Monday, January 9, 2012

Year Two ~ January 9, 2012
Bright New Year

I was so tired yesterday evening that I fell asleep on the couch fully dressed, with the lights on, and awoke around 3am with just enough lucidity to move to an actual bed.

Surprisingly, this worked out in my favor.

Thanks to the chaos of our Monday morning "get the kids back to school" routine after a fun weekend out of town, we were all running late.

I felt certain that there would be no possible way that I would actually have time to walk our son to his school 8 blocks away... thanks to a variety of four year old tantrums and one naked six year old running around the house whooping and hollering with joy. He gleefully refused to put on his clothes ~ until I explained that I would be taking him to school even if he wasn't dressed.

(Amazing how fast he was able to put on his clothes after that suggestion!)

In any event, I was positive that ~ after packing two school lunches and making three breakfasts, plus supervising the dressing of two very fidgety little guys ~ I would end up missing out on my morning walk and have to drive my elder son to school. Then, I realized that despite my own lack of showering or breakfast, I was actually already dressed quite appropriately for a walk!

"The neighbors will never know that this is what I wore yesterday!" I laughed, and went to throw on shoes to match the shirt, sweater and corduroy pants I'd fallen asleep in.

So there you have it - true confessions of a stay-at-home mother with three small children. Sometimes I find myself walking my kid to school wearing yesterday's clothes... and you know what? It still feels great to get the exercise. Showering after a walk and breakfast is not all that bad.

As I pushed my daughter in her stroller and enjoyed the beautiful January weather I began to think about the year we've just entered: 2012. A lot of things have been said about this year, many of which foretell some kind of gloom and doom.

I feel exactly the opposite though! Whenever I think about this new year, I feel a potent surge of energy and happiness. I really believe that 2012 is going to bring many great things and that we have much to be grateful for and excited about. It feels like a special year already.

Many fantastic things have already happened, or are about to happen!

For example, we're looking forward to an upcoming trip to Arizona to celebrate the baby shower for my childhood best friend who is expecting a little boy soon. I'm so excited!

Back in our high school days this same friend predicted that she would be the last out of four of us who were very close friends to have a baby, and I countered her by betting that she would be the first of us to have kids. I'd better bring $5 along with my shower gift, because she won the bet!

I've been waiting a long time then, to celebrate the birth of her darling child. The first time I saw her pregnant, I had a really strong instinct that her baby would be a little boy. It's rare that I get that kind of intuition, but in her case, I felt it 100%.

Sure enough, months later the ultrasound showed that the baby was indeed a boy. I feel like I know this little guy already and I just adore him. I can't wait to lavish him with auntie love. He's going to be one adorable kiddo.

As it turns out, a handful of our dearest friends are expecting new babies in the next month or two. This is just a wonderful thing, such a blessing. How could 2012 be anything but beautiful when it heralds the arrival of such treasured and highly anticipated little souls?

* * *

My husband believes that this will be the year when we at last purchase our 30 year home. The one we retire in... the one we stick to and build our lives and family around. I'm so thrilled about that too!

Also, there is just a huge light beaming at the end of the tunnel right now as my daughter - our youngest - will turn 3 this summer and begin to attend preschool in September. Wow! All three kids in school!!!

As a stay-at-home mother this opens up my future! I could potentially go back to work this year! Or work part-time! I've been thinking about substitute teaching (flexible, fun) at local schools along with my private tutoring. I'm so excited to have many options on the horizon, many possibilities. This will be my first time in seven years without being either pregnant or having a young child to care for in the house.

I'm jazzed!

Lately the kids have gotten to be more and more fun to be around. They've become so interested in the world outside of our home... up for biking, hiking, sports, playdates, games. They raise interesting questions and really think subjects through ~ starting to draw their own conclusions. Even the two year old is dazzling us with the rapid expansion of her vocabulary.

"Mama! Look! I see a bird! He is a black bird! My bird is hungry! I cook for the bird in my pink kitchen! I make him some lettuce!"

She is growing like a weed, tall and sturdy. Capable of knocking both of her brothers down if they try to harass or tease her. I love her sass and her humor! She's quite a girl.

* * *

Lastly, I'm just so darn happy and grateful to be here in 2012. Pretty healthy, too!

About 18 months ago in 2010, I was told by a doctor that I might have a pretty awful autoimmune disease called scleroderma. I had a positive ANA test and my esophagus had stopped working correctly. They referred me to a rheumatologist for further testing.

As I waited for my appointment I read up on scleroderma. The first thing I learned about the illness was that if you get the "worse" diffuse variety, your projected lifespan will range from about 2 to 5 years. Understandably, I was devastated. I tried to imagine what I would be able to accomplish in just two years that would leave an indelible mark upon my children and the world. I dug in my heels and set about looking for answers.

Along the way I learned about the relationship between infection and autoimmunity (e.g. - Lyme disease and scleroderma). I was shocked to come up positive through lab tests for high antibodies to many different kind of bacteria, and three different viruses linked to chronic disease. I read voraciously (still do) and began to learn how to take better care of my body through diet, exercise and supplements ~ including the antibiotic doxycycline.

Nearly two years later, it's remarkable how much better I am feeling! Happily, all bloodwork for scleroderma remains negative (nor have I developed symptoms of that disease). I still have a lot to work on in terms of inflammation and my thyroid but overall I'm doing great! I feel better than I have in years and I'm starting to look like my old self again. I gained a full five pounds in five weeks and no longer look like a skeleton! Yay!!! Back to the old college weight of 119 lbs. Hurray!

* * *

When I read sensationalized headlines on newspapers and magazines about the end of the world in 2012, I have to laugh.

For me, 2012 feels like the BEGINNING of the world. A whole new, clean, beautiful year in which to thrive and succeed. (Even if I end up celebrating the bright days by walking my boy to school in yesterday's clothes...)

I'm thrilled about 2012!
Can't wait to spend it with our family and friends.

If you're reading this (wherever you are and whenever you do) I hope that this beautiful new year brings you health, productivity, happiness and LOVE!

This post stands in lieu of
March 30, 2011 ~ Day 111
A Lost Day

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