Girls, goals, gratitude

01012014246This year we had a quiet New Year’s celebration in Hermanus. We spent time with family and did typical summer holiday things. Sun, sea, sand, books, ice-cream. My New Year’s resolution (I can’t remember more than one resolution) is to be more grateful this year.

It’s all about coping with stress and trying to be happier. Apparently one way to achieve a happier year is to keep a gratitude journal. I kept that up for one day and then slipped back to feeling a bit sorry for myself. We have a few stressful life-events in a row this year. We’re moving, renovating and … [drum roll please] … having another baby! All in the first six months of the year.

Should be pretty crazy, right? I’m trying to take each of these things one step at a time but, to be honest, the stress is eating me up. I keep regaining my equilibrium and resolving to slow down and live more in the present. But I keep losing that same equilibrium and worrying myself silly (and a bit sick).

This Friday is moving day and it’s pretty scary. What makes this more tricky is that we’re down-scaling to a flat for four months while the renovation is happening and so we have to store half of our possessions in different places.

Ah well, it will be exciting and stressful and exhausting. At least I have another week off work and so can pack boxes.

Oh, and the exciting news part. L and I are expecting a baby girl in late May, early June! We’re excited but we also wonder if perhaps we aren’t a little mad. I worry about the sleepless nights. Two kids to keep safe and sane and fed and clothed and schooled. Just when we’re getting the first one potty trained (mostly), do we really want to go through this all again?

Leah is taking the news pretty well. Today she spoke to the baby in mama’s tummy and told her that she’s looking after a Hello Kitty stuffed toy for her and that she’ll lend the baby her old clothes. (Just as long as the baby doesn’t try and mess with her favourite toys – and that’s just a matter of time, right?)

We have a name (which I won’t reveal here for reasons of not-jinxing-the baby). We just want her to be happy and healthy. And we want to survive the year as well as we can. Wish us luck. 🙂


12 Responses to Girls, goals, gratitude

  1. Grad says:

    Oh, Pete. Such lovely news. I am thrilled for your little family – it will be so much fun! The places you’ll go and the things you will see. It’s all such an adventure, seeing the world through the eyes of one’s children. And, yes, it is difficult to live in the moment; there is always so much “stuff” we have to do (or undo, or learn, or pack, or unpack or…well…you get the picture) stress cometh. I think Sense & Sensibility was a good choice, by the way, to decompress.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Grad 🙂 Lovely to hear from you. We’re more nervous than thrilled at the moment and I think L is just plain tired. So I hope she’s able to rest up a little before things really get interesting!

      S&S is proving good decompression material by the way. And I haven’t forgotten your recommendation of Neil Gaiman.

  2. charlotte says:

    Wow, Pete, it’s all happening, isn’t it? Congratulations on your good news! You’ll be amazed at how easily and well baby number 2 slips into your lives. Can’t say the same for renovation, as I’ve not done it, but I believe people do survive.

    The gratitude thing is good. I find that when I’m stressed, I don’t even need to write down what I’m grateful for, but that just saying it aloud in the car like a crazy woman really helps.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Charlotte. I like that advice about the car. There’s something about actually saying it aloud. As for baby two, it’s probably good that we have to wait a while because there’s a helluva lot to do before then 🙂

  3. Congratulations to you and your family. Although it is at times exhausting, and at all times scary to take on the additional responsibility, it’s also exciting and emotionally rewarding. I’ve got three. We were seriously debating whether we could handle a second child and along came twins! And many years later? I’m still standing and mostly still sane 🙂 So I do understand the at-times overwhelming fear of the realities of raising additional kids. Embrace the joy that awaits you (while getting as much sleep as you can now).

    • Pete says:

      Twins – wow! L has twin brothers and I’m always slightly in awe of mothers who can cope with twins. I guess you just adapt. And, as you say, the rewards are definitely there. Twins seem to get so much enjoyment from each other as well (well, not all twins I guess but the ones I’ve met mostly do). So thanks for the encouragement. Baby two is definitely not twins but we already love her and hope every day that she’s fine.

  4. litlove says:

    The thing I hear from most parents is that number two is easier because you have all the necessary experience! And with two girls close in age, they’ll be good companions for each other, which believe you me, having had an only child, I know what a useful and happy thing that is! I think with so much ahead (and all of it potentially good, if demanding) you are let off the obligation of thinking about life for the next few months and are only required to live it! 🙂 I wish you all the luck in the world for the move and for the later stages of pregnancy. You know where I am if you ever need to chat!

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Litlove 🙂 I will certainly take you up on that offer once we’ve settled in to our new (temporary) home. I’m looking forward to the day when Leah and her sister will enjoy each other’s company but first number two needs to grow a little more. Thanks for your good wishes!

  5. Congratulations on your second child! Sometimes I grow a little nervous about adding our new babe to the mix but for the most part I think it’s going to be really good for all of us – especially E! I think the difficult part will be the first several weeks as we all adjust to one another. My resolution this year is “day by day” – may we meet each other at the end of 2014 on solid footing! Congrats again!

  6. Peter says:

    What a post! And congratulations. I remember the feedings, the disruptions . . . I don’t know how it all took care of itself. We’re on the other end, thinking of how daunting it is for us to pay for higher education for two. Somehow that’s working out, too. Anyway, take it easy. That’s a lot of momentous stuff to go through in just six months.

  7. smithereens says:

    Oh, I missed so much as I was away from the blog world with my second son! The baby will soon be with you guys I think by now, so renewed congratulations are in order. I hope the pregnancy is not too hard and I send you all my best wishes.

    • Pete says:

      Thanks Smithereens! And congratulations to you on your 2nd son! Our second daughter has arrived (five weeks early) so life just got a whole lot more complicated. Best wishes to you. Look forward to sharing stories about babies and books. 🙂

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