New Year’s Baby
I began the 2014 new year in sweat and tears, feverishly giving birth to my beautiful son. We had the entire hospital rooting for my son to be born at the strike of midnight, but my Ollie is a stubborn one. He wanted to be born at 2:11am, in which he received the titles, “First Born at Metro Health” and “Second Born in Kent County”. You should have seen the expression on my dad’s face when he walked into our hospital room to discover the name of his new grandson, Oliver Fox. Priceless.
January, A Month Without Sleep
My fears of reliving another crazy postnatal rollercoaster ride of hormones, as experienced with my first born, scared me to death! I anxiously awaited for the reemergence of my mom brain and tried to plan a survival course of action. Honestly, I had no clue how I was going to parent another human being in such a whacked out state of mind.
Once we brought our son home, all my worries were forgotten and I fell whole-heartedly in love with my precious baby! And guess what, my hormonal madness didn’t hit even HALF as bad as my first postnatal experience! This time, however, I was lucky to wake up every. single. hour for the first entire month. Despite my family’s persistence to let them take my son overnight and bluntly being told I looked like crap, I continued to focus all my energy on my son. I made a huge commitment to breastfeeding since I felt so much regret for stopping so suddenly around five months with my daughter. No one was going to take my baby away from me so soon. I did not want bottles or formula being used. All my efforts were a success and my almost one year old boy is still nursing extraordinarily well! I even applied to sell extra breastmilk and will hopefully begin doing so at the start of the new year.
February and March
My husband and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary on February 4 by going out to eat at our favorite local thai restaurant. A quiet evening without crying babies was the perfect way to celebrate our relationship together.
The majority of February and March were spent tirelessly figuring out how to raise two children simultaneously. I had a two year old and a two month old who both wanted my equal, undivided attention. I found it quite impossible and only resorted to calling my mom crying once (or was it twice?) to take my toddler for an overnight visit. Then, my mom taught me the importance of teaching my toddler how to help care for the new baby. I was overly surprised and amazed by how much my daughter loved her new baby brother. She wanted to help with everything from getting diapers, wiping his bottom, picking out his clothes, showing him toys, bathing him, giving kisses, etc. I am STILL amazed by her love for him, even now that he is pulling her hair and sucking on all her new toys!
My daughter has grown so much this year. She has effortlessly shown compassion and kindness with natural mothering abilities through interactions with her baby brother. She shows a genuine, loving attitude towards family members and even to her own babies.
I look up to her as a natural reminder of how innate it is to love one another unconditionally.
This first quarter was also spent desperately trying to figure out how to move out of state, in order to start fresh somewhere else. I wanted to go out west near the Rockies or even to eastern Tennessee to live a more peaceful lifestyle. We even took a Babymoon road trip the previous fall to tour potential South Appalachian destinations. The moment I realized it was never going to happen, despite my full force, ten year plus rampage, I became very bitter and was forced to take anti-depressants to calm myself down.
Even my tarot cards predicted a large, unimaginable self- transformation that would occur in the very near future.
(Yes, I read tarot cards.)
April Surprised Us With a Never-Ending Grieving Period
Right before Easter, my dearest twenty year old brother-in-law committed suicide. It has been a very long and incomplete journey rediscovering how to exist without a loved one. There have been so many unsettling emotions and mixed feelings surrounding us. Our lives have forever been inexplicably transformed.
House Hunting Begins
As you may have guessed, our plans for moving away were scratched and we began house hunting. The same dreams we wanted to fulfill elsewhere could be fulfilled in our home state. With the help of our realtor, we began searching for an older farm house with land to pursue a new and improved, homesteading lifestyle out in the country. If I wasn’t going to move away and start some adventurous career elsewhere, I was going to follow a different, untraditional path here. I would begin making an income through my own online and homestead-based business. I simply cannot live by going to an unfulfilling, monotonous day job and have that be my entire life. I am very thankful for those who can do that and for my husband who supports our family through his blossoming career in emergency communications. This way, I can stay home and raise our children and simultaneously work on building my own business.
I did end up working full time throughout the summer, building leadership skills and experience, at my seasonal job of three years. I mastered the art of pumping at work, while continuing to breastfeed at home. I was only walked in on by one older male coworker one time. It couldn’t have been worse.
Note to breastfeeding mothers: Never buy an Ameda Breast Pump… and always pump in rooms with a lock.
Birthday Girl: July 10, 2014
My birthday girl turned three years old on this day. I still cannot believe I am the mother of a three year old girl and an infant boy. Children positively change your lives forever. Once you get adjusted to the sleep-deprived, parenting lifestyle, you never want to go back. My children fill our lives with profound meaning and beauty. I feel more mature and confident in everyday life because of them.
Finally, I Am a Vegetarian
On August 23, 2014, I decided to officially become a vegetarian. It only took 25 years of hating the idea of eating meat to actually stop consuming it. *Sigh* Initially, I did not think I could last longer than a few weeks due to my lack of knowledge in cooking without meat. Turns out, it is very simple and I am SO happy that I made this decision. Guilt-free eating at last! …Except I know that there are MANY horrors in the dairy industry as well. I am slowly working to reduce my dairy intake and find sustainable dairy products from local farmers (and, perhaps, even raise farm animals myself). How cool would that be?!
First Time Homeowners
Towards the end of November, we moved into our first house. My husband had wanted to buy a house for many years. I relentlessly argued against it simply because buying a house in Michigan equaled staying in Michigan for the rest of my life… which also meant ‘Goodbye, promising future. Hello, stay at home mom chained to a wall’. I can get pretty dramatic, I know.
I am happy with our decision to buy a house though. We moved 45 minutes away from our home town and further north, which is the second best thing next to moving even further away. Our house has unique charm and a 90 year history that I will attempt to dig up. It used to be a strawberry farm back in the day! How cute is that?
I feel like I am a completely different person compared to where I was emotionally at the beginning of the year. I feel more stable, yet more lost at what I am supposed to be doing right now in life. I have the tendency of falling into existential crises often and now that my mind is no longer preoccupied by plans of moving out of state, I need to readjust. I think the new year will bring a grand sense of comfort and happiness for my family because we have our own home for creativity and exploration. My husband and I have many exciting plans and learning opportunities to enjoy with our children. We can’t wait to begin. I look forward to discovering an unfound consistency in the new year to make room for and enhance life’s greater endeavors.
I will be sharing my New Year’s Resolutions next time. Are you setting any personal or family goals for 2015? Please share and tell me how your 2014 year went!