Sunday, January 1, 2012

2011: Year in Review

Dear Delilah,

2011 was quite a year. Looking back over all of the events and experiences that took place, I can hardly believe that all of it happened over the course of one short year!

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In January, I wrote my first-ever guest blog, on the topic of balancing real life with attachment parenting ideals. Little did I know just how challenging maintaining that balance would be throughout the wild year ahead of me! January also saw me help you get past your fear of the vacuum cleaner, discuss our decision to raise you as a vegetarian, address some of the complexities of poverty, and almost have a heart attack when you began to assert your independence.

In February, I wrote a series of posts on cloth diapering, covering the reasons why we cloth diaper, an overview of the different types of modern cloth diapers, the basic information necessary to get started with cloth diapering, tackling diaper laundry, and traveling with cloth diapers. You discovered the power of the word "no", and I was grateful to have so much support as a parent. I opted to choose love, though it had nothing to do with Valentine's Day. I shared images of a day in our life, and you got sick for the first time in your short life.

March brought with it Spring Break, during which I took some time out for myself. I also took some time to celebrate the most important women in my life, and to react to Japan being struck by a natural disaster. I shared my original birth plan as well as my revised cesarean birth plan. You accompanied Daddy and I on a bike ride for the first time, and I ranted a bit about dolls. Finally, I reflected on your developmental pace and tendency toward caution.

April was a busy month! We did lots of fun things like seeing the Harlem Globetrotters and playing outside. We recognized a Day of Silence in support of LGBT youth, and I organized a fundraiser for our local women's shelter. We topped off the month with a fun-filled Easter weekend!

The month of May kicked off on a somber note as I reflected on Osama bin Laden's death and the reactions I was surrounded by. I had an incredible Mother's Day and marveled that my little baby was already 18 months old. On the anniversary of my first date with your daddy, I told the story of how it all began. As May came to an end, we had a garage sale in preparation for selling our house and moving!

By June, summer was in full swing! We enjoyed a family weekend out of town for one of Unc's baseball tournaments, met some creepy crawlies out in the yard, and enjoyed all the brilliant colors in the garden. I discussed the evolution of our nursing relationship and we celebrated your incredible father. I also cleared up just which "Delilah song" you (and this blog) were named for!

We had a memorable 4th of July weekend that included your first time out on the river. I told the rather humorous story of how the cast of my pregnant belly came to be. You gave your father and I quite a scare when you started having breath holding spells!

August and September were so busy with our move that it's a wonder I managed to write at all! We celebrated World Breastfeeding Week and I shared how nursing you helped me to heal emotionally after your surgical birth. Despite my inexperience at sewing, I made you a Waldorf doll entirely by hand and even sewed matching dresses for you and your doll! We said bye-bye to your baby mullet in September when we gave you your first haircut.

In October, we celebrated our German heritage at the local Oktoberfest festival. I took a pledge to end fat talk to be better body-positive role model for you. We wore purple with a purpose for Spirit Day and I tried to make play dough with the worst play dough recipe in the history of ever. An already lively month was made even more so by a debate with your grandmother spurred by her wondering whether or not play kitchens are sexist. We had an exciting Halloween; you were the cutest flower I've ever seen!

In November, we celebrated your second birthday and finally closed on our new home that we'd been living in since September! You shook my world a bit by starting to call me "Mommy" (I'm "Mama", darn it!) and I missed the mark on listing 100 things I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving.

True to form, December was one of the busiest months of the year. We decorated our holiday tree and I looked back at how our sleeping arrangements have evolved. I accomplished a huge personal goal and graduated college with honors. Your father and I revisited the Santa debate and we all went on to have a spectacular holiday weekend. We experienced some adorably hysterical potty training bloopers and I tried to make the best of a bad mistake. As this incredible year came to an end, I organized a virtual benefit for a friend, and together with the amazing team of Natural Parents Network volunteers, we rallied the troops to give her family the gift of closeness to their newest member.

2011 was one of the best years of my life, and, I presume, of yours. Our family has been so fortunate, and has been blessed with many opportunities to share our good fortune with others. What we have been blessed by is not measurable in dollars, inches, or pounds, but in the love and joy that we carry in our hearts. I aim to carry it forward into 2012, and cannot wait to see what the year ahead has in store for us!



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