I can't believe another year has passed by already...
2011 has been a year of healing for us. After losing two babies the year before (one from an ectopic pregnancy and one from a miscarriage), I started the year pregnant. I had a wonderful pregnancy and wasn't ready for it to end. Two weeks before my due date in June our precious boy, Gideon, was born in an exhilarating yet challenging homebirth. I faced a lot of my own demons while birthing him but managed to push through that and experience another amazing birth.
Gideon is truly our little miracle. We have spent the last 6 months holding him close and relishing our time with him. He has been in our arms the majority of his life. We are enjoying getting to know our little boy and seeing his personality emerge as he grows. He makes us smile everyday and is such a happy and content little boy.
Jacob had his final year of Kinder this year and we have seen some amazing changes in him this year. When I think back to how he was when he started kinder, he is a completely different boy. So much more social these days, interacting with his peers, and taking delight in all he does. I am so very thankful that we chose Steiner for his Kinder. He has been nurtured so much by his environment and his amazing Kinder teacher, who we credit for a lot of the positive changes in him. Next year will bring new challenges and fun with Jacob starting at the Steiner School. He's already impatiently asking when he can go to school!
Esme has changed a great deal this past year - she's become such a little girl. Or should I say 'tom-girl'? I've never known another kid who can create such a mess as her - the second she puts her clothes on in the morning she is filthy dirty!! She has such a strong personality these days and is very definate with what she wants (which leads to lots of clashes between her and Jacob!) She's very much the chatterbox - some days it's hard to get a word in! Esme starts little Kinder next year which she has been eagerly waiting for all this year (it's hard to get her to leave when we drop Jacob off these days).
It's been wonderful watching our family grow and seeing Esme and Jacob become big 'sister' and big 'brother' this year too. Jacob has really taken to the role and adores Gideon. There's nothing he won't do for his little brother. And I think the love is mutual too - Gideon always has a smile for Jacob whenever he sees him. Esme, on the other hand, likes to smother him a little too much!
As for me, I started back at work one day a week this year. I only made it to halfway through the year at work though due to having Gideon (I wasn't planning on being pregnant when I returned to work!) I really enjoyed the short time I had there though. I taught a class of 6 students all with physical and multiple disabilities. It was a different type of class to ones I have had previously so it presents new challenges and fun for me! I'm hoping to return to work for one day a week next year.
I have continued to volunteer for the Australian Breastfeeding Association this year. My main role this year has been that of co-group leader. I took myself off email and phone counselling halfway through this year so that I could focus on parenting my little baby. Actually, the day that Gideon was born was meant to be my last helpline shift! I had him about 45 minutes before my shift was due to start. Chris couldn't work out how to log me off so the phone kept ringing for ages until he figured it out!
Chris has continued to work as a technical assistant at Swinburne University. I think he's a little frustrated with his work at the moment though and would like to move on though. He's completing a three day chocolate course in a couple of weeks which is something he has wanted to do for ages. Maybe a career change to professional chocolatier?!
I'm really looking forward to 2012. It's going to bring some big changes for our family (and maybe a new business venture from me!) but it's going to be good! Bring it on!