Friday, January 2, 2009

2008: A year to remember

I hear that a lot of stuff happened in the world in 2008. There was something about Olympics and other athletic accomplishments, and then there was an historic election. Somewhere in the midst of that there came a domino effect of sorts with collapsing banks and businesses and markets. I hear that some really famous people died. And other stuff happened in other parts of the world.

And while I was there to witness all of this world news going on around me, it sort of takes me by surprise that any of that happened in 2008. I was rather preoccupied.

2008 will be remembered in our family as the year we settled into family life. Olivia was seven weeks old when we entered the new year, and we were still living in the fog of new-baby-no-sleep. I went back to work, which was a shock to my system, and became temporarily addicted to coffee. I left work in March and spent the next two months trying to figure out how to keep my brain from turning to mush while spending endless hours entertaining a pre-mobile baby. These were the days before Olivia could sit up on her own, but she loved to scoot around or lay on the floor and play. And she would scream endlessly if you dared to leave her sight for any reason. Not that she wanted us to play with her...she just wanted to be able to see us while she played. Mind-numbing.

By the beginning of the summer, we had settled into a routine, and I was finally truly enjoying my full-time-mommyhood. There's a learning curve and an adjustment just takes a little time to learn to slow yourself down to the pace of what can be accomplished with a baby in tow. I was ecstatic when Olivia learned to crawl and then entertain herself without needing me to be within eyesight every second. But then she learned how to pull herself up and was constantly taking a tumble as a result. I had to watch her like a hawk.

By mid-September, Olivia had learned to walk. Then she began to run. And climb. Each stage of her development brought a new stage of learning for me, too. I had to learn which pieces of furniture were threatening her well being and how to rearrange the house so she would no longer encounter that furniture. I had to figure out creative ways to keep her from opening the curio cabinet and sticking her fingers into the VCR. I had to remember to close and lock all the doors to rooms that she can't play in because she got tall enough to open the doors on her own.

2008 was a challenging year for all of us as we learned how to live together and keep each other happy most of the time. Everything for us was a new experience...our first time taking Olivia to the park, or swimming, or her first trip to visit Great-Grampa.

And, somehow, it's hard to remember what life was like before we had a child. How did we ever keep ourselves entertained?

2008 was our first full year as a family of three. We are busier now, with a tighter budget and a greater need to discuss our family time and money priorities. But we are happy, and we wouldn't change it for the world.
Olivia's first bowling outing, New Year's Eve, 2008

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