2017 is off to a slow and steady start! We rang in the New Years calmly with Randi and Eric; we played games at our house, laughed a lot, and ended up watching the live stream of NYE clean up in Times Square (some folks watch the ball drop, we watch the litter pick up). My mom closed on her new house in WA (yay!) and then promptly got sick with the flu, which is now spreading to everyone else in the house who hasn't had a flu shot (luckily I got one this year!). So the first week of the new year has already had it's ups and downs. But what year doesn't? 2016 was sure full of them!
The Downs: What a stressful month! I was exhausted and a bit overwhelmed by early pregnancy, which was still a secret for the most part. Those feelings would have been a lot more manageable, but my job was wearing me thin by a lot of interpersonal conflicts that I wasn't sure how to handle. Plus January just always seems like the longest, dreariest month!
The Ups: We had a super fun time ringing in the new year at a house party, and on our way home Troy and I both looked up from a stoplight at saw a shooting star. It seemed like a good omen to start the year!
I was also excited to be pregnant (despite the fatigue and some major worrying). At the end of the month we got to hear our babe's heartbeat for the first time, and see his little bundle of cells on the ultra sound monitor. That was very uplifting!
The Downs: Holy shit, I got fired from my job! It wasn't a complete surprise, but was stunning nonetheless. Basically I had had a very close friendship with my (female) boss, and for a lot of reasons I'm not getting into here I didn't want to be her friend anymore. I did as best I could to distance myself from her without it affecting my job (which I was incredibly good at and proud of), but how could that breakup not have impact on my work life? Instead of having a real conversation she called her parents in (who essentially owned the organization I worked for) and they fired me. She left early the day I got fired without any indication of what was to come, said goodbye - with a smile even, and I haven't spoken to her since. C'est la vie!
The Ups: I didn't have to work at that job anymore! I did not realize how jaded, frustrated, and stressed I had become working there. Especially those last few months it had become an incredibly negative experience, and it was like being set free when I realized I never had to go back.
In general there was a lot of celebrating in February. We were able to spill the beans about our baby (hooray!). We had a lovely Valentine's day at The Melting Pot with Randi and Eric, and our good friend, Trish, invited us to a masquerade party!
The Downs: I had to start taking classes to become a certified Home Care Aide. They weren't so bad, just a little boring.
The Ups: I was able to start taking care of my sister full time! I would like to do a dedicated post on her, but in summary my delightful little sister, Caitlin, has a neurological disability that requires full time assistance. I am extremely lucky to have a job spending time with her and my Nana, and can bring my baby to boot!
The month ended with a very successful Paint Nite. We painted mushrooms that never at any point looked like penises.
The Downs: I had to go to the dentist? Haha, that's the worst I can come up with for April, by and large it was a great month primarily because....
The Ups: We had our anatomy scan! I felt like Baby Wheeler was growing well, but it was relieving that our doctor thought so too. At our su-purr fun cat themed reveal party we learned that we would be welcoming a son in September, and that was the best.
We also got to celebrate our darling Randi's birthday with a trip to the coast! We went to the aquarium, walked on the beach, and ate at a surprisingly delicious Irish pub called Nana's (you can bet my Nana got a text on that one). Oh, it was Troy's and my 3rd wedding anniversary as well!
The Downs: There was one stressful week in May where my mom went on vacation, and I had to man the fort. Sadly, we had a very scary incident where our dogs got into a bad fight. It happened as they were coming in from their first potty break (read: I hadn't been awake for very long), so I was slow witted when it came to handling the situation [that's a pun, you'll get it in a second]. I tried to break them apart manually (aka, the wrong way) and as a result got my hands [ha! there we go] bitten in several places. Both dogs were ultimately fine (Nana saved the day by dousing them with water), but I had to have Troy come get me and take me to ER. I was x-rayed, patched up, treated for shock, and sent on my way. I cried a lot that day!
The Ups: I took and passed my test for my caregiving certification. It felt good to have that out of the way officially!
My step mother, Sue, threw us a really wonderful family baby shower. We had a bbq and played games. It was one of the many times this year I thought about what a loving family we were bringing our son into. The family was together again the next day at our house where Troy and I had a brunch get together for Mother's Day.
I had another prenatal appointment that went really well, and was given the AOK to fly out to Montreal at the end of the month!
The Downs: I had two glucose tests at the hospital to rule out gestational diabetes which entail having to chug a really sugary drink, wait an hour at the hospital, and then pee into a cup. I passed my first test (which was actually a 2 hour test and I had to pee twice), but was called in to be part of a research study to see if the one hour test gives just as good results. I figured if I can help other women spend less time at the hospital it would be worth it!
The other downer this month? We can't live permanently with Randi and Eric! Ok, we probably could, but that would take a lot of buying and selling of houses, merging furniture and animals, and is basically unrealistic. I wouldn't hate it though.
The Ups: We went on vacation with Randi and Eric to her hometown of Montreal, Canada. We were together a whole week and laughed the whole time, that's how I know living with them would be like living in a Happy Super Fun Unicorn House. It was awesome! I wrote about it earlier in the year and will totes hyperlink that post if I can ever get that function working again. Her mom gave us a tree frog Christmas ornament because we spent so many evenings listening to them yelling her in backyard. I loved having it on our tree this year!
We had our hospital tour this month too. Troy and I were astonished at how progressive giving birth in a hospital had gotten. We felt well supported and were more excited than ever for Birth Day!
The Downs: None!
The Ups: So many things! Fourth of July was a blast. It was my 29th birthday, which was laid back and fun. I had a baby shower tea party thrown by our dear friend, Melinda. We got a ton of projects done around the house. Randi and I saw Cavalia. I could feel my sweet boy kicking and moving every day. It was a really happy month.
