Liam has some new skills. He says "mama" and "Mamaw." He knows where his "ooga" is. (That's belly button for those of you who do not speak toddler.) He is also learning how to break dance, as seen in the video of him doing the worm.
He also picks his nose.
I am so proud, even when I have to remove his finger from his nose in the middle of Olive Garden. (Thanks, Aunt Morgan!)
If this is boring to you, scroll to the bottom for a cute video of Liam!
All that math for a rather unexciting result. I added up the values of all of our assets and liabilities as of January 1st and it is within a few hundred dollars of our net worth in 2011. Not to say that there wasn't a good deal of change. The value of our retirement accounts increased by 1/3, we paid down our mortgage and Dan's student loans and increased our savings accounts. I also paid off my SUV. It was the single biggest transaction that I have ever made! All of that, however, was completely undone by the continuing decline in the value of our home. Blah!
I was really hoping for a positive number by this year, but that didn't happen. It would have if our house hadn't lost anymore of its value, but it did and there isn't a single thing that I can do about that. We discussed letting our house go back in 2009, but decided that it wasn't the best option for us.
The numbers remind me that we need to redouble our efforts to pay down our debt and save for the future. Since adding it all up, I increased our payment on Dan's student loans so that we will pay extra principal each month. I did that last year for our mortgage, but left the student loans at the default payment. Now that we are paying extra on both, we will be in an even better position by next year.
I am also hoping that Dan gets a nice raise this year after his review next month. If that comes to fruition, we will increase the percentage that he contributes to his 401(k). Other money things on our to do list this year: get our beneficiaries and will in order, roll over Dan's 401(k) from the jobs he had in 2007 and 2009 and correct our homestead exemption.
Liam is learning about money. He still loves emptying out my wallet.
This post is all about boobs. Feel free to skip right over it. Weaning Liam was quite the process. I couldn't find any good information on the internet similar to my experience, so that is why I am writing this.
I had originally planned on weaning Liam around his first birthday, but he wasn't eating much solid food or drinking much whole cows milk by then and he was so skinny that I didn't want to deprive him of calories and nutrients. There always seemed to be a reason to wait a little longer. I really wanted him to be finished nursing by our vacation to California though, so I started cutting back on his nursing sessions around Thanksgiving. (Liam was 13 months old at the time.) By early December, he was down to just nursing once right before bed. December 8th was the last time that I breastfed him. He was 13 months and 13 days old. If you are counting, I was a milk machine for 409 days.
That's when the trouble started. Even though I weaned him slowing, I got a terrible case of mastitis. On December 13th, I was so weak and nauseated that I took a pregnancy test just to make sure that it was just from weaning. I got a fever that night. I had a really hard time eating or drinking, too. I consulted some of my mommy friends and they all suggested putting cabbage in my bra. It helped a little, but not enough.
On December 15th, I started to get an upset stomach in addition to all of the other symptoms. Dan was really helpful with Liam and I was able to rest, but I continued to get worse. That night, my temperature spiked to 103.8. Dan dropped Liam off at his brother's house and took me to the hospital.
At the hospital, I started throwing up. I got an iv and antibiotics and the doctor prescribed my a course of antibiotics and ibuprofen. I felt much better as soon as I had fluids back in my system. I rested for the next few days. The doctor also recommended pumping, which I tried not to do until December 17th when I couldn't stand it anymore. I quit producing milk after that.
I finished my antibiotics on Christmas day.
Let's just say there won't be anymore string bikinis in my future and leave out any further descriptions.
On the bright side, Liam started sleeping through the night the first night that I didn't nurse him. Even though I had long since stopped feeding him anything during the night, I think nursing once a day was confusing for him. He didn't seem to miss it much once we were totally done. His appetite has also improved a great deal. He loves his sippy cup, sandwiches, Cheerios, oranges and Goldfish. Liam also goes down in his crib wide awake. He fusses for a bit, but not too long.
I really am grateful that I was able to breastfeed Liam for as long as I did. I never really minded the quite, peaceful nursing sessions at night. If I could do it all over again, I think I would have pumped more and fed him bottles earlier and more often so that he would be use to them and I could have occasional breaks.
I really sucked on my 2011 goals. Big time! Postpartum depression and the reality of having a baby really blindsided me.
2012 will be another big year for Liam. I hope that the "terrible twos" don't hit him too hard. In April, he will start going to the nursery at church. Dan wrangles him while I teach the 4 year old class, so it won't make much of a difference to me. Dan will lose his reason to wander the halls and eat Goldfish instead of going to Sunday school though. I hope that he will find his voice this coming year. He is just starting to mimic sounds so I think he is on his way. I also can't wait to start coloring and painting with him. I hope that we can use the stroller a lot less as well.
Dan is doing really well with his job. He is expecting a nice raise and perhaps a promotion with his review this year since he finished his master's degree last April. I hope that Dan and I establish regular date nights in 2012 and get our relationship back on track.
I want to be a bit more realistic about the goals that I set for myself this year. I really need to lose some fat and gain some muscle. I started a very simple fitness program and have kept it up for 2 whole days! It really isn't enough though. I have to eat better, drink more water and end my addiction to sweets. Maybe this will be the year. I feel like grocery shopping will be the key to healthy eating for me. I am not exactly sure how to turn all of these hopes into a specific and time-based goal though. I'm going to continue to think about it.
Something I know I can do is turn our house into a home. I will give myself until the end of the year to have all of the house painted. It is totally ridiculous for us to have owned this house for 5 years and still have builders' white rooms. Dan was off of work today and we cleaned house. I was in the mood to organize and throw things away. We'll see how long that lasts. I also want to get hardware for the cabinets and put in wood floors in the dining room this year. We have also discussed new carpet in the living room but we haven't decided for sure. (The renters had large dogs, enough said.)
I also would like to get our paperwork in order and a will put together by the end of the year. It should have been taken care of before Liam was born. Maybe we'll do that for one of our dates. Romantic, right? Isn't it so nice to be an old married couple?
Another goal that I have for myself is to spend less time on the internet and watching tv. Dan and I are already discussing options for a DVR without satellite service. I think we will cut DirecTV soon. Most of the shows I watch are on local channels anyway and we can get them in HD if we buy the right antenna. I have cancelled several automated recordings and will let another few go after their finales this season. Goodbye, Top Chef!
We're back from vacation. I am slowing getting the pictures from our trip edited and uploaded. Here are some from Christmas morning. We spent Christmas in California with Dan's sister and her 4 kids. Liam had a great time with his aunt and cousins.