Joe had a fun-filled day, playing with his Grandma and Grandpa and getting to know a whole slew of new toys.

He has a puppy that sings and follows a remote control, and another one that sings songs with his name in them.

The puppy

He also got an assortment of other noisy, bright, blinky things. Plus some cool books, one of which I read to him tonight before putting him to bed an hour earlier than usual. Poor dude was worn out!

Here he is enjoying a ride on the turtle scooter sent by his previously mentioned super-cool Aunt Michele:

Turtle smiler

And again after getting dressed in an outfit hand-picked by his Nana:

It’s hard to believe that his first full calendar year on earth is coming to a close. It sometimes still seems like he just got here!

Merry Christmas!

Patrick’s parents are visiting from New York, and we had a great big Christmas Eve dinner last night:

Christmas Eve Dinner

Here is Joe in his Christmas Eve outift:

Christmas Eve outfit

And here he is, all teeny-tiny just a year ago:

New Stroller!

This morning, we’ll have a little breakfast and open some presents. Joe has a lot of packages under the tree!

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Saving the World Through Microloans

When Joe was just a tiny baby, his super-cool Aunt Michele gave him a $50 credit at Kiva.

Their site explains them better than I can:

Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

So, you can go to Kiva’s website and find a project that interests you, or an entrepreneur who catches your eye. Maybe it’s a barber in Beirut, or a cleaning lady in Mexico City.

Their request is outlined with an explanation of how much money they need and what they’ll use it for (new supplies, hiring an assistant, adding onto their store, etc.)

You lend a little bit of money ($25 will do it) to get them closer to their goal. And as business picks up, they repay you.

Patrick and I split that first $50 credit. He loaned $25 for a motorcycle repairman in Vietnam to get new tools. I loaned $50 for a woman in Mexico to regularly transport craftspeople from her small town to larger areas where their crafts could be sold.

Regular updates let us know how they were doing, and how close they were to paying us back.

That $50 has been repaid for some time now, and I just reloaned it. This time I used the search function to find women entrepreneurs (after reading about Half the Sky) who needed help.

So now Gloria in Mexico and Hayat in Lebanon are each getting $25 to invest in their retail businesses.

When Joe gets older, he’ll get to help pick out what kind of business we lend to, and where.

Go see where your $25 can help!

Snow Day!

The snow started last night before we went to bed, and it’s still coming down!

We all bundled up this morning to check it out, but (as Patrick predicted) I could only take about 10 minutes of it.

Snowboys

us
Poor Joe had the worst night of sleep since he was a newborn. He woke up crying at 1 a.m. and 4 a.m., and somewhere in there he woke up happily la-la-la’ing too. We think he was having nightmares (about what?), which I’m told sometimes coincide with a growth spurt. We’ll see!

He went down for a nap right after lunch, at which point the Best Husband Ever brought me the traditional snow-day lunch of a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. ON A TRAY. With a great big Diet Coke. Love him.

Our Town

Joe and I spent the morning running errands on foot. (Well, my feet — his stroller.) On a three-mile loop around our house, we made it to:

  • the bank
  • the post office
  • Goodwill
  • Family Dollar
  • CVS
  • Big Lots

… and very nearly stopped at McDonald’s for lunch!

That’s one of the really nice things about where we live: great sidewalks and lots of businesses nearby. I would hate having to get in the car for every little thing.

Here is Joe, trying on a seasonal accessory at Family Dollar:

santa