2009 is gone and I can't really say I'm sorry to see the backside of it.
In one sense, it was a fantastic year - Lily was born with the most perfect, easy, blissful homebirth and has been sheer bliss ever since. I don't have the words to describe what a blessing she is to our family and to me.
I also added a bunny to our clan a year earlier than planned (I'd originally thought when La was 5-6 I could finally get one) and he is such a love... little Cinnamon the Cinnabun has been the dark horse in my feeling better with his bunny-magic.
I am aware that I am really very blessed.
Laurent is starting school soon at the Montessori which he adores. I'm hoping the stimulation of school will be a good move for him. His teachers there were delighted with him on all our interview and integration days which was lovely as he has given us some challenging behaviour recently. Several "helpful" people have felt the need to butt in with advice about using "better discipline" to create a 'more obedient' and 'compliant' child, which even if you know that sort of advice for what it is, is not a nice feeling.
Nic was also able to meet up with his aunt he's not seen in over 25 years, through his cousin Nina at Christmas which was gorgeous.
I've also been lucky enough to foster a litter of kittens who went on to great homes which is a fabulous feeling and another kitty who will hopefully find herself a forever home soon.
Without wanting to sound cheesy life has not always been filled with family and love and I am humbled how deeply lucky I am to have two healthy kids, a husband who loves and supports us, enough money to be comfortable, a safe home, no more hearing loss or drop attacks etc.
In other respects, we had a lot of bad and stressful things happen, although many had a lucky element to them as well.
- The fires came quite close to our home and the stress of waiting and wondering to see if it would or not every day for a few weeks was tremendous... but we were spared as was one of my favorite spots to visit, St. Ronan's Well, which I'm selfishly glad for.
- Our bank accounts were forged and stolen, we had no idea how we were even going to afford a bag of groceries let alone everything else... but we managed.
- Dealing with bungling police loosing our theft reports and not being able to pull their thumbs out to give us a straight answer for weeks... but we did get the money back after a few months and a few chewed arses.
- While I was refiling the report the police lost they noticed and fined me for an overdue registration, eventually resolved through VicRoads and found not to be my fault. All of this while I was pregnant and trying to figure out how to pay my midwives to afford my homebirth! Eep!
- A couple of good folks passed away, a couple of folks I thought were good turned out to be less of friends than I thought and I cut a relationship off that was fairly toxic.
- We had several large, unexpected expenses due to appliances breaking, cars falling apart, Nic finding a kangaroo with the front of his car etc but in each case despite having been very stressful and unpleasant, no one was hurt and we scratched by
- A tree fell on our home, splitting off the front, leaving us a large premium and no power/running water/electricity for weeks with the rains coming in the gaping hole where the front of our house used to be with an infant and bottle lambs.
- Incidentally the insurance was less than competent and left the electric mains wire unsecured when they turned the electricity on again hidden under the tarp inches from where I was readjusting it a dozen times to try and keep rain out. Mercifully I did not fry myself to death, two small children weren't left alone for hours until their father got home and no housefire was started either.
- Nic is on a waiting list to get an old injury which has healed badly dealt with, which unfortunately means surgery albeit hopefully a rather minor one.
- We fostered a litter of sick newborn kittens that sadly didn't make it despite tube and bottle feeding, antibiotics etc to try and help them.
- And most devastatingly Verity's loss
I am also aware that there are those who have suffered so much more than me... the loss of a child, of family and friends in the fires, the loss of homes and everything they own and diseases. Without wanting to sound dramatic or whiney in the face of how much worse it could have been, the loss of Verity and all that surrounded it was traumatic. I didn't even realize it really at first, though I'd known it would be hard and sad of course. Everyone commented how "well" I was taking it. It was a few weeks until the unreality of it wore off. For a long time I couldn't bear to look at or touch other dogs, go to events, nightmares every night, anxiety attacks, paranoid over every freak accident I could conceive of happening to Si, Hope, the kids or Nic taking them too from me. Many of my goals and desires with regards to the dogs especially have changed or simply dissolved. In so many ways I feel a stranger to the person I was when I entered the year as and I have not found my peace with those changes as they are so foreign to me.
I will still pursue somethings with my girls - among the only resolutions for the year are to (finally) get Sierra's obedience titles through to CDX and Hope to CD, Sierra's ED. (That last one will also require me to shed the extra *mumble* kilos I've put on through eating a metric ton of junk food and having drinks every night after loosing Veri as my oh-so-healthy way of dealing with things.) That should be reasonable and achievable given where they are. This is the polar opposite from the beginning of the year when we had four dogs here and plans for a fifth, intending to enter into 2010 showing, trialing and breeding.
Seemingly in contrast to the above, a short while ago we added a 2 year old Maremma named Shadow to protect our birds. Maremma are a breed of livestock guardian dog, created to be different to pet dogs - they bond to the sheep or birds as their pack and protect them.
The decision to get a Maremma was not one I went into easily, which is a nice way to say Nic pushed me into it while I was protesting and having anxiety attacks, on the basis the need for it hadn't changed and we couldn't continue to loose birds simply because I wouldn't take a teaspoon of cement. Shadow is a sweet and patient fellow and hasn't stepped a foot wrong since arriving, though forming a relationship with him is rather in spite of the timing than because of it.
As for our Christmas and Christmas vacation, it was quiet but good.
Lily (in her new Christmas dress) had a bit of a virus going on during Christmas so she was somewhat subdued but both kids enjoyed it and were gorgeous together.
We also took them to the sea for Lily's first visit recently, and on the advice of a lovely AB member went to Cape Paterson. Wow what a gorgeous area!
Lily had an absolute ball and was just in love with the idea of being able to splash up a storm!
La meanwhile was enchanted with the rock pools - some just big enough to be his personal pool and some big enough for several people to swim in - where he could spot snail shells, seaweed and such treasures.
Not to mention he is a little mountain goat, scrambling up and over the rocks like a natural while the rest of us struggled to find our footing!