Maybe U2 Was Right

Maybe nothing really does change on New Year’s Day.  But it’s a good time to take a look at the changes that have occurred over the previous year.

One of my favorite pictures of Mr. Charm EVER! This was him last year around this time, on an unseasonably warm day.

Mommy Wants Vodka, a hilarious, terribly off-color blog I read to bring some  adult laughter into my days, does one meme and one meme only: an end of the year re-cap.  (Thanks to my friend Rebecca for introducing me to Aunt Becky!)  I had planned to do her New Year’s Meme, but, frankly, I’m a little too fuzzy right now and it would feel more like a test than an enjoyable look backwards, so I’m just going to write about it, prose-style.

Yesterday morning, the last day of 2012, I woke up with a sore throat and body aches from head to toe.  “Great,” I thought, “Here we go again!”  So I called and yes, our GP had hours that day so off Mr. Happy and I went to the doctor.

I thought surely I’d relapsed into Strep – it felt THE SAME.

But nope!  Not so fortunate this time!  Instead, it is just VIRAL tonsillitis.  Viral,  meaning “Yes you’re sick but no we can’t do anything to help you.”

Gorgeous.  Lovely.  Awesomesauce.

So, I’m – once again – sick as a dog.  I think I can count on one hand the number of days since Thanksgiving when I HAVE NOT been sick as a dog.

Ugh.

Even better – Mr. Happy seems to have a sickness of some sort.  I really don’t think it’s anything FPIES or allergy related in any way, but he’s warm and clingy.  Let me rephrase that – he’s C-L-I-N-G-Y.  And the Geek will ‘do’ as someone to hold him, unless he sees Mommy, at which point ONLY Mommy can make everything better.

Since I’m so weak standing up makes me tired, this is not ideal.  Holding a squirming, 19 pound Mr. Happy is like wrestling an octopus and I’m not really up to that task right now.

There’s a tradition, probably in lots of places but especially in the South, where I am from, that says that what you do on New Year’s Day is what you will do all year long.  

I think the whole family sincerely hopes that tradition is NOT true. 

(Though, the fact that the Geek has been AWESOME on house cleaning today would be nice to have continue year long!)

Another part of that tradition is that you must eat Black-Eyed Peas (usually with cornbread) and Greens (usually Collard Greens, but whatever floats your boat) for your traditional New Year’s Dinner.

As those foods are basically poison for someone in my family, right now, we can’t have our traditional dinner, either.

Hopefully, we’ll still have Wealth and Luck this year, regardless.

So.  The progress of a year.

A year ago, I was flying, pregnant with Mr. Happy, and things were just hunky dory awesome.  Our house was quickly growing too small for us, but we had decided that as soon as I hit maternity leave (end of February) I was going to undertake a MASSIVE purge to clear out as much stuff as possible so we could fit into our home.  Even if it was still a tight fit.

Before I started maternity leave, lo and behold, a total shocking surprise came our way: we got our house!  (Long story, but we were essentially ‘squatters’ in my Grandmother-in-laws house after she moved into a nursing home, and finally were given ownership of the house last year.)  So, now we had our names on the deed and could get financing to remodel the garage and make it living space instead of parking space.

Hallelujah!

We got right on it, but due to multiple snafu’s and myriad incompetencies along the way, construction didn’t actually start until June.  When Mr. Happy was 12 days old.

Can I get a groan from the audience?  Ugh!

So, I never purged the house as much as I probably should have, but we did get the chance to throw a LOT Of stuff out when we had a dumpster living on our property, so I guess that’s something.

We were so happy with our financial situation the first half of the year.  We had FINALLY paid off the medical debt from Mr. Charm’s first year or so of life, and had a decent savings account build up.  Getting through 15 months of no income from me would be tricky, in that we would have to be frugal and pay attention, but not at all impossible or hard.

Mr. Charm finally seemed to be doing well and we were so thrilled with the fact that we seemed to have his health under control.

Yup, the first half of 2012 was just chock full of ‘glory days’ for the Cradle Rocking household.

Then we had Mr. Happy.

His delivery was great, and terrible.  Both my kiddos REALLY like being in the womb, and tend to stay put past 40 weeks.  I honestly believe that if medical people would let things happen as nature intended, my kids would probably decide they needed to be born at about 42 or 43 weeks, but doctors don’t want that to happen.  Too many potential problems with a baby born after 41 weeks.

Not to mention, my awesome insurance through MY job was going to expire on May 31, after which I would be using the Geek’s insurance to pay for the delivery and HIS insurance is just…not as good.  As in: on my insurance, delivery would cost us all of $25 (that we had already paid as the co-payment on pre-natal care) and on HIS insurance, delivery would cost us at least $1,500, probably more.

So, I had to be induced.  Again.

And I had to basically repeat Mr. Charm’s TERRIBLE delivery each step of the way…except somehow, with medical personnel who LISTENED to me and worked with us, it was all SO MUCH BETTER.

Mr. Happy was born and came home the next day, as opposed to spending a week in the NICU like Mr. Charm did.  I don’t think there is any way to convey the relief we felt at that.  

So, there we were with our brand new baby, and we had NO CLUE what to do with him.  Our only time spent with a brand new baby, you see, had been in the NICU, where nurses basically run the show.  So we were sort of like first time parents!

We got our feet under us, house construction began, and life was still good.  Tired and exhausted from life with a newborn, but good.  

My boys. Mr. Charm has loved his little brother since Day 1.

And then, of course, came July, and the whole story I’ve documented on this blog.

I don’t think the last half of the year could be MORE opposite the first half if I had tried to make it so.  

From last New Year’s Day to this one:

  • we have two sons, not one
  • we are FAR poorer financially
  • I am FAR skinnier
  • our baseline stress levels are at least 50% higher than they were
  • our marriage is stronger (we’ve been tested and became stronger, for which I am incredibly grateful)
  • we are more scared of the future
  • we have many more medical issues than we ever have (and we haven’t exactly been ‘light’ on the medical issues front since we got married!)

We are in a worse position now than we were a year ago in so many ways, but you know what?

It’s a season.  It’s a phase.  It will pass.

I wouldn’t change A THING.  NOT ONE THING.  

Because all the stress, financial woes, fear of the future, etc. comes about because of our children’s medical issues, and the only way to eliminate those problems would be to go backwards in time and NOT have our children…and THAT is unthinkable to me.

My children are my blessing, even with the stresses that they bring.  My children are priceless and invaluable.  They are my heart and soul.  

So, maybe nothing really changes on New Year’s Day, but a lot of change has happened for us in the last year.  

And it’s ALL GOOD. 

My boys two days ago. My heart and soul. And I LOVE matching their clothes!

My only HOPE for 2013 is that my children grow healthy and well, that we get good medical care, and that we continue to learn how to feed them properly.  Everything else is icing on the cake. 

What does your life look like one year later?  What are your hopes for 2013?

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