It always feels anticlimactic, waking up to the first day of a new year. Like the view is supposed to change, the feel of the pillow, a new longing to get out of bed. If only we could move through our lives with the same self-forgiveness we carry these first few days of January, the same hope and hustle. We could all stay up until midnight, kiss and exclaim "Happy New Day!" and then make it one instead of waiting around for the year's change to reset our alarms. This thought occurred to me New Years day when Archer woke up upset we hadn't woken him, as promised, at midnight.
"But we tried! You refused to budge!"
"Can you wake me tonight instead?"
"But it's not New Years Eve anymore, goose. Next year..."
"But that's SO FAR AWAY! I want to celebrate TONIGHT!"
Rewinding to earlier in the week...
...Last week my cousin, Yvette her husband Iban and daughters flew in from Spain where they live outside Pamplona and I got to meet their new baby Mikaela for the first time.
Mikaela was born on the fourth anniversary of her late grandfather's death, Yvette's father, my uncle Pete. She was born at home, days after she was due, her own unique soul full of light and love, stamping LIFE on a date previously reserved for mourning. Life is full of magical coincidences and the poetry of her birth is an exquisite one. Meeting Mikaela was wonderful and watching Archer, Fable with their cousins (second cousins, no first cousins yet) was the highlight of our week.
It was also the first time my Nana was able to be with six of her seven great-grandchildren at once, which she clearly HATED:
We had such a lovely family time and it bums me out considerably that we can't all live next door to one another.
The day after we came back to LA my brother went back to Boston and my sister returns to Ohio tomorrow. Boo hoo/sigh.
And then we came home.
After tucking Archer and Fable in their beds, post east-coast ball-drop feed (that's your new band name), Hal and I gorged ourselves on cheese and chocolate and watched our #1 favorite movie of 2011 (appropriately titled Beginners) before
passing out at 1am waking up at 1:02 am with Reverie.
In the morning we toasted with the kids over breakfast, babies-in-laps and started our first annual "Things We'd Like to Accomplish in 2012" list, all of us contributing as many things as we could think of that we'd like to make happen for ourselves and each other in the coming year.
Some of Archer's goals: Go somewhere we've never been before, learn to be a better swimmer, cuddle on the couch as a family and watch Madagascar.
Fable had three goals for 2012:
1. Play with Archer.
2. Play with Boheme and Reverie
3. Play with friends.
So far she's three for three and it's only the third. Nice work, Fable!
Hal's goal was to play more piano, mine was to read more books and together our biggest goal for 2012: buy a house.
We spent the last three days putting together lists of homes, stalking short sales, emailing links back and forth with our agent and starting this week I'll be touring homes as a potential BUYER. Um, what? (When I close my eyes, I'm still twelve years old so JUST LOOKING at potential properties to "own" feels surreal.)
So here we go. Whether it's a Steve or a Stefan or a Stephanie, our house is out there and we're going to find it. And if it's meant to be, we'll buy. If it isn't? We'll continue to rent. In the meantime (and by meantime, I mean "last three days") I've become so addicted to real estate sites that I haven't been able to sleep.
Real estate sites are rabbit holes. Your search begins with a modest three-bedroom short sale and an hour later, lands you on a squillion dollar dreamhouse with ivy framing stained-glass windows and a koi pond that whistles dixie. And then by the time the day has ended you're trying to calculate how you could make the dreamhouse happen by, you know, taking on a few hundred more jobs, selling a kidney, etc, which seems COMPLETELY sane in your head. Like falling in love with a celebrity and thinking if you wore the right dress and showed up at his door, that Owen Wilson would totally love you back. (I spent many a year obsessed with Owen Wilson. OBSESSED. Don't laugh.)
This is why we're hunting for a Steve, not an Owen. But YOU GUYS, there are some serious Owens out there, holy Wilson.
Yesterday at Trader Joes a "nice" old man pointed to my stomach and asked me when I was expecting.
"Never again," I told him.
I wish I could say this was the first (or even the second) time this has happened but alas, every other week I am congratulated on my non-existent pregnancy.
Funny story: When I was discharged from the hospital and shlepping back and forth to the NICU twice a day, EVERY SINGLE TIME I passed the security guard in the front entrance with my cooler full of pumped breast milk, waddling and cringing from my healing incision, dude would stand up from his stool and say: "Congratulations! Looks like it's time!"
At first I corrected him. "Nope. I already gave birth last week. Just... you know... still looking pregnant, walking weird because I just had major abdominal surgery."
The security guard apologized and then three hours later, when I returned, congratulated me again. "It's go time! Girl or boy?" This went on for days.
By day three I just went along with it.
"Congratulations! Baby time!"
Congratulations! You're a complete idiot! Thank you! Which way to labor and delivery!!??"
Anyway. After the Trader joes incident I had Hal take a picture of my fifteen-weeks post-partum baby bump so I could share what a postpartum belly often looks like, a little pregnantish:
LET THIS BE A LESSON TO EVERYONE: DON'T EVER COMMENT ON A WOMAN'S PREGNANT BELLY UNLESS THERE IS A BABY HEAD CROWNING FROM HER VADGE. Because some girls are bigger than others. Some girls are bigger than others. Some girls' mothers are bigger than other girls' mothers.
and the award for most awkward picture ever goes to...