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Reflections…and the perfect end to 2011!

The house is quiet…Elianna is napping, and so is hubby.  I’m feeling quiet and contemplative.  Thoughts of “at this time last year” come frequently.  It’s been a crazy full year!

Elianna started off our year by being late.  VERY late!  Last Christmas I was super-pregnant, puking, close to the end of my rope, and NOT enjoying it!  I remember sitting on the couch with Jerry in the light of our tree one evening after Christmas, crying because it felt so much like someone was missing.  “Two” no longer felt complete.  It was time to be Three and I was soooo ready!  This year, I sat on the couch with Jerry in the light of our Christmas tree and cried again.  This time because I was so happy to be holding our beloved baby girl on my lap.  I felt complete, and so content and at peace.  Our little family of three had a WONDERFUL Christmas together!  Christmas is suddenly extra special when you see it through the wonder of a child’s eyes again.  The lights, the tree, the wrapped presents…  I love to watch Elianna and see her taking it all in and thinking and trying to figure it all out.  Everything is still so new.

We started out this year in a new house, trying to unpack and settle in and get things organized and fixed up.  Now, I have a light over my kitchen table that makes the room feel warm and cozy.  I have light covers in the bathroom which make my choice of a bright teal/green/blue color a little less shocking.  (slightly.  But not a whole lot.  But I still like it a lot!)  Elianna has covers on the electrical outlets in her room (that’s a GOOD thing!)  Jerry brought me home a pantry the other day, so the stacks of pails and tubs down the hallway are tucked away on shelves, and I even had extra space to unpack some of my china so we could set the table beautifully for our Christmas meal!  Jerry put up a laundry shelf for me so I would actually be able to see the top of my washer and dryer again if I would just take 5 solid minutes to clean them off!)  We still have an addition that looks like a tornado went through it, and paper trim on some walls in the kitchen, but you can’t do everything in one year, can you!?

We started last year with Jerry limping around gingerly, trying not to further injure his knee.  He had a CT scan in June, surgery in August, and after 6 weeks time off was back to work again in September, doing harvest for my uncle.  He tramped all over in the bush during hunting season, and is threatening to play hockey again in the New Year!  We are grateful that he didn’t have to wait till next year for surgery, and that his knee is fine and he can live an active normal life again.

We started off the year with a wrinkled up baby whose hands and feet looked like she was 80 instead of 8 minutes old and 2 weeks late.  Now she’s crawling, getting into everything, laughing, eating solid foods, and starting to walk and talk.  She said “grandma” during our Christmas in SK, and completely melted Grandma’s heart, I think!  She says mama and dada regularly and sometimes even graces the dog with a word.  We’re thankful she said mama and dada before she said “Measha”!  She is such a joy.  Her smiles and laughs brighten our days and lift our spirits and melt our hearts and we are unbelievably thankful for her.  God knew exactly what we needed — a little girl to be our ray of sunshine!

Jerry is ending this year with a new job — still an electrical apprentice, but getting much more hands on experience.  I was very concerned about him switching jobs, because he had a FANTASTIC boss.  But, God has once again provided another absolutely FANTASTIC boss!  Jerry’s surgery, time off, and harvest work was an excellent transition to this new job, and we are thankful for God’s hand in events.

We started off this year dogless and catless.  Then we were just dogless.  So we got a free dog from ½ hr away…and totaled our car when going to pick it up!  God provided another vehicle for us at the price we needed, and insurance came through enough to cover our costs and we were thankful.  And now had a cat AND a dog.  Then we were catless for a while, because the dog terrified the cat, so we gave the cat away.  Then we got two more cats who knew what a dog was, so now we have 2 cats, and sometimes 2 or 3 dogs, depending on whether the stray dogs are hanging around!

We ended 2010 by coming home early after the New Years’ Eve service because I was sick of the “WHAT?!  You’re STILL pregnant!?” and “Hey, have the baby on MY birthday, Jan ___!” and “Have you tried _____ to get the baby to come?!” comments.  We tried going out for supper for my birthday, but it was a royal failure because every place in our quiet little town was closed – other than A&W, and that’s not a very romantic spot for a New Years’/Birthday supper!  This year my husband took me out for lunch (much better plan!), we went to the Pastor’s house this evening for an impressive show of fireworks, visited for a while after, and then I came home to put Elianna to bed.  She ended my year perfectly by falling asleep in my arms in the light of the Christmas tree.  My unrockable-to-sleep baby.  The one who hasn’t been rocked to sleep since May.  The one who HAS to go scream in her crib before giving in to sleep.  My non-cuddly baby.

The baby I longed for as 2010 ended was the baby sleeping in my arms as 2011 ended.  Perfect!

I am crazy

Officially crazy. VERY crazy.

