Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Babies, babies everywhere

A year ago, I was pretty miserable. That pregnancy was my hardest, for a multitude of reasons, but now that the memories aren't quite so fresh, I'm feeling nastolgic. Isn't that insane? HOW can a person feel nastolgic about full-body swelling, constantly aching joints, 9 months of nausea, and a labour that leaves you sore, bloodied and bruised? But I get a baby afterwards. A yummy, sweet, snuffly little baby that's all MINE.

I had my fourth baby at home, in the middle of the night. The midwives cleaned up and left me sitting in our overstuffed armchair, holding my sleeping 2-hour-old baby and watching the sun come up. I couldn't sleep at that moment. Everything was too perfect.

And now, as if I've woken up from a dream, my brand-new baby has turned into a roly-poly, curly-haired, walking and babbling TODDLER. She doesn't even turn one until next week! I have a hard time comprehending the changes that have taken place. At least with the older kids, some years have more gradual growth, but that first year is almost on par with the metamorphosis of a caterpiller.

I love having so many kids. I feel like my skills have improved greatly over time, and the way I deal with my baby is so much more relaxed and easy going than the way I've dealt with things in the past. If she gets dirty, so what? If she falls over, she'll usually be okay. A little bit of ice cream won't hurt her.

Several friends of mine are either pregnant or have tiny babies. Now that I'm sure that I have this whole baby thing sussed, it doesn't seem like such a big deal to add another.

Remind me of the flaws in this thought process in 10 years or so, when I am inundated with teenagers and have more to come. Who knows, though; it may seem easy to have a teenager, too, when I get to my fourth. It's the first three that I have to worry about.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Has it really been almost 6 months?!

Wow, sorry bloggees! If any of you are still out there, that is.

Life has been very busy and has left me little time/energy to think about blogging. Or sewing, or anything other than trying to catch my breath!

We moved house at the beginning of the year, which was more tumultuous than expected, given that we were told by the letting agency as we were about to drive to the house with a fully loaded van that we couldn't move in, oopsie! They didn't get the gas boiler inspected until the day of move in, and the gas man didn't do a thorough inspection and so failed the boiler. No boiler certificate, no move-in. For several days we scrambled around, trying to fix the situation, and thankfully were able to get in touch with the owners of the house and discovered that the boiler DID pass, so we moved in the next day. Whew. It was a stressful, painful time. I don't recommend it!

However, our new house is LOVELY. I am very happy here. So there's that.

So now we're pretty much totally settled, although the garage is a mess and I still don't have my kitchen and laundry room cupboards organised (at this point I'm not hopeful), and I'm no longer getting PSS-style flashbacks to the move. My sweet baby, who was only born TWO SECONDS AGO, will be one year old in a week and a half. She's my fourth child. I should be expecting this, but no. I am always surprised when their first birthdays roll around.

I call her a baby, but she's technically a toddler now. She walks more than she crawls, she has little temper-tantrums (is it wrong to laugh and go aaawwww when my 11 month old is screaming in frustration over her foiled plans to nom on a doggie toy?), and she's trying to talk. She signs occasionally, but it's pretty clear that she understands more than she's letting on.

This is my favourite age; about 8 months to 18 months, when their personalities really start forming, their language acquisition is increasing almost daily, and they can move around and entertain themselves. They are just so much fun! I think it's even better having a baby/toddler (boddler? taby?) with older siblings around, because she clearly ADORES them and thinks they are SO FUNNY. I am her safety net, but they are definitely her teachers/clowns.

We've been home schooling the kids since we moved, and it's been going well. Better than I'd hoped, but in a different way than I imagined. I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing most of the time, but when I look back on the list of things we've covered and learned, and when I pay attention to the things they come out with, I feel like we're doing okay. For now, at least. There are two schools less than 10 minutes' walk away from our house, so at least we have options, should we need them.

So I've been taking adult ballet classes recently. I've gone maybe 8 times or so? It's definitely outside of my comfort zone (she says, in a forcibly understated tone), since I consider myself the epitome of clumsy and uncoordinated. But hey ho, I went, survived, and kept on going. I am actually improving a bit. I'll never be a dancer, but this doesn't bother me.

Another thing that doesn't bother me is my thirtieth birthday last month. Sometimes I'll stop and think, "Oh yeah, I'm in my thirties now", mentally shrug and move on with my day. I spent so much time in my teens and twenties feeling unsure of myself, unhappy with how I looked or with my relationships with others, and now I think I've turned a corner. I think that I'm more sure of myself. At least more often than a few years ago! Ageing rocks.