>Which means the closing of another year. Each year between Christmas and probably the first week after the New Year, I always sit back and reflect on the past year, and contemplate the upcoming one. Unfortunately I have not blogged much this year for various reasons, but I’ll try to blog and highlight the ups -and some downs- of the past year.
First and foremost, due to Jeff receiving a full month paid vacation from working at eBay for 5 years, we were able to drive across country to visit my family in Virginia, Indiana and Illinois. Seeing my family was great, and I was able to spend time with friends and family who I have dearly missed. And while visiting was wonderful and I was able to share some of my childhood experiences with the girls, it truly made me realize and appreciate living here in Utah. While I will always have fond memories of growing up in Virginia, I can’t go back to live there ever again. I don’t belong there anymore. In a sense, I felt detached in a way from the whole experience. I’m not saying the trip was negative in anyway or we didn’t have fun or we regretted it, but it really gave me a sense of confirmation that I belong here in Utah. The trip also made me evaluate myself as a person and as a parent. I admittedly crossed the line a few times when losing my temper, and I saw myself in a light that I never wanted to see myself in. I have resolved to be a better parent, and I have noticed some change and success with this. But it has been an emotionally trying year in that regards, but I can say that I have improved my demeanor, but I still have a long way to go. One of the brighter sides of our road trip is that Jeff and I had A LOT to talk about on the drive to VA and on the way home.. in a sense I think it brought us closer together as a couple. And of course, because it’s sooo rare that a picture of the two of us is taken (I think more pictures of Bigfoot exist than pictures of the two of us together), I’m sharing a picture of us from his work Christmas party:
|Aren’t we adorable?!
The other highlight was getting pregnant for the third time in July.. of course we didn’t confirm the pregnancy until August! The miracle and blessing of being able to get pregnant is still just as fresh and marvelous with Oscar as it was with Zoe and of course Ruthie too. This past year or so, I’ve had family and friends who have lost their pregnancies at various stages, and even one friend who lost her child just mere days after the baby was born. There’s no words to describe the sorrow and heartbreak of these situations.. while I’ve never experienced the losses they’ve gone through, that doesn’t mean my heart still didn’t break when hearing about each loss. Each one of the women are all fantastic mothers, and it’s really not fair they’ve had to deal with the losses they’ve dealt with. I admire each and every one of them for their resolve. I’m grateful for every kick, poke and yes even the muscle pulling and popping because I know what the alternative means. This pregnancy has been a double blessing, because I have been able to finally get answers for all of the inexplicable aches and pains and weird falls and other episodes that I’ve experienced for most of my life with the diagnosis of my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I’ve got a friend who has it, and I contacted her and she gave me an emotional boost and some advice as well as the title of a book that she recommends reading; I’m going to have to buy it soon.
I’m also grateful for Jeff finally agreeing to cloth diaper Oscar; in fact we got the diapers in the mail on Christmas Eve! As weird as it sounds for being grateful for extra loads of laundry, I really feel like this is the best thing that I can do for him as well as the environment. My only regret is not having the resolve and education to do it with Zoe and Ruthie; but at least I’ll be able to do it for him. Jeff really is an amazingly supportive husband and friend; there’s not enough words or sentences for me to express how grateful I truly am for him being in my life. He has made me a better person, just by accepting me for who I am and of course instilling good habits in me.. although it did take me 6 years of us being together for me to stop biting my fingernails. *wink* Here’s the box of diapers…
|In addition to the blue and green diapers, I also have red and yellow. And one crazy lime green one.
