My husband hates New Year's Eve.
In the short week between Christmas and NYE, his "winter blues" begin--winter in East Tennessee isn't much fun, it rarely snows and the sun hardly ever shines, the days are just gray, so I can hardly blame him. But, I love the New Year. I am chipper and eager and full of the promise that is a newly cleaned house and a clean slate for the year. As much as I adore Christmas--the food, the family, the decorating--there are few things I find more refreshing than the day the decorations are finally put away, the floor is vacuumed, and my daily routine is suddenly simplified. New projects begin to form in my brain, and I get so inspired just thinking of all the free time I imagine I have now that the holidays have ended.
Of course, this year, it's a little different--but, somehow, the promise is still there. What I realized this year, as the holidays came to a close, is that for the first time in as long as I can remember, this year is just about...living. I'm not pregnant, I'm not trying to get pregnant, I'm not waiting for the next big thing. I'm here. I'm here with my little family, watching my baby grow, enjoying my job for the first time in years, and it seems like a really good place to be.
- 5 months is turning out to be pretty fun in terms of babyhood, horrid nap-strike notwithstanding. After weeks of battling tummy time, Ellie Bea just rolled over one day as though she'd been doing it her whole short life. Like, seriously Mom and Dad, what's the big deal?
- Same thing with reaching for a toy. One day, she just stared at it, and us, and the next, she was grabbing at it with both hands and shoving it right into her tiny, drooly mouth.
- She talks, babbles, screeches, and blows raspberries like we all know exactly what she's saying, and continues to smile and charm everyone she meets. Ellie Bea will be that kid in the store that says "Hi!" to everyone she sees. Since Mommy was a painfully shy child, I'm guessing she gets that from her showman Daddy.
- No teeth yet, but I expect them any day. She's mastered rice cereal and moved on to the more advanced world of sweet potatoes, bananas, and applesauce. Because I'm, you know, like that, I've been making my own baby food, which has been really cool. I've got a stock pile of applesauce and sweet potato puree in my freezer, and zucchini and green peas are coming up next. I think, since I failed so spectacularly at breast feeding, being able to rock the homemade healthy baby food makes me feel like I'm redeeming myself.
- Ellie Bea is right around 15 lbs now, with chubby baby legs that I threaten to devour daily. Seriously, is there anything more delectable than baby thighs? We've moved up again in diaper size, and she outgrows clothes at an alarming rate. I'm sure she still looks small to everyone else, but for me, this roly poly girl erases any memories of that tiny little newborn.
- Her new size (and more importantly strength) led us to giving up the swaddle, which, quite frankly, sucks. She was sleeping a glorious 10-12 hours straight through right before we took the swaddle away, and now we're back to a mid-night feeding, plus a few "gas woke me up come give me my paci back" moments here and there. I know--*I KNOW*--I was so lucky to have such a great sleeper, and even one overnight wake up is better than a lot of families are doing (women LOVE to tell me about their kids who didn't sleep through the night until they were four), but, you know, that doesn't make me miss it any less. Hopefully, we'll be back to our happy night-time & nap time routine any day now....