1. Breastfeeding: Wow. I went into this hoping to breastfeed for a year, a goal which we have exceeded, but now I fear that I am going to be nursing her before she walks down the aisle. But I do love it- breastfeeding has given me a new appreciation for my body, an unbelievable bond with Carolina, and deepened my commitment to nourishing my family with the healthiest diet I can. Because let’s be honest, all fluff aside, breastfeeding is hard work and I just can’t imagine letting Carolina turn into a garbage disposal after all I’ve done to give her the best start I can. The time, the attachment-- all wonderful but also overwhelming at times. And I can’t even begin to count how many glasses of wine have been sacrificed over the past year. A few have slipped through for sure. And by few I mean sort of often.
2. Baby wearing: Wow x2. How many naps would have gone unslept, dinners would have gone uncooked, loads of laundry would have gone unfolded, and moments of sanity would have gone unfelt had it not been for baby wearing. Admittedly, my little crouton has been getting a little heavy, but occasionally I throw her on with a back carry when I need to cook dinner and her daily allotment for tearing apart the spice cabinet has been exceeded. So I suppose the analogy could be: baby wearing is to a secure cocoon as toddler wearing is to a cage. I am pretty sure that is going to be added to the 2014 SATs. (Note: I use a Boba 3G infant carrier and a Sakura Bloom ring sling and would recommend either.)
3. 7PM-2AM: I don’t know what this kid runs on, but sleep has never been her strong suit. I couldn’t tell you the last time she randomly fell asleep on her own. I see kids passed out in strollers out shopping or at an event and I am blown away. There are way too many people to wave at for Carolina to fall asleep in a situation like that. But we have been lucky that from about 7PM-2AM she usually sleeps great, which has done unbelievable things for my sanity. We’ll get to 2AM-6AM later.
4. A Friendly New World: When I was pregnant and started showing (at around 2 weeks) I couldn’t believe how much nicer people became. I loved it. And I took advantage. Through my entire pregnancy, I used the “15 items or less line” at the grocery store every single time I went. Even with a full cart. Nobody ever said a thing. Now that I spend my days with the most outgoing child of all time, this friendly new world has grown tenfold. She engages with everyone. Sometimes crowds gather. She has a very magnetic personality; I am not bragging here because none of it is from me. By nature I am much more closed off and would prefer to remain anonymous, but now we spend our days waving to strangers and touching the face of any person on a motorized cart in the grocery store that dares get too close.
5. My New Sense of Time: I appreciate my free time much more than I did before having a baby. I appreciate my alone time, my time with Walter, my time with Carolina. The schedule can be a little hectic, but overall I think I am more present in whatever I am doing. Plus, I can clean the house in about 1/8 the amount of time I could BC (before Carolina), when I would take half hour RHONY breaks every time I needed a new paper towel.
1. December-March: This is pretty self-explanatory. I’m not sure if hell is supposed to be hot, or if it’s actually a polar vortex and you have a one year old to entertain.
2. 2A-6A: If I ever get these four hours of sleep back uninterrupted, I might just be able to take over the world.
3. Teething: Am I the only one who never really knows if it’s really happening or not? Carolina just cut tooth #8 and we have been thinking it’s been coming since October. “She must be teething” is really code for “I have no clue what’s going on right now” in our house.
4. The Internet: The internet is terrifying and full of misinformation on babies. “Don’t google it” might go down as the most used phrase in our house in 2013 (eh, it might be tied with “mom I think she’s hungry”). I should just stick to reading gossip sights that give me misinformation about famous people. It’s much easier to absorb.
5. The Laundry: Who is in charge of the calendar of the world? I am hoping we can add an 8th day of the week called Laundry Day. I thought the poop explosion laundry was bad, but add crawling and eating solid food into the mix and you have lost the laundry battle before you even started. This, compounded with my husband’s obsession with white undershirts that “smell really bleachy” and wearing new pajamas every night, and I’m not sure if I’m doing laundry for my family of three or Jon and Kate.
So there it is, my high five and low five of the first year. It was really fun to think back over the past 12 months in these terms. I would love to hear what other mothers have to say about their high fives and low fives of the first year… maybe I forgot something and we can add an “around the back.”