Every year I sit down and review the entire set of blog posts written over the past twelve months, admittedly not a lot this year. I make pledges to write more often even though I know I won’t, realistically; I will have spurts where I write every day and I will have spurts where I write nothing for months at a time.

It feels weird to be sitting here thinking about the changes that went by in the last year, and how much has changed in some regards while very little has changed in others. Last year at this time I was sitting 5 feet away from this spot, on the couch, facing east while reminiscing, this time I am facing south, but the room is unchanged aside from a new couch where the old once was.

I’m thinking about what it was like to share in my wife’s third pregnancy; after the second felt so very rushed, the third seemed more real to me in a lot of ways because I was able to slow down and take in all of the sights and sounds as it were. There were some scary moments but we had a beautiful baby boy in February, got ejected from the hospital during the worst snowstorm of the year (it took hours to drive home) and went back that night when I experienced a kidney stone - a horrifyingly painful experience I don’t wish upon anybody. Now Ben is almost a year old, starting to walk, slowly switching to milk and food; and I’m taking advantage of the rare quiet of a nap time to go over my thoughts and appreciate just how fast the year has gone by.

Before the birth, I thought about what might be useful to parents who need a babysitter - the result was Babysitter Buddy - a website that prompts parents for emergency contact numbers and other important details that a babysitter should know; it’s a useful way to make sure nothing gets forgotten so you can go have fun and know that the person that you’ve left your children in the care of will know everything your kids need to get through the night. Next year I want to re-visit it and improve the interface, make it a bit friendlier and easier to use, now that I’ve had some time away and can approach it objectively again.

2011 had a lot of highs and lows. There were the cute moments that put everything into perspective and remind us why growing a family is so important. There were the nights of frustration and lost sleep that make you want to start scratching days into the wall to count down the time before they turn 18 and move out. We tried new things like having the kids help out with chores and revisited our old standby, the cloth diaper. We’re back on disposables now; cloth is a lot of work when you have three non-stop potty machines on the go.

What’s next for 2012? All three kids will be walking, the oldest may finally be big enough to fit into a booster seat, and we’re going to look for ways to get more involved in our community. By focusing on the core five of us and contributing to the neighbourhood, I want to strengthen our family bonds and give our kids a healthier and happy foundation to begin their school careers (in 2013!).