Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011

We are counting down to the last hours of 2011. Here I am, having a quiet moment (because it's in the middle of the nightb& I am up expressing milk), flurry of images of events of the year fleeted through my mind - as if I'm watching a slideshow.

Here is a consolidation of my 2011:

Relationship with God
We have not been attending church nor cell for a few months now. That should not affect my relationship with God if I had been conscientiously spending time with Him and seeking Him in my daily walk. The truth is, I have not. So, in all honesty, I find my spiritual growth stagnating. I remember a fellow sister-in-Christ shared with me this statement before: "There is no such thing as stagnant in spiritual growth. The moment you are stagnant; you are in fact backsliding.". Admittedly, she is right. My fundamental beliefs is still the same. But I need a change of heart. I need to feel closer to Him to feel complete as a person again. Staying close to Him will naturally equip me in becoming a better wife and mother. This is the one aspect that I really wish and pray for a breakthrough in 2012.

Having a helper

Well, this is a biggie for me because I need large amount of personal space. That is why I detest taking MRTs during peak hours. It is also the same reason why I haven't been to any clubs (except on my hens' night) nor countdowns in the last decade. To have a stranger in my living space is a gigantic no-no.

BUT. Between retaining sanity and treasuring personal space, the choice is obvious. Still, it takes some adapting to, which I am proud to say I did quite well. I psyched myself to the idea of having someone else in the house weeks before The Helper arrived. In addition, I am relieve that she learned (from the trainings she went through) and understood our need for personal space. Unless necessary, she tries to keep out of our way and not be in the same room as us at any point in time. Plus, so far, she has proven to be a significant help for me. She helps to take care of most of the menial work around the house while I concentrate in caring for the girls and doing all the brain works behind running the household. On top of that, she is generally quite good with Anya making it easier for me when both girls need attention. In retrospect, I am really glad that I took The Husband's suggestion to hire a stay-in help.

An addition to the family
 This has to be one of the happiest thing that happened to me in 2012. It was in our family plan - to try for another child this year. By God's blessing, we got our heart's desire. She came in the form of a chubby baby girl who came just one month before the year ends. One month later, she has become chubbier. Every time I change her and see her rotund belly getting even rounder, it makes my chest swell with pride. Yeah, the pride of a breastfeeding mom. (Oops! Pun wasn't intended.)

Another pregnancy, another trying 9 months 

I was pregnant three quarter of the time this year. Been pregnant is very trying for me. I throw up, and I throw up some more. I get dehydrated and become so weak that I literally crawled to the bath room (to throw up even more). So I had to be admitted to be on drips. It was down on the same road as the first pregnancy! Thankfully, the story after the hospitalization part changed partially. The OBGYN found a drug that was effective in curbing my throwing up. Never mind that the drug was intended for cancer-stricken patients who are undergoing chemotherapy (it is safe for the baby though). Never mind that a month's dosage costs more than $700. It is effective. Yay! I could have thrown a party to celebrate, except that I still has to deal with excessive salivation, heartburns, as well as other common pregnancy symptoms.

Like the first pregnancy, the trying nine months has been a test for me The Husband and I in many ways. He had to be away from work more so he could substitute me at home. He had to push away work trips & meetings just to take care of Anya and I. Seeing me go through all that, it was heart-wrenching for him. I have lost count of the times that he said, "That's it. No more number 3.". For me, it was a test of faith. Second round. I question why God put me through so much in both pregnancies. I cried a lot. It was an outlet for me. I remembered at one pointed, I posted on my Facebook account that I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel, even when I clearly knew that it would come to pass after the pregnancy was over. Besides the emotions, there was also the stress of having to deal with the extras that came along with the stork. Caregiving arrangements so I could be on bed rest, preparing for number 2's arrival which included sleep-training Anya in her bed so Arielle could inherit her cot - that went oh-so-wrong.

Trying as it could be - being pregnant, I am relieve to say that we passed the tests. Plus we get a beautiful healthy baby at the end of it. :)

Relationships: Win some; lose some
Okay, 'lose' is an exaggeration. But. Admittedly, social life has taken a back seat since we embarked on parenthood. We can no longer socialize at the frequency that we were used to before parenthood. Meeting up are reserved for a handful of close friends who has helped me to hold onto my sanity (Thanks y'all, you know who you are). Or I will try to make it for bigger group gatherings where I get to meet up with a few friends at one meeting. Yeah, economies of scale. So naturally, I have drifted apart from some.

As for the winning relationships, other than the handful of close friends, are kinship. My mom, parents-in-law, sister-in-law, The Husband. In short, those who saw us through this trying time. Through kind and affirming words and through acts of service, they touched our hearts. And our relationships with them nurtured.

Enjoying Anya
Anya in January
Anya in December

The year saw Anya from a chubby crawling baby to an active running little girl. These days, she is capable of her own her thoughts and expressing them outright to us. No doubt, there are times when she disagrees with us, act defiantly, throw tantrums - all in all, giving us headaches. But hey! That is part of parenthood, deal  isn't it? Loving our child even when she may exhibit unlovable behaviours occasionally. Other times which constitute a large part of the entire year, I enjoy her even more. Her sweetness, her thoughtfulness, her joyfulness, her cheeky side, her laughter, and basically, the essence of her. It has been quite an experience, seeing my own child growing and getting to know her personality.

In conclusion, it has been a year that we go through yet another season of change. While there were trying times, all in all, we reaped fruitful harvests. More importantly, we are intact as a happy loving family.Come 2012, I pray that we will settle well into a family of five, bonding even closer with the ones who matter, become healthier (and in the course of it, slimmer for me), grow in the spirit while continuing to play our roles well. Here's wishing you a blessed 2012!

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