This year started out with us being more focused on getting ready for Baby B2. New Years weekend was Potty Training weekend for William and we put the cloth diapers away for good. He was ready and the transition went really well! We haven't tackled nap or night time yet, so we still have disposables for that. Maybe that will be a goal for 2017. He transitioned to his big-boy bed in February and did really great with that too! He was a big boy and ready to be a Big Brother! He grew 4 inches and gained 8 pounds this year . . . slowing down finally!
We spent nearly every weekend this year looking at houses and condos, only taking a small break when baby arrived. But we continue to wait for the right home. We made a lot of changes to our apartment to accommodate another family member. There will be many more to make as he is on the verge of crawling. Maybe 2017 will be the "Year of the Move!"
In April, Chris went to Europe to visit friends (I had after all, gone to Australia six months prior). His mom came to help me out. He traveled to The Netherlands, Belgium, and London.
In May, my friends threw me a Baby "Sprinkle" (instead of a shower). It was so fun to get together with a group of women I rarely get to see. I felt so blessed! Little did I know, Baby B2 would arrive just eleven days later!
Stephen Christopher joined our family on Wednesday, May 18 at 10:23 p.m. This was by far the most exciting day of 2016 for our family. After that, the challenges started. We dealt with all sorts of weight-gaining issues and ended up needing to use a dairy/soy free formula while I went on the same type of diet and nursed as much I could. Now, at age 7 months, he prefers to drink a bottle so I pump several times a day. Thankfully, weight is no longer an issue. He has gained a little over 10 pounds and grew around 8 inches! We haven't attempted to get him to sleep through the night just yet as it is one of the few chances I have to get him to nurse successfully. My goals for 2017? Sleep!
We had several people come and visit after Stephen's birth and I'm so grateful for each and every one of them! Chris's mom came right away and stayed for two weeks, his sister came in late June and helped us out for a week. Chris's older sister brought her family for a weekend visit over July 4th and my college roommate stayed for a long weekend in mid-July. My mom wasn't able to come out until September as she had surgery in April and wasn't cleared for travel when Stephen was born. I'm so glad she healed well and is doing just fine now!
The second most exciting event of 2016 was my brother's wedding! We traveled to Minot, North Dakota at the end of July for his outdoor wedding, everything was beautiful and everyone had a great time. Chris was a groomsmen and William was the ring bearer. Afterward we spent a few days in Bismarck with my sisters and parents. I didn't end up making it "home" this year.
I returned to work in September, working part-time (20 hours) from home. We enrolled William in preschool; half-days everyday. He loves it. I love having a little more time to get my work done and focus some attention on Stephen. Transitioning back to work was really hard. I found myself struggling to find a routine that worked and was completely exhausted most of the fall. I know it was this hard (or harder) when I went back to work after William was born as I was trying to work 30 hours then. I think I was a little shocked at how hard it still was. I am not superwoman. I know this now.
We celebrated William's third birthday in October with a little party after his swimming lessons and a morning near Santa Cruz riding Thomas the Train. Chris and I enjoyed the actual train ride more than he did!
The fall was filled with activity. We enjoyed trick-or-treating and the pumpkin patch with great friends. Thanksgiving was a wonderful day with great food and friends. The season providing the prompting for me to remember how blessed I am.
We spent Christmas in Texas visiting Chris's family. We had a lot of fun together and even got to go on a date!
They say the days go slowly when you have a newborn but the year goes fast and that is true again. 2016 was filled with good moments and I have great memories of family, friends, and even some fun. But it was challenging to say the least. I'm looking forward to 2017 and the changes that are coming -- I'm hoping for many!
Happy New Year!