Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hazel 3 months

Dear Hazel,

(October 11, 2014) Three months was a blur.  Well, it has honestly all been a blur.  It is amazing how quickly you have become a vital part of this family.  This month brought on some of my favorite milestones...that lovely smile and laugh you made us wait for.  You have the most adorable smile and the cutest laugh the few times I have heard it.  You also make this adorable face where you only lift your eyebrows, it might be the cutest thing I have ever seen.  You seem to really recognize our voices and faces now and react when you see us which is so fun.  You have been noticing toys more and will bat at them and try to reach them.  You are not yet grabbing them.  We have started to use the Bumbo, and you seem to like to be in that sitting position.  It is nice to have some different placed to put you for a few minutes that will keep you semi-happy.  You still love to be in the swing as well.  You mostly prefer to be held, so the sling still is a daily use item.  You love to be held close in it and usually still fall asleep when I use it.  

As for sleep, you have maintained your good sleep routine and only wake 1-2 times a night.  I am still thankful for each night of good sleep, knowing full well it can change.  You are still sleeping in our bed in the co-sleeper, and also still like to be swaddled.  You use a wubbanub at night (well, anytime you aren't happy really).  I like having you so close, but we are beginning to realize we need to move you to the bassinet soon because you are going to outgrow the co-sleeper soon.

You are nursing like a champ, and seem to be gaining weight well.  No issues on that front.  So, baby girl...month three has gone wonderfully and I love you more and more each day!

Love,

Mom
xoxox

Happy New Year


What did I learn? (skills, knowledge, awareness, etc.)
This year, without going into too much detail, I learned a lot about how to tackle problems head on, without denial and with the hope and determination to make it better.  I also learned that I have a lot to learn about quite a few things and have been spending quite a bit of time lately trying to learn about things that are difficult in order to work through them and to understand them better.  I have also learned, through this that marriage can be very difficult.  Resolving deep-rooted issues takes time and takes work.  I have also learned to worry less about what people think and am continuing to learn how to trust myself.  One last thing that I am learning is how to reach out for support-rather than hoping it will come without asking.

What did I accomplish? A list of my wins and achievements.
I accomplished birthing another beautiful baby, this time in the way that I had hoped the other two would have came.  It was a beautiful, natural, water birth and I felt superhuman after that experience. 

What would I have done differently? Why?
I guess I am not sure what I would have done differently this year.  I am trying not to look backward and instead looking forward through wiser and more aware eyes to a future that is hopefully much more bright.  Maybe this isn’t the best approach…but it’s what is working for me right now.

What did I complete or release? What still feels incomplete to me?
We almost completed our bathroom remodel…I’m counting it because for most of my pregnancy I had to go down two flights of stairs to go to the bathroom and we had to bathe Kinley in the sink.  She had never experienced a bath in the bathtub.  So, the fact that I was able to finish out my last pregnancy being able to use the bathroom closest to my bedroom and we were able to finally do a double bath is a success to me.  Let’s not mention that we are not yet able to shower in it…but, that is a minor issue-almost a non-issue.  We completed (paying someone) new gutters, and a new patio outside that will be amazing next summer!  We completed staining our deck (let’s not mention how long that actually took).  I completed my third and final maternity leave, and probably my most enjoyable leave of all.  I completed a ridiculous amount of paperwork at my job as well. 

As for things that are still feeling incomplete:  my social life, the kitchen remodel, some personal issues, being done at three kids (though we are), my bank account, and a whole slew of household projects that will go unnamed as to not flare up my anxiousness.

What were the most significant events of the year past? List the top three.
I think I will have to list more than three, as this has been a year of very, very high highs and also some lows that should be mentioned.

1.  Having a baby.
2.  Buying a minivan.
3.  Putting our cat, Bella down and then beginning to deal with some major behaviors from our dog, Summitt.
4.  Starting couples counseling.
5.  Meeting my first niece in October.
6.  Turning 35.
7.  Having my parents visit while I was still on maternity leave.
8.  Celebrating Kinley’s first year (and making it through that whole mess) before starting a new baby’s first year (and year of no sleep for me).

What did I do right? What do I feel especially good about? What was my greatest contribution? I would say the thing that I feel the best about is Hazel’s birth, letting go of things that are out of my control (most of the time), making family a priority (though other things have suffered due to that), focusing on being a mom and really focusing on healing myself and finding perspective and strength.  I think my biggest contribution has been to my family and maintaining strength (though it doesn’t always feel like it) through the hard times.

What were the fun things I did?
Honestly, this was not a big year of “fun”.  We didn’t really go anywhere or do anything super fun.  I guess I just tried to make everyday, mundane things fun.  Lots of dance parties, baking, crafts, cooking, and playing around these parts.  Oooh, Eric and I did just have a very fun date to Cirque-Verakai which has always been a dream of mine to be able to go to a show.  That was a pretty big splurge for us and it was AMAZING!

What were the not-so-fun? 
Ugh, honestly there were a lot of hard, not fun things this year that will not be mentioned here.  However, though it has been a trying year, it has also been a year that I have felt incredibly blessed.  It is crazy how one can feel completely blissful at how wonderful some things are and simultaneously feel broken.  Other than that, the usual suspects of not fun-ness are money (lack of), and all the things that seem to need that non-existant money thrown at them.

What were my biggest challenges/roadblocks/difficulties?  Is it just me, or do these questions seem to have a resoundingly negative feeling about them?  Sheesh…I should have picked a better survey.  Or, maybe it is just that this year has been hard.  I guess the hardest part has been knowing that there are many things out of my control that I cannot change and determining how to deal with that in a way that makes me feel good about decisions I am making and not letting that cloud my ability to make decisions that are difficult.  How’s that for vague.

How am I different this year than last?
I would say this year I have my eyes wide open.  I am more realistic.  I am more aware of myself and of others.  I have more reasonable expectations and have a plan for how to handle things that are difficult.  I would say things feel more “real” than they ever have and I feel strong and feel like my husband and I are working more as a team for a common goal than ever before.

For what am I particularly grateful?
I am grateful for my marriage, my three beautiful children, the roof over my head, our crazy pets, a great job, a great child care provider, and last but not least, our new minivan.  Man, I love that vehicle more than I ever though possible (because I truly did not think it was possible).