Saturday, January 31, 2009

To Paisley: Twelve Months Old

A year - I have been putting off this post because I find it a bit daunting, scary even. There are so many things I want to say and want to tell you. What an incredible year this has been and how loved you are and I am fearful that I will fail miserably to express it in words.

When I first found out I was pregnant I didn't feel excited. We had been through three miscarriages already and I was afraid to feel excited. I felt hopeful and wanted you more than anything. After we passed the 12 week mark I allowed the excitement to seep in, little by little until it started to grow as quickly as my belly. Maybe that's what that extra 70 lbs was - just a lot of excitement? I remember trying to imagine what you would look like and who you would be. What would our life look like at 1 month, 3 months, a year? It seemed so far away and now, here we are. Here you are - we made it kiddo!

You are a real little person now and growing more willful and independent by the day. You are standing up and cruising on everything and love the stairs. One evening, while I was making dinner and you were playing in the living room I looked down for a nanosecond only to look up again and see that you had disappeared. I didn't worry because you are always trying to get into the toilet so I went around to the bathroom. Nothing. I couldn't see or hear you anywhere and I started to panic "I lost my kid! In my living room! What kind of horrible mother am I!?" I looked up the stairs and you weren't there either. Then I heard a giggle. I walked up the stairs and around the corner on the landing and there you were - upstairs, laughing your head off. Other things that make you laugh include sneezing, unpacking newly folded laundry from the basket, throwing your head back violently and chucking things off the edge of your change table. You have a devilish streak in you that I both recognize (sorry Mom!) and love. You make this crazy face and I still can't decide if it's really ugly or incredibly's probably both.

You had an early birthday party this year and your Dad's family came to Okotoks from Raymond to celebrate you. I made the ugliest cake in the history of mankind. I promise when you are older and it really counts that I will make you nice cakes that you can be proud of. My Mom always made great birthday party food and I look forward to doing the same for you. I'll even put rum in the punch if it will help your party get off the ground. It was so nice to see you with both sets of grandparents (and your beautiful Aunt Kaylee came too) and to know that you are so loved. You are really starting to recognize people now and you lapped up the attention. That trait also seems vaguely familiar I'm afraid.

There are days when I question my decision to stay home. Days when a friend calls me and all I can think to tell them is that you did this or that and how cute you are. I hear myself and I wonder if I am sacrificing too much to be at home with you. I live a small life it seems and that is not something I ever imagined for myself. But then you will smile at me, or we will be out at the grocery store and I will catch a glimpse of you and it is like the whole world has stopped. I am left breathless by the amount of love that I have in my heart. Sunny days seem brighter because it means we are going for a long walk together, music is sweeter because you are hearing it and the world is more fascinating because you are discovering it. Finishing a project or getting a paycheck never made me feel such reverence or peace. Before you came into my life I thought it had meaning - I didn't even know the meaning of meaning.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

As the year draws to a close I cannot help but reflect on the past and feel hopeful for the future. I know that it is trite and a little romantic but I have been doing it my whole life so I'm not going to stop now.

2008 was a wonderful year and was probably the least self-involved year I have ever lived, for obvious reasons. This was the year of the Paisley. The first few months are a complete blur and as I emerged from the fog, I never stopped focusing entirely on her and what she was doing. As I sat down to think about this year and what it has meant, I struggled to think of much outside of motherhood and the goings on in my little cozy life at home. There are a few things that made 2008 a year to remember however: I turned 30 (with very little pomp and circumstance), Brian finished law school and started working which was an exciting time in our life, we went to Vancouver Island on our first family vacation, my family joined me in the Walk to Cure Diabetes and we raised $1000 and had a great time, I went to the New Kids on the Block concert and loved every second of it, Barrack Obama won the US election and I ran my first 10k race. This year has confirmed the importance of family and friends and has easily been one of the best years of my life. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful husband who I enjoy being with so much. I feel like for the first time in my life, as a mother, that everything is exactly as it should be. I feel calm, happy, secure, loved and very, very lucky.

I have never had any trouble making New Year's resolutions and although I don't always keep all of them I usually give it a good shot. My biggest struggle is in keeping the number of resolutions reasonable and so far this year I've made 17 resolutions and I have no doubt that several more will occur to me in the next few days. And here is the list as it currently stands:

1. Get outside every single day.
2. Blog more often and work on the site. I am starting a web design and management course in March which should help me to take to the next level.
3. Practice the guitar more.
4. Write every day. (There are all kinds of mini-goals built into this but we'll leave that for another post.)
5. Attend Blogher 2009. I had every intention of going last year but with Paisley being so young I didn't feel comfortable. Now, I still don't feel comfortable but if I'm being honest it's because I'm intimidated by the idea of it. Still not sure if we can swing it financially but I'm going to leave it on the list anyway.
6. Work on my websites and get them to where they need to be. This includes my blog and my professional site. (See # 16)
7. Lose weight. This has been a hard year for me as far as this one goes. Never in my life have I struggled with my weight, until now. I put on just over 70lbs with Paisley, mostly due to my diabetes but partly due to pregnancy related self-indulgence. After I had her I got thyroiditis and have been having a heck of a time getting my thyroid levels right. All this means that despite going to the gym,running, nursing and eating well I am still heavier than I have ever been. So, my goal is to lose 20 lbs by June 1st.
8. To run a half marathon, preferably the Vancouver Half.
9. To make our weekly family meetings more of a priority.
10. To manage my diabetes better and consistently keep my A1C under 6.0. My diabetes has been getting progressively getting worse since I had Paisley and I am struggling to stay on top of it. I may need to look into a pump within the next year or so because my stomach is starting to look like a scatter plot from all the injections.
11. I got a new camera for Christmas and I want to make an effort to get out and take more pictures.
12. I vow to keep the crumbs out of the margarine. I'm tired of getting in trouble and only recently learned that for Brian, crumbs in the marg are like what soggy crackers are to me. So I respect his need for clean butter.
13. Stand straighter.
14. Get more creative with meals and eat more local and organic food. Over the past year I have moved almost entirely to organic foods. This year I plan on cooking more vegetarian meals and sourcing out some local, grass-fed meats.
15. I have made a few friends this year which has been great, but even more importantly I have reconnected with some old friends. This year I will continue to make friends a priority and will make the effort to see them more often.
16. I am incorporating (name TBA) my communications firm in the next month and will be working to develop a client base. Working from home so far has been both enjoyable and profitable and I like the structure it gives me.
17. Move. This is the year we are going to buy a new house. Yay!

Yup, I think that's it.

To my readers (all 6 of you), I hope that 2009 is good to you and brings you love, health, happiness and a Chia pet. Haven't you always wanted a Chia pet?