Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye, 2013!

I haven't posted in a long time...
But i wanted to share some of our achievements of 2013 and wish everyone a happy new year.

2013 was simultaneously the best year of my life and also one of the most difficult.  Though Coraline was born in 2012, she only lived with us for exactly two weeks in 2012, so I hardly count it.  So, 2013 was our first complete year as a family of four and I've never been happier.

Here are some highlights from our year:

JANUARY: Coraline was due January 3 but had already been with us for over 3 weeks (and i was still recovering from a difficult C-section).  On January 19, our best friends (and Coraline's godparents) got married and Lily was their flower girl.  Our whole family had an awesome time at their wedding.

FEBRUARY: was a difficult month for everyone's health, so we didn't do much.  But we wished Ruby, our first dog together as a couple, a Happy 10th Birthday.

MARCH:  Missy and I celebrated 10 years together!  We also celebrated Coraline's first Easter and Missy's birthday - where Coraline had her first hotel stay, and her first time swimming.

APRIL:  marked the one year anniversary of Coraline's conception and the positive pregnancy test that announced she was on her way.  Lily also attended her first friend's birthday party.

MAY:  May 6, my very first niece was born.  My brother and his wife welcomed Kaila Linh to our family.  We celebrated Mother's Day.  Lily started swim lessons at our local Y.  And Coraline had the first of her doctor appointments where she was diagnosed with torticollis (which would eventually start the chain of events leading to her full diagnosis.)

JUNE: As we do every June, we headed to Philadelphia for the Wizard World comic convention.  Lily had her kindergarten screening and her pre-K graduation!  Coraline began physical therapy and had her Half Birthday.  We also signed her up for Early Intervention screening.

JULY: We got our first batch of donor milk (which ultimately led to Coraline being nearly exclusively breastfed from months 6-13.)  Lily went to her first carnival and loved the rides, especially the kiddie roller coaster!  We also went to the annual LVIS fair where Lily got to go on a pony ride with her cousin Violet (which was Violet's first ever pony ride!)

AUGUST: Most importantly, Lily turned 5!  Missy and I also celebrated our wedding anniversaries (5 and 6 years, since we got married twice.)  Coraline had her MRI which led to her stroke diagnosis, which would shape the next few months (many doctors appointments and tests) and her future therapies.  Lily had her first friend/kid birthday party at Safari Adventure and all the kids had an awesome time!

SEPTEMBER: Lily started elementary school - and is doing awesome in kindergarten!  Also, we decided not to renew our lease (on the house we lived in for 3 years) and had less than 3 weeks to pack up our entire house and move!

OCTOBER:  We moved out of our house in the beginning of the month.  I began my new job (at a pre-school/daycare).  Also, the little boy who I was the nanny for in 2010-2012 came back into my life and I babysit for him on weekends.  After being ill for 10 months and seeing 4 different doctors, one finally found a solution (Lyme antibodies) and after a month of antibiotic treatment, I'm feeling more like myself again.  For Halloween, the girls dressed up as Lil Bo Peep and her Sheep!  (and they were ADORABLE!)  In October, Lily also won a Student of the Week award at school.  Coraline also qualified for Early Intervention and had her IEP meeting this month to set up her treatment plan.

NOVEMBER:  Our family went to Mohegan Sun for the first time for Thanksgiving - we all had an awesome time, but I think Lily had the best time of us all.  She talks about it all the time and can't wait to go back.

DECEMBER:  Coraline turned 1!  (And had an amazing smash cake photo shoot to celebrate.)  We celebrated Christmas with my in-laws.  The girls and I visited my parents in New Jersey for three days - at the same time my brother/wife/niece did and so we got to meet Kaila for the first time.  We're celebrating New Year's Eve at a hotel attached to a aquarium, and tomorrow we're taking the girls to see the sea horses!

Some of our major accomplishments for the year include:

* Working it out so BOTH of us can work - yet neither kid is in daycare.  And during the spring, Missy even worked two jobs!

* Finally being able to start watching our savings account go UP instead of going down (and paying off debts).

* Lily learned how to read, and can now read/spell/write at least 40-50 words.

* Despite her hemiparesis, Coraline can self-feed, crawl, stand, and cruise.

* I made it to a year of Exclusively-Pumping (breast milk), and I haven't stopped yet!  (Trying to make it through the winter).

* Missy's team (The Spunky Brewsters) consistently kicks butt at weekly Trivia Night and she brings home a cash prize nearly every week.

And a quick photo recap of the year (always my favorite part).

The wedding, January 2013
Coraline, February 2013
Swimming for Missy's birthday, March 2013

Mother's Day, May 2013

Lily at the convention, June 2013

July 2013 - My carnival photos made the front page of the newspaper

Lily's 5th Birthday Party (August)

Halloween, October 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Portrait with their cousin, December 2013

Lily's Kindergarten class photo, 2013

December, Happy 1st Birthday, Coraline!
Photo by SatinSkyPhoto.com

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