January: Sophie turns 3. Milly is born full term. NO NICU. Sophie adores her sister. Gideon thinks that I've brought home some sort of elaborate baby doll. I begin getting up at night again with a baby and fall in love with infomercials all over again. How I got through her first few months without buying Pajama Jeans and a GT Xpress Redi Set Go is totally beyond me.
February: I begin this blog! I had a newborn, a toddler and a preschooler. Everything goes hazy. The heater breaks during the coldest month in Texas and we spend a few days at my grandma's house until everything gets sorted out with my landlord. Things start to get dark as I struggle to keep my head above water. Hillsong's The Greatness of Our God becomes the song I turn to whenever I need to remember that God is always bigger than my problems. Also, Milly meets the sling for the first time and I begin to wonder if my children are part marsupial.
March: Sophie and Gideon start Mother's Day Out. I find a new psychiatrist and go back on meds. The haze begins to lift. I get time alone with my newborn. It's easier to clean the house and get to church. Sophie begins to talk more and Gideon comes out of his shell at MDO. My babies know how to play with other kids!
April: Milly begins smiling! She's so beautiful! She still has all of her hair and it gets curly after a bath. On the 18th, she rolls over from her tummy to her back for the first time. My third baby and I'm still mesmerized by how my baby learns. She sleeps through the night and doesn't spit up too much after we've switched her to a new formula. She babbles all of the time. At the end of the month, Gideon spends two days at Children's Legacy with breathing problems. I'm fed up by this point and determined to find a doctor to give me a proactive solution for my baby boy. I still remember one Sunday morning when I took the girls to church and Ben stayed home with Gideon. During the service, my song (Greatness of Our God) played and I dropped to the floor as I sobbed to God to help my baby.
May: The Plague descends upon the Dyer household. Ear infections all around for the kids, bronchitis for Mama and Ben gets a Severe Man Cold. Holy macaroni, it's a tough few weeks but we get through it and come out on the other side just in time for Ben to go on his first business trip. Three days alone with the kids! OH BOY. Beyond my wildest expectations, the kids are complete angels. They go to Mother's Day Out, eat their dinners and go to bed without fussing. I even try to invite Sophie to stay up late and hang out with Mama and then sleep in Mama's bed! Fun! Girl time! Sleepover! This is met with a firm NO and a reminder that we not deviate from routine. (Honestly, Mother.) Finally, finally, FINALLY we see a doctor who diagnoses Gideon with asthma. My baby has a daily inhaler that lets him breathe! He's a different kid within a week! I know that no mother would ever wish asthma on their children but I'm just grateful that we have an answer. Milly begins teething and it pisses her off ROYALLY. The kids "participate" in their first Easter Egg Hunt and are completely flummoxed by the concept. They are given Pity Eggs from other kids. Gideon tries to eat the plastic eggs. When they are found to be inedible he turns them into grenades. Ben and I celebrate our 4th anniversary. We kiss a lot. Ben's parents come to Dallas for a few days and proclaim Milly acceptable.
June: I turn...26. Let's say 26. We have family pictures taken by the fabulous Jenn Weis. They are amazing and I commit to getting family pictures done once a year. Milly begins to scoot and army crawl. I move everything up a shelf. I try to potty train Sophie and she pees on Milly's head. Sophie is not ready for potty training. We begin to think that something more than a speech delay is wrong with Sophie. Gideon turns two and my heart breaks a little. Milly is introduced to solid food in the form of cereal and yogurt. She gobbles it down, grabs for the spoon and screeches at me when I go too slow. I begin making my own baby food again.
July: Milly rolls over from her back to her tummy. Now she looks like she's on a hot dog cooker. She can army crawl or roll to where she wants to go. Three mobile kids are making me want that third eye in the back of my head that every mother claims. Sophie discovers that forts are really cool and I begin saving giant boxes. She also goes to her first pool party and we discover that she is a water baby! Why can't that translate to the bath when I have to wash her hair?! My best friend had her first and long-awaited baby boy. I was there at the hospital in the middle of the night to wait and greet him. It's the first time I've been on that side of the situation and it was interesting to experience. Sophie said "I love you" for the first time. Ben and I freak out and beg her to repeat it as often as possible.
August: Milly has cut two teeth and can sit up on her own. She is a really easy baby until her teeth make her mad and she Hulks out. Then we run for the Baby Orajel before the house shifts to the left again. To bookend Texas weather, the A/C decides to break during the hottest summer we've had in decades. We spend days at my mother's house while we struggle with the repairs and landlord again. Sophie is going through a Naked Phase and I say a silent prayer every single time we leave the house that everything stays on her body until we get home. Once we get home, I don't care as long as her non-potty-trained butt is diapered. Her only obsession is with socks. I regularly have a naked, diapered 3 year old roaming my house with a Cookie Monster sock on one foot and an Elmo sock on the other foot. Sometimes she's wearing her black patent Mary Janes. I begin watching the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who and become a certified Whovian. David Tennant is my Doctor. At the end of the month, Milly begins pulling up and I start pulling out my hair. Gideon is my quiet little man with a maniacal oral fixation. He chews almost through the PS3 cord and every single wood item we own has bite marks around his height. His crib looks like we raise beavers. I join and become completely obsessed with Pinterest.