I consumed vast amount of ginger pills and milk thistle pills over the course of my pregnancy, in an effort to combat the sickness.  Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t.  Maybe some days they just helped in my head, who knows?  I really don’t care.  Even if something just makes me THINK I feel better, I’ll take it!

Anyhow…they’re not really all that cheap — at least, the milk thistle definitely wasn’t! So yesterday when I found them on sale for $4 a bottle, I grabbed 6.  And was tempted to get more, but talked myself out of it, because we just bought a house, and we are making house payments NOW, but I am not pregnant NOW, therefore the house payments come first!

But, I bought something in preparation for pregnancy.  Does that mean I’m actually planning to do that AGAIN!?!?!?  Yes, folks, it’s been confirmed.  I am CRAZY.

No, I haven’t forgotten those months and the awfulness has most definitely NOT faded like everyone said it would, though it’s been over a month now.  It still feels like yesterday.  I think I will be recovering for a long time yet.  But I guess I must be willing to try a second time, if I am already preparing for being sick!  If the second time is a repeat of the sick-for-months-on-end thing, then Jerry & I will have long talks about the merits of adoption, I think!

But enough of that.  For now, we are enjoying our little one.  Enjoying each other.  Enjoying the fact that it’s easier TO enjoy now.  Life is good, even if I AM crazy!

Life…

Changing diapers.  Sometimes 3 in 15 minutes!!!!  Feeding a baby.  Sometimes for an hour at a time!  Or, in the evenings, every hour.  Doing laundry.  Slowly sorting through the pile of shower gifts in my living room and writing thank-yous.  Making meals for my man.  Making his lunches.  Snuggling my little girl after her nap or a feeding.  Taking naps on the couch with her sleeping on my chest.  Slowly catching up on emails and phone calls.  Learning new routines.  Getting to know each other.  Keeping the kitchen reasonably clean.  Feeding our kitten from Finsters.  Bouncing a cranky little girl on the exercise ball.

Such is my life right now.  And it is good 🙂

And more again…

I finally got tired of the piles of clothes sitting around my room and started to pack away my maternity clothes this morning.  I laughed over one shirt that had some wrinkles in it — I’ve been meaning to iron it since September!  How pathetic!  I guess I do procrastinate really badly sometimes….

I’m thankful to be able to pack away my maternity clothes already — though I’m a bit sad, ’cause I really did like them!  I don’t have a clue how this works, but I’ve already lost more weight than I gained during pregnancy, so last week I was able to pull out my old jeans again.  YAY!!!  I was getting kind of tired of wearing the same black pair of sweat pants for 2 weeks straight (don’t worry, I washed them in between!)  During Christmas everyone was teasing me that it looked like I had ate the entire turkey all by myself — and hadn’t even stopped to chew it!  I teased them back that MY after-Christmas diet would work waaaaay better than any of theirs would!

It’s nice to be smaller again.  It was getting rather annoying feeling like a whale.  You expect to fit something or somewhere, and then halfway through realize that this just doesn’t work anymore!!! I noticed it most at church…trying to make my way through the crowd in the entryway after church…I would think that I would be able to fit between two groups and slip through to the mailboxes, but then I would find myself bumping into people on both sides.  Ooops!  Not as small as I thought I was!

I’m thankful not to be swelled up like a balloon anymore too.  I was huge after the c-section, from all the IV fluids they pumped into me, and stayed so puffy that I was afraid none of my clothes were going to fit me and Jerry would have to go shopping for me so I wouldn’t have to wear my nightgown home from the hospital!  The swelling came down a few days after we got home, and I’m thankful that it’s completely gone now.

 

A few more things to be thankful for…

It’s 7 AM, and our little girl has been up since 6.  She does not like the idea of going back to sleep.  After all, SHE went to sleep at 11!  Mommy should have promptly gone to bed also, but SHE stayed up till 1…

So now we are in the living room, me blogging and our little girl laying on a blanket on the floor, mesmerized by the Christmas tree lights.  (there, now I have a good reason to convince Jerry keep our tree up a little longer — it entertains our little girl!)

I know this may sound strange, but I am thankful for more sleep now that Elianna is finally here in person.  Yes, she likes to wake up and scream in the middle of the night, or refuse to go to sleep, or wake up really early and think it’s time to play, but I still get more sleep than I did when I was pregnant, and I feel soooo much more rested and energetic now.  She is sleeping REALLY good at night, for the most part (so much so that I’m afraid to talk or write about it for fear I’ll jinx it! lol) and I am able to take naps along with her during the day.  Naps are something I hope I will never take for granted again.  I could not sleep during the day for the last months of pregnancy, and I usually could not sleep till around 2 AM or later…not fun!

Another thing I’m thankful for is a full-size working bladder that is no longer being used as a trampoline.  I’ll just say that life is much less complicated now, and leave it at that 🙂

And another thing I’m thankful for?  Our little angel…

2 weeks old

2 weeks old