Happy New Year, friends! 2017 is getting a slow start around these parts since Maya and I only returned to Houston at the end of last week. Michael had to come back earlier to start school, but it was cheaper for us to fly back a little later and take advantage of a few more days with Maya’s grandparents, with whom she is 1000% obsessed.
She would be even more obsessed if they had been around this weekend to save her from the pacifier weaning we embarked upon Saturday night. I realized a month or so ago that the pacifier Maya was fully attached to for sleep and sick/sad moments was made for a 0-3 month old baby. Very much not made for a baby with 12 teeth and very much already affecting those teeth. I felt guilty every time I let her have it once I realized what it was doing to her gums and mouth, but I knew we couldn’t put my parents through the misery of taking it away from her. We tried snipping the end of the paci first – the idea being that you cut bits off until there’s nothing left to suck and by that point they’re over it – and she took one look at it and basically said oh, hell no. She kept holding it out and looking at it like she was wondering what the heck we did to break her most cherished possession. Then we offered a different pacifier that’s made for older babies and that only made her more mad.
In the end, we cold turkey-ed it. She screamed for a while last night going to bed, and then promptly slept 11 hours. She screamed her way through most of both her naps today, except when she was chewing on the side of her crib (while I ate my weight in Hershey kisses). And then tonight we added a stuffed goose and a teddy bear to her crib and lo and behold, a nearly peaceful bedtime. Thank goodness!
Anyway, beyond that drama we’ve been easing into the new year. The end of 2016 was hard for me as it was for so many. The election felt like a kick in the teeth to an already emotional and trying rollercoaster year. I think I might have been running on adrenaline for most of the year as we went through such high highs and quite low lows. Between Maya’s adoption day and then babies in and babies out, babies maybe happening and babies not happening anymore, I ran out of adrenaline when we returned from Ireland and I’m only now starting to feel like myself again. Even though we spent most of the holidays sick with various bugs between us, it was a break and I returned feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Michael and my parents picked up my slack big time in the last few weeks. I read two books in three weeks, enjoyed a glass of wine with my mom every night, and started watching This Is Us, which is watchably light and thought-provokingly deep at the same time.
While 2017 is slowly getting rolling, it’s already looking like it will be a very different sort of year than last year. I’ve picked up a new writing gig as well as some hours as a teaching assistant at Michael’s school, and it looks like Maya will be starting daycare at least a few days a week soon. She’s so social and loves being around other kids, so I think it will be good for her even though it will be a huge adjustment for both of us. But 15 months is a pretty long time to get to spend every day together, and I’m grateful we’ve had so much time.
I have a few goals for the new year, loose ones without trying to put much pressure on myself after the stress of the last year. Just a little more fun and a little more exploring.
More Houston exploring
I have a running list of Houston spots to explore, so we’ll try to check those off maybe one per weekend. We want to visit Brazos State Park in the daylight, finally get to the MFAH, go back to the cosy wine bar we visited a few weeks before Maya was born.
More date nights
I can count on one hand the number of times Michael and I got to spend time just the two of us last year. This year, at least monthly date nights.
Meal plans maybe?
Meh, maybe not. It always seems like a great idea in theory, but I can barely plan a day ahead let alone a week. We’ll see what happens when things get a little crazier around here.
Get a house plant
It seems that’s what our tiny apartment is missing – something green. Although we’ll need to find a place where Maya can’t get into the dirt. She’s a sucker for dirt.
I’ve got a stack next to my bed and a Kindle that hasn’t gotten nearly enough use in the last year. I just finished The Trespasser by Tana French, which I enjoyed but wasn’t my favorite of hers. I read The Magnolia Story last week and predictably enjoyed it.
Fight for the least of these
Because it’s gonna be important this year, more than ever. Last year, I felt our giving back role was with the tiny people who shared our home. This year we might not be taking on those situations as I try to get back to work a little, so I need to find the way we can fight for those who need back up in this scary time. I’m open to suggestions.
I hope you’re feeling glimmers of hope in the new year, despite the scary times ahead. I hope we are all able to enjoy abundant peace and happiness in 2017.