This past year too the girls have grown and changed so much! Zoe’s now five, and it’s kind of scary/thrilling knowing she’s going to start school next year! We had her birthday party at the Sandy Living Aquarium, and she LOVED it, and in addition, I’m so grateful to all of our friends and family who took the time out of their schedules to come and make the party more exciting for us. Ruthie has also grown in leaps and bounds, and her personality of sweet, spunky and a bit sassy is starting to show. While it is at times trying, I’m glad that she’s developing her own personality. The girls started sharing a room not too long after we got back home from our trip, and they both LOVE it! The girls will pick on each other and tease each other, but they really and truly do love each other.. and I’m so glad that they are able to share that experience with each other. Both girls are extremely smart! Ruthie’s learning how to count; and when I mean count I mean she’ll see a number of items, and she’ll stop saying numbers when she’s run out of things to count.. no recitation of numbers just for the sake here! Ruthie’s also recognizing most letters of the alphabet. She’s a bit later than Zoe on this -who knew the entire alphabet by sight 2 months after her second birthday- but it’s still great! I need to sit down with her and figure out exactly which letters she recognizes and which ones she doesn’t, but I’m pretty sure she recognizes most of the alphabet. And of course, Zoe’s learned how to recite the numbers from 1 all the way to 100! When we’re in the car for longish drives, and she’s still awake, she’ll start reciting the numbers. She gets stuck on 40, 50, and 60 but with hints she’ll get through them just fine. And another thing she’s taken up doing is ADDITION. She’ll sit in the car and stare at her fingers and then randomly say something like, “Does 2 and 5 make 7?” and then we’ll say yes and then ask her other ways to make the number that she asked about. We’re trying to teach her how to read, but because I’m not sure how I learned, and Jeff’s not consistent with sitting down with her and trying to teach her how to read phonetically, it’s slow going. But she does know how to read a handful of words, and she’s recently become very interested in asking how words are spelled… in fact last week when we were planning our grocery list, she got a pencil and a paper and made a list all on her own! She also can recognize both uppercase and lowercase letters. Zoe aside from not really being able to read has pretty much already exceeded the requirements of kindergarten in the sense of the goals they are supposed to reach by the end of the year; so it’ll be interesting at the very least when she’s tested for entrance into Kindergarten next August. Here’s the girls on Christmas by the way.. it’s the most recent picture of the two of them together:
|They are fairies!
Next week will mark the one year anniversary of us having Casey. I can’t even begin to express how.. interesting it’s been with him in our lives. It’s certainly enriched it for sure! He’s a GREAT dog.. even when he gets stuck on the roof at my inlaws’ house or runs up the street and comes home with a rawhide bone he didn’t have before -for the record he only did that ONCE-. We don’t have a fenced in yard… but that doesn’t matter. We can let him out by himself and he won’t run off -well he’s done that twice in the last couple of weeks but he always came home after calling for him- and he ALWAYS stays in the yard when we’re outside. He’ll find himself a patch of ground and lay out and just watch and observe, and of course he’ll play if we got his stuffed duck or a few tennis balls outside. He NEVER dug in the garden, and with the exception of digging a very small hole once this summer to bury a milkbone, he doesn’t dig up the yard or anything. I think the truest test of his character was back in November, when he somehow sustained a 5-7 inch gash on his back/side that went all the way down to his muscle. We’re unsure how it happened, but we think he was trying to get under the chain link at my inlaws’ house, and it went unnoticed because their female had tended to it by licking it and it had started to close up and scab over. We didn’t realize anything had happened until the next day (Monday) when Ruthie had leaped on him and reopened the wound.. and shockingly all he did was cry out in pain, look at her and walked off. I didn’t think anything of it, until Zoe said “Mommy, Casey stinks.” and then about a minute later “Casey has something on his fur.” Looking at it from about 12 feet away it looked like he had rolled in poop -something he’s never actually done, but there’s always a first time for everything- and it wasn’t until I saw the pink flesh of his muscle that I knew something was wrong. I told Jeff he had to come home IMMEDIATELY and I took a picture and sent it to him via picture messaging. One stressful trip to the vet and $400 later, he was put under for surgery, stitched up and given a good bill of health. What was alarming though was the rate of necrosis.. the vet said that it was consistent with a week old stab wound.. despite the fact that the injury happened within the previous 12-16 hours of him getting medical attention. He is probably the best dog to have around kids, because the girls are constantly pulling and laying and just generally rough with them and he hasn’t ever really snapped or bit them.. and I think most people say that about their dogs, but when the dog has a big gash on them and a kid that weighs about 30 pounds comes flying and flopping on them, even the most mild mannered dog will retaliate by snapping at them or even biting them. The vet was shocked when we told her what his reaction was.. or lack of one really. Jeff and his dad inspected the chain link fence that he was trying to get under, and they found a VERY sharp piece of fence that we think he cut himself on. When the weather gets better, they will be going and clipping the fence to make sure it doesn’t happen again with Casey or any other dog. I’d insert a picture.. but I’ll spare you from regurgitating your last meal/snack that you ate; it looked pretty bad.
And I feel horrible about slacking on the pregnancy belly pictures.. honestly I haven’t been feeling well enough to do it, but I FINALLY had Jeff take on on Christmas! Hope you enjoy! and of course, I’ll be taking more.
|I promise I’m not grumpy, just EXTREMELY tired. This pic was taken on Christmas after all! I’m 24 weeks and 5 days along in this picture.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the update with pictures! Hope you guys had a good holiday and that you’ll have a GREAT New Year!