December 6

Hi!  Can we please talk about the weather for a hot second? It’s pretty great right now!  It is unseasonably warm, I mean, yesterday was 3 degrees!  It was the most glorious day to go for a walk.  There is just something about not having the cold bite your face instantly that warms me up inside.  We’ve also had far and away the most snow I’ve seen so early in the season during my four winters here.  Currently we have a glorious 10 day stretch without precipitation in the forecast.  I’m doing a happy dance.  I mean, look at this screenshot from December 10, 2016, and tell me you wouldn’t be dancing too.A few weekends ago we took some super quick family photos and the picture below is what we ended up with.  If you could kindly ignore all the chins I’ve inherited it’s just the most amazing photo of Hazel.  I love it.  Shane and I even have touching bellies! On Monday we went out in search of a tree to cut down.  Hazel was so hilarious, after an hour of driving, she said “well how about that one? or that one? or that one there?” pointing out the next three trees she saw.  Sorry kid, if only it were that easy.  When Shane finally got out of the truck to cut one down the snow was up to his thighs.  And unfortunately we forgot snow pants because we are dumb, so we were very wet and cold.  I actually gave up after an hour and a half and Shane dropped me off at home.  He stubbornly went back out as it was getting dark and finally, an hour later came home with the most beautiful tree.  He was redeemed.

We had such an enjoyable evening decorating the tree with Hazel.  She is such a treat to be around, I would take at least two more of her.  She loved hanging all the ornaments next to each other in the exact same spot.  She loved stringing the silver balls all over.  She loves when the lights are on, and asks to open her presents every single day.  She kept saying “THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!” which must be a line from a book or movie because it’s too funny.  I love that next year she will remember what we did this year, it makes me so so happy. This past Sunday I hosted a baking exchange for a couple friends.  We had the loveliest afternoon.  Shane hung out downstairs with all the kids while we ladies chatted and drank tea and watched the snow fall lazily.  I asked everyone to bring 6 pieces of baking for each person to take home and 1 dozen pieces to sample at the gathering, which totaled 4 dozen cookies/pieces for each person to bring, totally do-able!  I am very disappointed that I didn’t get a picture of the table all loaded with cookies because it really was beautiful.  We voted for the best tasting and prettiest cookies and the winners took home prizes.  It was very gezellig.
Monday evening we put out Hazel’s wooden shoes for Sinta Claus to come and bring her treats.  I’m still not sure how to explain him completely.  She was a little mystified, but she did what I asked.  The next morning her shoes were full with Christmas PJs, movies, a book, chocolate mice, a chocolate letter and a cute headband.  I always combine Sinta Claus and the special winter breakfast I create for her.  It’s fun to watch her walk into a decked out table and a few gifts. I went with a winter wonderland theme this year for the decor and it turned out approximately 1500x better then these pictures depict.  I find it so hard to capture the magic when I’m taking pictures!  I served mini donuts, strawberries, and milk in a chocolate rimmed glass.  Once again, the beverage stole the show.  Whenever I make themed breakfasts she always enjoys the hot chocolate/fancy beverage I make her the most.Shane has been promising me shelves in the bathroom since we “finished” the reno we started in February.  I FINALLY got them and they were so worth the wait!  The 9 months it took isn’t a dig against him.  He has been working so much overtime this year and we’ve gone on a few trips too, but if you know me you know I’m an impatient person at the best of times.  I am so happy with my all white bathroom, now fully finished.  It is a very small bathroom, so making the whole thing light and bright with as much available floor space as possible was the goal.  I realized yesterday that aside from installing the tile which we hired out, and the tub and surround which we didn’t change, Shane has fixed every single thing in the room.  He has changed the light, the electrical outlets, he’s painted, done the trim, installed tub fixtures, the sink, the toilet, and the mirror.  I’m so impressed!  Now, onto an even bigger and more challenging task, the total redo of the nursery room.This is where we started.Progress.This is Hazel trying to get her hair in the dryer.  Also, those are the floors.Done!  These shelves are awesome!

Hazel got sick with a cold over the weekend that struck me down a few days ago too.  Ugh, being sick is the worst!  Oddly enough, the past two (or maybe three) times Hazel has gotten sick my mom has gotten sick with the same thing at the EXACT SAME TIME, but 1800kms away from here.  Isn’t that weirdly coincidental?

We started forcing her (Hazel, not my mom) to nap again about 10 days ago.  She had been nap striking for well over a month and it was going terribly.  Every afternoon she would start melting down around 3pm (if I’m being generous) and would be nearly asleep in her dinner around 5:30.  It wasn’t fun.  But since forcing naps she’s been sleeping 1-2 hours after lunch and has been SO HAPPY all afternoon and until her 7:30-8pm bedtime.  It is so wonderful.  I’ve also been working hard to have her sleep in her own bed all night.  (And phew, am I ever tired because of it.  So many wake-ups every night!!)  Obviously getting sick threw a wrench in that (it’s always something isn’t it?), but it’s getting a little easier.  I don’t actually mind sharing a bed with her at all, but with a newborn coming, I’m just not sure how to make it work safely.  We will do our best with whatever comes, I know. The last thing I wanted to talk about in this very long post was that I started an anti-depressant/anti-anxiety medication about 3 weeks ago and it has been life-changing.  I have been struggling my whole adult (16+) life with depression and with anxiety my entire freaking life.  Aside from the 20 months I spent breastfeeding (which was wonderful) everything has always felt wrong, no matter how right everything was going.  Breastfeeding affected my hormones in the best way possible and it was the only time I’ve ever felt general contentment and peace day-to-day.

I hit the bottom about a month ago, which isn’t the first time I’ve been there, but considering what it was doing to my relationship and my family, I knew I needed help.  I had actually asked for help about 6 months ago, but that doctor didn’t really listen to me, or I didn’t explain myself properly.  I was terrified that this doctor wouldn’t help me either, but I asked for help again, she believed me and I am so grateful.  Within just a few days I relaxed, I felt peaceful.  I felt an absence of tension and fear that I was so used to.  I can laugh again, and talk to my friends without feeling like they don’t like me.  (I made all these friends when I was breastfeeding and feeling awesome, and have slowly started believing that they don’t like me, even though there has never been any evidence of that.  Anxiety is cruel in so many ways.)  I can’t begin to tell you what a relief it is to feel this much better.

I was having a very hard time connecting to this pregnancy, even though I wanted it more than anything.  That was actually one of the biggest reasons I asked for help, because I felt like I didn’t even want to be this person’s mom.  That feeling was so different than with Hazel, I was depressed during that pregnancy too, and never felt that way about her.  Just in the past two weeks though, I am enjoying feeling him move and I can’t wait to hold him and kiss his fuzzy head!  Night and day, guys.  I have no shame in finally getting help, I just wish it hadn’t taken me 10 years to figure out.

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