2011 Highlights

Now that we have addressed the things I’ll be doing in the new year, I think a 2011 year in review is in order as well.

Here are a few of my highlights, in chronological(ish) order.

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1.) The Potty Training Miracle.

A year ago I dove headfirst into a fabulous potty training plan. A week later I retreated, broken in defeat. 5 months later, in the midst of bed rest craziness, Jayce decided to train himself, and did just that. Then he backslid, (except for #2, which thankfully is still in the potty every time). Almost a year later, we are back and forth on a weekly basis, some “dry all day” days, and some “didn’t even try” days.

But this has been a good exercise for us in just letting some things go. We can’t control everything, we can’t make him do it right, despite trying seemingly everything. We’ve gone from the days and weeks of being stressed and concerned about it, to just being patient and remembering that at some point it will click and he’ll get it. But I’m still grateful for that miraculous week where Jayce decided he was done with diapers, and that he kept that up for the first few months of Hannah’s life.

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2.) It’s a Girl.

I had been convinced that Hannah was going to be a boy and was so excited about it. I love my little boy and wanted another. But finding out that it was a girl brought a fresh excitement to a pregnancy that thus far had been difficult for me. I started dreaming about her, bonding with her in a way I hadn’t before, thinking about her nursery, and smiling about shopping on the other side of the kids department.

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3.)The Allergist.

Poor Jayce was so sick for months and those weeks were absolutely horrible. It is such a helpless feeling to leave the doctor’s office a few times a week, armed with new medications that “hopefully” will work, only to watch him start to get better for a day or so, then quickly go back in the other direction. It turned out that he didn’t have allergies, but the course of medications that the doctor put him on (an inhaler and a nose spray) helped him to get better and stay better. I’ve never been so relieved.

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4.) Bed rest.

Bed rest seems like a nice peaceful relaxing thing, but it’s not. It leaves you feeling very helpless, and if you like to do things yourself, constantly having to rely on others is stressful.

That said, I was so relieved when the doctor told me that I needed to be on bed rest, because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to make myself take it easy. I tried, but caring all day for a 3 year old demands a certain amount of energy, in addition to the fact that I rarely choose to rest over choosing to accomplish something. (I still can’t just sit down with a book or watch tv when the kids sleep.) Pregnancy also has that strange way of masking how you feel until it’s too late. As in, I didn’t have a sense when I was doing something that I was pushing myself too hard, until later on when I was feeling horrible and it took a few days to recover. I’m so glad that the rest allowed me to avoid any premature labor or major complications with my pregnancy.

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5.) Coming Home.

My week in the hospital at 35 weeks was so hard. I hated being away from Jayce, I hated having to leave him with a sitter for Chris to stay overnight with me, I hated constantly being woken up by the nurses in addition to my bladder, I hated the bed/food/tv, etc. I was glad that it allowed the doctor to keep an eye on Hannah and make sure that she was okay, but I watched the clock constantly, waiting for the doctor to come around and hopefully tell me that I’d be able to go home that day.

The day I came home was bliss. The house was trashed and I didn’t care. Jayce sat and watched cartoons and I sat and stared at him with a silly grin on my face. I napped on my own couch and slept at night in my own bed, next to my husband, with my boy upstairs in his room. Happiness.

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6.) Etsy.

I started Etsy in May of 2010 thinking I just wanted to try it out. I could only handle a certain amount of extra work, since I was home with Jayce, pregnant, and Lemon Tree demanded so much time each week. But in the back of my mind I thought it would be cool to sell something every week.

I was pretty close to my goal when I got put on bed rest. I got an order and it required a bit of extra fuss on Chris who was already doing everything for all of us, so I offered to close it until after Hannah was born. He told me not to worry and to keep it open. I got a few requests for custom items, (one of them rather large that would have been good for me financially,) but I turned them down because I didn’t want any extra things to do while on bed rest. I told myself that if I didn’t make it, I could say “Well, I would have had enough sales, but I turned several down…”

But by my 1 year Etsy anniversary, I had 53 sales. 53 sales in 52 weeks.

I also had items from my shop on the front page 5 times, and was in the Storque Spotlight. This may not have been a lot for some people, but for me, I was thrilled.

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7.) Sweet Hannah Arrives.

There is nothing like giving birth, nothing like those first few days of getting to know your tiny baby, nothing l like skin to skin naps, nothing like those tiny fragile yawns, nothing like making your “only” a brother. There is nothing like my sweet girl.

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8.) Florida.

After a year with a lot of stress, a lot of worry, a lot of stress, a lot of sickness, a lot of stress, and 9 months of not leaving town, I couldn’t have needed Florida more.

The first day we were there Jayce and I headed over to the beach to make sandcastles. It was perfect: warm, not hot, with a gentle breeze, white sand, warm water, not crowded. We parked ourselves on the edge of the water and started digging, both quietly working at our task. I looked down at one point and realized that I was just grabbing sand and letting it run through my fingers, and with every fistful of sand I could feel my stress slowly draining away. We’re all ok. Jayce is healthy. My pregnancy was safe. Hannah is healthy and growing. Chris is okay. I’m not on bed rest. Hannah doesn’t have colic. I breathed in the salty air and relaxed into a vacation that I have never needed more.

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9.) Chris Excels.

We found out in one month that Chris had won 2 different research awards. Then in the fall, within 2 weeks of one another, 2 of his books were released. This is all before he is 32, and in addition to his work, since he is not a writer but a professor. His textbook has been aggressively promoted by the publisher and he periodically updates me on how it is selling on Amazon. Proud isn’t a strong enough word.

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10.) Christmas in Akron.

We travelled to Akron for Christmas, and though it was a long drive, and sometimes a stressful trip, I just loved it. We got to take part in our extended family Christmas Eve party, a tradition that has been running for decades. There is nothing like bringing your children into a tradition that you were a part of as a child, and that your mom was a part of as a child. I haven’t seen most of those people in 2 years, and I loved introducing them to Hannah, watching Jayce play with his cousins, watching mom proudly tote Hannah around, watching Chris laugh at the new “hazing” that the uncles were putting the new boyfriends or fiances through. It was perfect.

Linking to E Tells Tales, Capturing Motherhood, What I Like Wednesdays, & the Wiegands.

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