My adventures in pregnancy, motherhood and beyond

Please enjoy the musings and updates and leave me a comment if you'd like!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

15 Months

We've officially got a toddler on our hands! G is toddling around the house and at daycare all day long, even running at times. We managed to get his first steps between James and I on video, and in the weeks since he has improved exponentially! His balance is much better, and he can stand and walk for longer periods of time. Socks and rogue blankets on the floor still trip him up a bit, and he's had one or two bad tumbles, but I love seeing him toddle around the living room. He's adorable, and he is so thrilled with himself for walking. Sometimes he'll stop and laugh and clap!

We've also switched day cares. He is so much happier at the new place; he's still a bit clingy when I drop him off, but he's so much happier and I can already tell it's a much better fit for him. It's so nice to see him smile and laugh when I pick him up instead of start crying. It's just a much better situation all around, and he's been sleeping through the night pretty steadily, with a small hiccup due to a nasty cold, which has left a lingering cough.

Alabama itself is beautiful. We've had two good thunderstorms and plenty of rain. I'd enjoy the rain more if it didn't flood the area by the wood stove (don't get me started on the house repairs) but it's been lovely to listen to the rain with a cup of tea at night. Despite the chaos of not being able to unpack yet, we did get Christmas up; we had our decorated (artificial) tree and James even put up lights on the house!

Christmas was great! Our nephew, Evan, was born on his due date 12/21, and I can hardly wait til we're able to see him in person. Until then, I've been cooing over the pictures on facebook! We had a small, relaxed Christmas with just the three of us opening the ridiculous amount of presents G had. He was so tired he almost fell asleep in his high chair for the second day in a row! James and I spent his nap assembling a cozy coupe car just to find out we'd done it wrong, and fought for a least an hour to disassemble the two incorrect wheels and reassemble it. He loves it though and will get into it on his own :)

My parents were able to come out the day after Christmas and stay through New Year's. We spent 6 days at camp for the winter sessions, called Winterwoods, which seems to have gone really well. Moving into camp is a bit of hassle with all the STUFF (and that's not including cooking things that are lacking in the cabins) but it was a good test for summer. We had a blast showing my parents around and crammed a lot into very few days. I was glad they got to see Beckwith and stay in the cabins with us, and they loved being able to watch G get better at walking and even talking (he says "Look!" now!)

There have been a few rough patches. Ever since we moved I haven't been able to eat anything without getting nauseous. I figured it was my normal stomach upsets until I had to sleep upright in the recliner one night because I was in too much pain if I laid down. Turns out my gallbladder was only functioning at 18% and I had to get it out. The recovery has gone pretty well, but more on that next month.

G is right on track according to the doctor. He says "this" all the time lately, sometimes asking "What's this?" "Dada" is said a lot, though it seems to apply to many different things, and he says something that sounds like "og" or "oggy" when he sees the dogs. He loves to play, but he's very independent. He'll bring you various things, but his favourite toys are a play kitchen GranGran and Granddaddy got him, the tinker toys from Grammy and Gaga and his cozy coupe car from his uncle, which he loves to crawl into while drinking his bottle and watching TV. He's been drinking from sippy cups regularly at day care, and doesn't take toys from other kids, though he gets very upset when his toys are taken from him. He's napping for about two hours from 11:30 and has a pretty good routine down. He's not doing very well at restaurants lately, unfortunately, and I'm not really sure what to do about it. He does well for about 15 minutes, then he's done. I think that's because that's about how long it takes him to eat at home, and we're usually so rushed that our dinner isn't ready or even cooked until after he's asleep. We've gotta get better at that. His tantrums are currently silent, but he goes kinda limp on the floor and you can't move him anywhere or get him to do anything. I hate it, but the best thing is to usually just walk away and let him decide he's done. For now, I'm just loving watching him toddle around whatever room he's in. He loves being mobile!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 in My Rearview

For the past four years, we have moved at least once a year. Three of those moves have taken place in December-January. 2013 was a bit different. We started the year moving out of that horrible apartment complex and back into the house in Orange, which was lovely. There was a lot of work to be done because college boys, but it was so nice to be there and it was fantastic to have the space and the backyard.

We watched G grow and change so much in his first year. He's no longer a little baby, but a little boy. I can't believe how grown up he looks and acts! It seems like he changes every day. Seeing all of his firsts has been awe-inducing in the best possible way.

It was a year of such huge changes. It seems so small when you write it down: I became a mother. But in real life, it is something all-consuming, magical, terrifying, and joyful. And everything changes in a profound way. It's something that I have trouble finding words for. It's everything at once: all the emotions you could possibly feel rolled up and stuffed inside a human body. Your baby takes up your time, and you have to fit all your adult life into the hours between baby's bedtime and your own. That's not a bad thing, but I have seen most Disney Jr episodes multiple times and would love it if he could watch Doctor Who with me. Or even sit through a movie :) It's wonderful and difficult, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I continued to crochet and knit, continuing to teach myself new techniques and even writing (and selling!) my first patterns. I feel like I've finally found a crafting niche. Even though I'm still interested in other things and will continue to try other projects, I love working with yarn! I'm not a fast worker, and sometimes it's frustrating that I can't finish projects quickly, but there's something so satisfying about finally finishing a project, and especially seeing it in use! I'd love to find a group to knit or crochet with.

Our year seemed like it wouldn't be too different from our new normal as parents; I continued at my job, and James at his. We were settling into a good routine; I had G home the days I wasn't working, and he spent two days a week at the Infant Center, where he had a little girlfriend. Then James heard about this job at his old camp. They were looking for a summer camp director and diocesan youth minister. It sounded like it had been written for him; it utilized his degree in recreation management and his experience as a youth minister, it was Episcopalian and it was his home turf, since he grew up only three hours away. We both went out to interview, and James was offered the position.

Instead of waiting until December or January to move, we took off a week after G's first birthday and spent four days moving across the country. His new job paid for professional movers to pack us and move us which was a huge blessing, and in late October, we moved in. It's been difficult; I don't think anyone would tell you that moving cross-country is easy. It's hard and takes time to adjust, especially since I don't know anyone here and feel like I'm starting from scratch. But James is so happy, and seeing how much progress and success he's already had in three months is fantastic. His area gatherings are going well and Winterwoods was a huge success: there was even a waitlist for the middle school group!

I've been adjusting pretty well. Even though I haven't been able to find an Irish dance class, and the house repairs are driving me a bit crazy, there are new adventures to be had here. I've looked into teaching crochet, though that's stalled a bit, and I'm talking to a veterinarian about shadowing one of her techs for a while to see if I might be interested in that. She intimated that there might be a job opportunity in the future if end up choosing to do that. I might look into becoming a doula or lactation consultant. There are so many opportunities available to me, so many paths open and I really want to take full advantage of it. I feel like with the new year, I can really have a new slate: I want to be healthier, eat better, exercise more, and all the cliche resolutions, but I also want to finish more projects, experiment with cooking more, take G to see all the things that are here, and learn to accept and be happy with myself. I'm the worst at goals. I thought posting them here would help keep me accountable, but really, I forget and slack off and get caught up in the busyness of life. So I'm not going to set time limits or definitive checklists of goals, but there is going to be change. Good, big change.

There are pros and cons to anywhere you move, and sometimes it's hard to see the pros for the cons, but overall I feel so hopeful for this new year. There are so many opportunities for us here, and I feel like this year is going to be fantastic for our entire family! I can't wait to see what's in store for us, and to continue watching G grow up into who he's going to be.

New Year's meal of fried okra. Photo credit: Anne Bailey