Season's Greetings

Welcome to another installment of the Hodges family holiday letter. We got caught up in the zeitgeist and bring you Change for 2008. First item of change, after 7 successful years of mailing our holiday letter, rising costs and an expanding circulation have driven us to become an online only publication. If you have any complaints about the new format, print out the letter, mail it to yourself 400 times and see how much lighter your wallet is. Other items of change: A new address (now deeper into the burbs), a new car (traded in the SUV), a new job for Hass, a new school for Josie, and the same old us.

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Hassan

All tied up

After 5-years at the Star-Ledger, Hass accepted a buyout offer and is currently working part time at our local Apple Store while trying to get a little photo / web / map business going. He is also keeping his fingers crossed about another opportunity that could supersede the previous two paths.
Update 12/30/08: Looks like that opportunity is a go, and Hass will be starting at the New York Times as an internal web developer next month.

Nicole

0816081842.jpg

Nicole's big change was adapting our recipes to meet our family's increasingly complicated dietary needs. (Hass is now a vegan, Cole is a vegetarian but avoids soy, while Josie is just a capricious 3-year-old ) She also started managing her underactive thyroid. Stay tuned for a skinnier, warmer and more awake Nicole in 2009. On the job front, she is now a principal scientist, but still working on a bridge replacement (see holiday letters 04, 05, 06, 07 for details on the bridge).

Josie

Safety First

Josie adjusted well to her new Montessori school where much to Hass's chagrin she sometimes comes home with notes covered in hearts drawn by boys. Despite consistently great behavior at school, home-life is often dominated by a rare form of megalomania found only in three year olds and Caribbean dictators. As a 3-year-old, she has stopped asking "Why?" (repeat, repeat) but now stumps us with tougher questions: "How do ducks float when they are sleeping?"

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Leif & Birdie

Leif & Birdie

Artist's rendering We sat Josie down in front of Face Your Manga and let her "draw" Leif & Birdie's look.

We also welcomed two new imaginary family members, Leif and Birdie. As Josie's adopted orphans (or sometimes her biological kids), they are her constant companions, each with their own unique personalities. 3-year-old Leif has a bit of a chip on his shoulder and is constantly stirring up trouble. He is usually the culprit behind many a cup of spilled milk, falls from chairs, or delays when trying to leave the house. Birdie on the other hand is a cooperative 2-year-old girl, eager to help and always ready for hugs. She just celebrated her birthday, turning 2 again.

Family Photos

Lessons Learned

Our annual look at the things we found out the hard way.

  • 10
    Desperate times call for desperate measures, like: Bribing the kid with a pancake breakfast at McDonalds.
  • 9
    When taking a 3-year-old to vote, don't mention the candidate you're not voting for. That will be the name she repeats as your vote.
  • 8
    3 years, 8 months and 1 day.
  • 7
    It's easy for a kid to win at Candy Land, but it takes real skill for a grownup to lose at memory.
  • 6
    With a multicultural 3-year-old in the house, be prepared to celebrate holidays for all faiths.
  • 5
    Never enter into a gift giving conspiracy with a 3-year-old who loves to share secrets.
  • 4
    When in D.C. don't take pictures of bridges unless you've got the time to get handcuffed and have a background check run.
  • 3
    The long arms of the "Dora Industrial Complex" are nothing compared to the reach of the "trans-national princess syndicate".
  • 2
    Gorilla Glue, avoid contact with skin.
  • 1
    Bringing in imaginary parents to discipline imaginary kids will only result in an arms race.
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Pretty Pictures

Wishing you the best for 2009.

-- Hassan, Nicole and Josie

Keep in touch

You can find us in all the usual spots:

The Rough Cut

Every day, we share some of the moments that go into this letter in 140 characters or less. These are some of the best of those.

  • 10
    mommy: she's going to need a B-A-T-H tonight. josie: Why I need a B.L.T?

    5:20 PM Jan 12th, 2008

  • 9
    7 months and the gig is up. The kid just realized the cat is not coming back from "visitng some kitty friends"

    5:19 PM Mar 17th, 2008

  • 8
    efforts to buy good behavior from the 3-year-old seem to be going well, and only costing 33 cents a day. That's cheaper than public radio.

    6:33 PM May 26th, 2008

  • 7
    the kid: Daddy didn't do a good job with my pony tail because he's not a very good scientist, like mommy.

    8:20 AM Jun 9th, 2008

  • 6
    counting the stuffed animal stowaways on vacation. 3 have entry visas. 5 illegals have been detained.

    7:15 AM Aug 24th, 2008

  • 5
    the kid spilled her milk in the car twice, then spilled the replacement milk once, then everybody rode home wet, and the kid went commando

    1:01 PM Oct 4th, 2008

  • 4
    me: "I'm thinking about going vegan." The kid: "I want to be a pelican!"

    7:48 AM Jun 11th, 2008

  • 3
    back from the mall, where the kid made me sing "walking in memphis" while she used the potty, then asked for an anatomy lesson while I went.

    4:13 PM Apr 20th, 2008

  • 2
    watching the kid bubble wrap her stuffed animals for this week's move.

    10:25 AM Jul 27th, 2008

  • 1
    kid asks for toast. refuses toast, cries, demands oatmeal. After negotiation, oatmeal made. Kid refuses oatmeal, eats toast, parents cry.

    7:34 AM Sep 24th, 2008

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