Friday, December 21, 2007

Year in Review

2007 has been quite a year. Up and down (more up than down, though, and that's a good thing). This post may be more for me than anyone else, but I want to take this opportunity to take a walk down memory lane, and revisit just how far I've come this year. Think of it as a personal newsletter that I'm too lazy to put in my Christmas card.

I started the year in January by
announcing that I was pregnant with Vivian (only named Pumpkin at the time). It was an incredibly emotional time for me -- incredibly happy, yet sad and grieving. At the end of the month, we traveled back up to Tahoe to scatter Eliza's ashes, a cathartic and beautiful experience.

In February, I started making Vivian's Pumpkin quilt (which is still in the unfinished state it
was in when she was born, but which I plan to finish after Christmas knitting is finished). And Mark was born! Looking back at those first photos of him, it's hard to remember how small he was to start with! February was also the first time I felt Vivian move -- and it was the most awesome, incredible feeling.

March started Richard's uber-travel schedule, in which he was gone 6 weekends in 7 weeks. I
remember that getting really old, really fast, for both of us. We found out Vivian's gender this month, and also gave her her name. Giving Viv her name was very important to us, as it helped us identify with her as an individual person, and begin our relationship.

April was an emotional month for me, as I reached, and finally passed, the 25-week-2-day mark at which I lost Eliza. Once we passed it, I felt this huge weight lifted off of my chest, as I entered into new pregnancy territory. And it was awesome.

May was a fairly light month, emotionally. We attended the Red-neck Wedding party, and it was awesome. We also got to prep more for Vivian, signing up for childbirth, infant care and breast feeding classes (only some of which we actually got to take).

June was certainly an eventful month! We started with my awesome shower, at which we were showered with so many amazing gifts
, handmade and otherwise. Towards the end of the month, we had another ultrasound, which showed how big Vivian was getting. We were preparing to welcome her in the middle of July, when she decided she had things to do and people to see. My water broke on Friday morning, June 29, when I was 34 weeks, 2 days pregnant.

July is pretty much an emotional blur. It started with me & Vivian being in the hospital, and then transitioned into Vivian staying in the NICU, which sucked, but we got through. A good thing that also happened, which I never really wrote about, was that our FORMER health insurance company FINALLY agreed to pay my medical bills from when we lost Eliza. I literally had a collection agent calling me on my cell phone while I was doped up on Vicodin in a hospital bed, with Vivian in the NICU, telling me that my bill was now almost a year old. Like I could forget that it had now been a year since Eliza had died. It finally got resolved when my company's insurance broker finally shamed the insurance company to stop stalling and pay the damn bills. We were finally able to bring Vivian home, and while tiring and stressful, it was the most amazing experience of my life.

In August, we took our first trip with Vivian, out to Tucson to see the family. I loved introducing her to my grandmother and stepfather. We also continued the stressful experience of trying to find daycare for Viv - stressful, but with a happy ending, thank goodness.

September was a great month. I finally started to feel comfortable with Vivian's schedule. She finally got the hang of breastfeeding. We took our first plane trip (out to Tucson again)
and Viv did awesome, sleeping through most of the two flights and a layover.

October marked the tragic end of my maternity leave and my return to work. Jenny came to visit, and I got my hair cut. I cried on Vivian's first day at daycare, but we both survived. Vivian had her very first visit to the pumpkin patch, and I made a somewhat misguided attempt to take a photo of a baby in a pumpkin. Vivian was not exactly fond of being placed in a wet, slimy gourd. Oh well, live and learn. If she ends up with some horrible phobia of enclosed places, it will be all my fault.
Probably only one of many things I'll be guilty of.

In November, we started in on our very first holiday season as a threesome. We shared Friends Thanksgiving and found out that there is a whole new bumper crop of babies expected in the spring! Vivian won't be the youngest baby for very long.

And now we're in December. We've taken Vivian to see Santa, hung the stockings (although not Vivian's yet because I still haven't sewn the lining for hers -- tonight, I promise!). Vivian had her first renal ultrasound since leaving the hospital (her hydronephrosis is improving, although not yet gone completely. We'll do another ultrasound in a few months). We had our first bout of daycare-related sickness (rotavirus), and managed to pass it on to many of our favorite people. The gift that keeps on giving! We leave for Tucson tomorrow in a purple PT Cruiser packed to the gills with clothes, diapers, presents, and unfinished knitting. That was 2007 for us. I can't wait to see what 2008 will bring us.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a good book

I am a reader. Since I was a wee girlie, I have been found at many a social function with my nose buried in a book. I've never been a snob about what I read -- chick lit, sci fi, fantasy -- I'll read the fluff alongside the more "serious" and "literary" tomes.

But for much of 2006 and 2007, I had felt lost, unable to find a book worthy of my time. I spent plenty on magazines, but I just couldn't read anything more substantial than Entertainment
Weekly (one obvious exception being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- but that's more of a phenomenon than a mere book). I told myself it was depression or being pregnant, which kept me from really enjoying books like I used to.

But that was before I joined
Paperback Swap. This is not a commercial, but I have to say that this service, where you can swap your unwanted books and get other books in return FOR FREE, is awesome. I joined back in September and decided that I would use it to try out books that sounded interesting but that weren't MUST HAVES that I needed right away.

In just the last few months, I've read:

Fluffy chick-lit, true crime, children's lit (btw, The Golden Compass is really dense. When the New York Times calls your book "challenging," this is not your average kiddie book). I've decided that reading, no matter what it is that I'm reading, is the goal.

Here's what's on my To Be Read shelf (currently stacked on top of the TV):

Right now I'm reading The Annotated Pride & Prejudice. I love Jane Austen, and Pride & Prejudice is my 2nd favorite book (just behind Persuasion). The annotations are really adding to my enjoyment, I have to say. They give insight into how certain words were used at the time of the writing, show illustrations of common items from the time, and point out certain literary devices as they occur. Very cool for the history nerd like me.

If you're interested in signing up for PaperBack Swap, click here: Full disclosure -- I get book credits for each person who signs up. It's free and a good way to get rid of the old books you're never going to reread. It's also a low-cost way to get a head start on that New Year's resolution to read more books!