September: Sophie is speaking more and doing well at MDO. However, she still needs more help. We are researching Pediatric Developmental Doctors and try to get her enrolled into GISD for speech classes. This develops into a HUGE ordeal with more paperwork than I ever imagined could exist. Ben turns 32. I actually get crafty and MAKE something for his birthday. Pinterest Addiction has actually paid off! Milly pulls up and begins cruising around the furniture. Holy Moly, three mobile kids are a lot of work!
October:Milly can sit in a high chair and feed herself! Kinda. Sorta. OK, we find a lot of stuff in her lap but some delicious morsels make it into her mouth and she's very proud! We make the difficult decision to take the kids out of MDO. The time and money is just not there. I'm medicated and ready to entertain the kiddos at home. If and when we get a second car then we will revisit the idea of MDO for Gideon and possibly Milly. Sophie will hopefully begin some sort of school to help her with her speech and developmental delays. Baseball season begins and Ben discovers that Milly is the Rangers' lucky charm. Milly has a lot of late bedtimes waiting for "one more inning". Sophie has found a new love in the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and adores Daisy. We take the kids to the Disney Store for the first time. Sophie leaves with a large Daisy doll and does not put her down for about a week and a half. Gideon leaves with Pluto and even Milly grabbed a small Jessie doll. It's fun to see the kids eyes get wide as they see their favorite characters in a store where they can hold them and take them home. Milly begins babbling with a purpose and her first word is Mama. I am now two for one. (Sophie is the only one who said Dada first.) We take the kids to the Mesquite Lake Pointe Fall Festival. Everything goes surprisingly well!
November: We're gearing up for a trip to Arizona at Thanksgiving so the majority of the month is making lists and checking them twice. Gideon gets his first haircut and the building is still standing. I only cried a little. We have a get-together with my mother's side of the family and I'm reminded again how blessed I am and how nuts my family can be. Milly finally says Dada but NEVER around her DADA! Ben and I pay off the Volvo S80 we bought the first year we were married. It may not work but it's ours and we're grateful. We spend the 19th and the 20th traveling to Arizona with three kids. How we didn't end up tossing them at Nana and Grampie and then checking into the nearest Mental Institution is still beyond me. The kids are overjoyed to see their grandparents and great-grandparents and the weather is wonderful. On Thanksgiving Day, Ben is felled with a stomach virus. The grandparents take the kids while I stay at the hotel to care for Ben. Great-Grammie is also sick. When they bring the kids back that night, we find out that Gideon barfed all over his Grampie. He barfs again when he gets back to the hotel. Milly saves the day by saying Dada to her Daddy for the first time while in his lap. The next day, I'm sick and my MIL is sick. The grandparents take the kids while Ben takes me back to the hotel. The day we leave, Grampie and Great-Grampie are sick. Gideon barfs AGAIN in the hotel on the way home. Only Sophie and Milly manage to dodge the bug. Dyer Thanksgiving 2011 goes down in history.
December: Gideon is still having some freaky stomach problems. I take him off of dairy products to see if he is lactose-intolerant and it gets worse. Diaper changes become terrifying to my baby boy. Milly begins standing all by herself. She also becomes a dedicated thumb sucker. Sometimes, when the teething gets bad, then she'll take a pacifier. She has little bite marks all over her right thumb that make me cringe every time. We finish the last can of formula and switch her over to regular milk without a fuss. No diaper problems, no YUCK WHAT IS THIS, no drama. She prefers her milk warmed and really likes warm chocolate milk. On December 17th, Milly takes her first steps. She's only taken a few steps since then. We think it's because it's too unstable and slow. She's a speed crawler and has no time for walking. There's older siblings to chase! Christmas goes off without a hitch. I receive a new Kindle from my love with a handmade BY HIM cover! HE GOT CRAFTY. The kids got new toys including a Little People Ark and Sesame Street figurines. It's funny to watch them put Super Grover at the front of the Ark and think "Wow. That ark is DOOMED." The indoctrination also continued in the form of Texas A&M Reveille and the Texas Rangers Captain Pillow Pets. The girls wore matching Christmas sweater dresses and were the most adorable things on Earth. Sophie was accepted by a Developmental Pediatric Practice and will see them for the first time in January. Ben and I spent the last night of 2011 with steaks and Big Bang Theory.
2011, you were full of laughter, tears, surprises, sickness, healing and love.
2012, I can't wait to see what God has in store.