Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflections on 2010

I feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of looking back a whole year and trying to remember it enough to reflect upon it, but I've an inkling that if I just start, it will be easier than I anticipate. And worth it, to look back and reflect.

-January last year saw several rounds of illness in our house, and the beginning of my Breastfeeding Course for Health Care Providers. It was also an enormous blessing for me to think back to "this time last year (2009)" as far as my anxiety disorder. It was a blessing I didn't know was even possible to live largely within a more balanced mental state~something I can't overstate. The freedom is just...beyond words. Like I was in a prison and I'd not actually realized it and then suddenly someone opened the exterior door in increments, over the span of several months, and then I stepped out. And it was shocking to me to see how other people lived with these wide open spaces and incredible soft quiet, and sleep. Blessed, wonderful, beautiful sleep.

-I learned so much in my course, and enjoyed pouring myself into school again. It was nice to be a student again, especially of something I'm so interested in.

-February was the 2010 Olympics. SO COOL! I wasn't a fan of the Vancouver Olympics at first, and I'm still not convinced the cost of the infrastructure was really the best use of government funds, but since it was here we embraced it. I went to one Olympic event (the luge) with my sister in law, and it was pretty wild to be so close to such fine tuned excellence and dangerous speed. Brent and I also took the kids to downtown Vancouver twice to experience the spirit of the games: we happened to be at the corner of Robson and Granville (major intersection with a two story television screen broadcasting olympic sport events live) when the Canadian men's hockey team won gold. The city erupted, it was wild! I was scared one of the kids would get lost or trampled, but we did okay.
The second time we went down we did so via bus and train, and took the West Coast Express train back, which was an adventure in and of itself! I was grateful to live so close to the action.

-We also saw Matthew's urologist for the first time in February. It was good to start the process of investigating exactly what was/is going on for Matthew in that department. It wasn't so fun stressing about a medical appointment and a trip to Vancouver alone with two kids, and grappling with the ramping up of anxiety that surrounds an appointment like that for me, but I was very relieved to be starting the process of helping Matthew with his issues.

-In March we bought a van. We had also been talking for several months about having a fourth baby, and started trying in March.

-We were in the process of putting renovations on our house into high gear, because the two major things we wanted to accomplish (read, Brent stipulated) before adding a fourth child were to buy a bigger vehicle and to move to a bigger house, to accommodate said fourth child. Done and done. =)
Well, we haven't moved yet but we do in eleven days.

-I can't remember exactly when Mothers of Change started up, but I know we got more established as each month went by, and by March we were in a groove with our website and starting up as an organization. It's been a major blessing to be a part of an advocacy group like this one, and I love being a part of it.

-I finished my course in April and didn't get pregnant.

-I worked one or two shifts per week. I got bullied at work. I put up with it because that's the ambulance service for you. I loved the WORK, I hated the atmosphere and politics.

-I started baking. I like to cook, and I'm good at it now, but baking was The Final Frontier that I've barely started making a dent in...which of course is on pause now until after #4 arrives...

-We went to the tulip festival a week after it ended but got some pretty good photos and had a nice family annual day trip to Mt Vernon Washington~and didn't even get hassled at the border. WOW! May 26th was my last period, because in June I got pregnant with #4!

-Our summer was fantastic; Regina for Canada Day and my brother in law's graduation from police training, camping on Pender Island, and camping at Otter Lake, and visits with family and friends and good times at the water park and in the backyard sprinkler. I was sick with early pregnancy nausea. Somehow I survived. I got a very good mark on my course from the previous winter, which bolstered my confidence after a rejection letter from UBC's midwifery school. Which of course would have been hectic since I was having a baby anyways but it was still a bit disappointing.

-This fall my older two kids were in school full time and I've been enjoying watching them develop in leaps and bounds, learning all sorts of amazing skills and growing up SO FAST before my eyes. SO beautiful. Riley started talking in the summer and has taken off this fall, and is developing a charming two year old attitude. =)
Additionally, my health took a downward turn. I was sick for five months of this pregnancy, itchy, exhausted, full of aches and pains and vertigo and early painful contractions and, of course, that dreaded gestational diabetes diagnosis.
But it was fun and magical to feel the baby move. And watch its development through my body, which is spectacularly normal in its ability to grow a baby. Isn't it cool? I don't give my body enough credit.

-Matthew saw his urologist again and got a slightly different diagnosis than last time which fits my intuition of the situation better and has no treatment but the test of time (medication is an option but we opted out). He also had surgery on his ears and we have already seen an enormous improvement in his hearing this winter compared to the past four winters! Thank goodness, for his continued health and language development and success at school. He has been tested by the school speech and language pathologist and we got the results right before christmas. He has some major gaps that are all explainable by early childhood hearing loss and addressable with continued therapy, but best of all the greatest gaps that were major roadblocks two years ago now no longer exist. He still stutters, but 'mild.' His speech is now consistently clearer than Ayden's. He communicates well and is learning to read in leaps and bounds, typical of Matthew: slow start, then 0-60 in .25 seconds. He has now grasped the concept of spelling and is a very good speller; he can ace a test without studying (but we still study). His gaps are things like associations (like, "What goes with a shoe?" answer: a sock, a shoelace, a foot, etc~he can't do that one at all), and memory sequences (remember the following numbers: "Five, seven, two, nine." What numbers did I say?~he can't do that one beyond 3 numbers, about age four developmentally), etc. I'm just so proud of his tenacity in life and his ability to work through the sometimes unfair crap life throws at him. He's a brilliant kid, in so many ways.

-Of course we also had birthdays: I turned 32 last January, Ayden turned 7, Riley turned 2, Matthew turned 6, and Brent turned 35. The whole lot of us are getting freaking old!
We also had celebrations: easter, family events, birthdays, graduations, thanksgiving, christmas, etc. My life is full. My heart is overflowing. And I'm very, very grateful.

Here's to another year of overflowing fullness of life in 2011

1 comment:

lori said...

I am so impressed when people sit down and do this kind of whole year synopsis. Way to go.

What a year for your family! Dang.

Happy 2011 to you, all six! May this year be beautiful.