One of my favorite things I did in July was go to a psychic! You read that right, Strangers. I don't know exactly where I fall on the spiritual spectrum. Sometimes I believe that there are energies greater than ourselves and sometimes I don't. It's one of those things in life that is a journey in and of itself, so I'm not seeking to find my "truth" anytime soon (as you just read, I'm merely 29, ;) ). But I was craving to learn as much about my son as I possibly could, and I wasn't patient enough to wait for him to be born, haha! I felt like having the reading was insightful and fun, and only time will tell if it was all bullshit or not!
The Downs: This was the only point in my pregnancy where there was a slight indication that something may be wrong. I wasn't measuring quite right at one of my prenatal appointments and had to go get a more thorough examination done to make sure Roman was still healthy. It was a little bit nerve wracking, but in my gut I felt like everything was OK, and it was.
I'm also pretty sure this was the month that my car got rear ended and deemed totalled! The worst part was having to go be monitored at the hospital for a couple of hours (we missed dinner that night! Boo!), and obviously, having a broken car. Ultimately though I could almost put this in the ups category because the money we received paid for our hospital bills! Still need to buy a new car though...
The Ups: I have a whole other post on the good times had in August! Troy's 30th birthday included a successful escape from Escapism (escapismportland.com - gah! Hyperlink function, why won't you work?!). We had our fancy dinner, another great Paint Nite, and a dumpster was loaded up to take all the shit from our garage away!
Need I say more?
The Downs: We had to transition back from the surreal experience of maternity/paternity leave to the life of newly minted parents with jobs. That was a bit tough! The end of this month was Roman's first round of vaccines, and it's never easy to cause a baby pain - even if it's good for them!
I also never got around to decorating the house for Halloween, which is one of my favorite holidays! I had a good excuse, but still, it was a little less festive than I would have liked.
The Ups: Halloween month! We went to the pumpkin patch with my mom and fam. The pumpkin farmers went above and beyond designing a corn maze that took us over an hour to get through. It was a great team building exercise! Ha!
Halloween itself was a lot of fun despite being on a Monday. We got to go trick or treating and spend time with our niece and nephew. They live almost 2 hours away, so we don't get to see them as often as we would like, but our nephew is only 10 months older than Roman. I can't wait to watch their relationship unfold over the next few years!
The Downs: I was continuing to experience some of the more dreadful post partum feelings like mild depression, isolation, and raging hormones. There have been more happy, positive days than bad ones, but it can't go without saying that some days were/are a struggle. Luckily each month that goes by gets a little easier!
Oh yeah, and Trump was "elected" president. Maybe that is why I was feeling depressed!
The Ups: My dad came to visit Roman the same weekend my sister had her birthday! Caitlin had a bowling celebration and was ecstatic to have so many loved ones at her party. Our weekend was short, but we had a chance to get Roman his first picture with Santa and ate some really great meals. I loved having my dad in town and hope we get to see him again soon!
I got my hair done and felt more like myself. Funny how such a little thing like getting a hair cut can make a big impact. Slowly but surely I have been merging my previous life with my life as a mom and making time to do things like hair, nails, and shopping helps connect me with the woman I was before I gave birth. Boy did I do plenty of shopping in November, too! Shopping with Randi, shopping with my mom/Nana/sister, online shopping... I loved it!
Thanksgiving was hearty and delicious. It felt like time went too fast that day. I wanted to enjoy every person that was present, but you can only hold so many conversations at once. I think next year I will lobby to start a little earlier and make more time for games and other activities that can include a whole bunch of people at once!
The Downs: There were only 2 downs in December. The first is that a big snow storm hit on a Wednesday and Troy had to continue going to work. He had long days while I was at home, which was hard for both of us. I loved being in my happy place, but I'll admit I was going a bit stir crazy from being home bound 24/7.
The other was that Troy and I got into an argument a few days before Christmas. I'm not going into the nitty gritty, but it was an over dramatization (on both parts) that ended up in a good compromise. It just took some of the excitement away from the week!
The Ups: So many good things happened in December! I felt the Christmas spirit and got our house (and my mom's house) decorated, watched Christmas movies, read Christmas books to Roman - it was fun! The best part is that Randi stayed in town rather than going to Montreal as she usually does during the holidays. She and Eric came with us to get Christmas trees - it was her first live one that they cut down! It was splendid to share one of our family traditions with her.
Mom had us go Christmas caroling at an assisted living home. I was skeptical about this idea because we had never done it before, and between her and I we can just barely hold a tune. Luckily the group she got together was composed of actual musicians who actually sing together and we had an amazing time! The only problem was that there had been a big debate at her house as to whether you "toll" or "troll" the ancient yuletide carol [fa la la la la la la la la] and when it came to that part I looked at Randi and started laughing so hard I almost peed my pants. Roman came dressed as a reindeer and was clearly the star of the show.
Christmas was, of course, a great part of the month. I think it will need it's own post (if I get to it in the next couple of days) just because it was so busy!
That brings us right back around to New Years and the beginning of this post! :D I didn't realize until I sat down to write it all out just how very much has happened this year. Obviously having a baby is a huge deal, but this year was comprised of so much more than that. I have loved reflecting back putting closure on the bad moments and reliving the good.
2017 is bound to be equally exciting and tremulous. I'm stoked for Roman to meet so many cool milestones, but worried about what this year will bring politically. We can only take it day by day and try to stay on the bright side! Cheers!
Perfect Stranger, what were your top moments from 2016?