Just as previously posted, almost as soon as I finished my last post I remembered two other things I had wanted to include, and they were kind of big things too. And then as so often is the case for me, as much as I would have loved to sit right back down again and write about them, right now is the first time since then that I've had time.
The first thing that I forgot, and really shouldn't have, is that the 26th marked Tera's 22nd month. In a mere two months my little girl will be two and at least I can say this year didn't seem to go by nearly as fast as the first one (and sometimes it was just downright slow). It's kind of hard for me to differentiate her accomplishments from one month to the next because they seem more gradual and less obvious. Just to be clear, I'm still waiting for a first word and in fair warning, when it does happen, it will be a post all by itself. She is adding new signs every week it seems and is using them in combinations. She also seems to finally be able to recognize people in pictures and by name. At her last review, she still hadn't reached this six to nine month milestone, but the more we practice and test her, the more I'm convinced she knows most of the members of the immediate family by name and completely selfishly, I'm beyond thrilled every single time she correctly looks for and finds "Daddy" and "Mommy".
She's a pretty solid walker now, though she definitely stumbles regularly. Her most recent spill resulted in a nasty looking gash and corresponding black eye right in time for Christmas. She was just fitted for her orthotics this past Wednesday which will hopefully help her gain stability and confidence while preventing future ankle, knee, and hip problems due to her feet rolling in. I have to admit though, that while I'm excited to see how much better she will be when she has them, a small part of me is resentful of the fact that she has to wear them at all. She can't wear just any cute shoes, she has to wear a specific type of gym shoe that will not only support her, but will also accommodate her orthotics. We've been on a fairly extensive search already trying to find ones that will work; and it's not the cost because the doctor assured us they do not have to be expensive shoes, it's just a matter of trying to find ones that will work.
And then there's the little issue of her having a streak of the devil. I would never say she's a bad child because that's not it, she's just into EVERYTHING. And to all of the people who are saying to themselves right now that this is what I get for wanting her to walk, I will say that this has nothing to do with her added mobility and everything to do with her personality. I know for a fact that even if she couldn't walk right now, she'd be crawling or rolling her way into most of the same things. Having her home for the past few days has completely exhausted Tom and I. We actually cleaned out my office to make it a playroom for her and we've still spent hours troubleshooting all the new ways she's finding to get into trouble. She has a lot of curiosity, a lot of determination, a lot of stubbornness, a lot of defiance, and very little fear or recognition of the words "no", "stop", and "don't do that".
After weeks of trying to ensure she doesn't inflict the same kind of damage to my Christmas village as Godzilla does to Japanese villages, I finally gave in today and packed it up and we took down the tree. Which leads to my second forgotten topic: the post Christmas letdown I feel every year.
I, along with many people, consider Christmas a favorite time of the year. One of my absolute favorite things about it every year, is having our tree lights on every night. Before Tera was born and I had some downtime, I used to just love to sit down with all the other lights turned off, just the tree lights turned on, and just look at the tree. It reminded me of past Christmases as a kid, Christmases spent with people who are no longer here to celebrate with, and of what's important to me. The only problem with our tree every year is that it, along with the board we use to display my village, takes up quite a bit of room and by the end of the season, things are feeling cramped. This year we added to that the complication of Tera constantly terrorizing the set up and an influx of new toys and I had to admit today that it was time to come down. I typically have mixed emotions about the tree and I always feel a little sad when Christmas is over. There's just so much anticipation and planning that goes along with the holidays and when it's all over, I'm left with a feeling of, "ok, now what?". It doesn't typically last very long; usually by the time my house is back in order and we actually have time to do things and relax without having plans every minute of the day, I'm over it and move on, but these past few days have been the height of my letdown.
What does make it better is being able to spend time with my family and friends. Tom and Tera and I have had lots of time together, Tom and I actually went and saw a movie together, we've spent time with our families and some of our closest friends and while I wasn't able to get as much done, it was much more quality time spent and is always a good reality check and reminder to appreciate what's truly important. Our friends and family have been there for us in the good times and the bad and we need that time with them.
I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions, but if there was one I had to state it's to work on making memories with my family and friends for ourselves and for Tera. She's getting old enough to enjoy things and people and I want her to be able to look back when she's older and know that we had fun as a family. Tonight we built a fort out of the pillows from our couch and tomorrow we'll continue the tradition of bowling on New Year's Eve with our second family. I have so many fond memories of traditions we had while I was growing up and even when those traditions changed or evolved, they remained special to me and I want that for my own family and for my own daughter.
Happy New Year to you all. I appreciate your support and comments always and wish you and your families and friends a safe, healthy, and enjoyable 2013. Now how long will it take me to remember that when I write checks?