I’ve talked about this a bit amongst my friends and family. But I’m just going to put it out there officially: I DON’T LIKE IT HERE. Everyone I come across seems to have moved here from somewhere else in the country, or every from other countries. And everyone tells me “oh, you’re going to love it here!” Ok, why? Why does everyone love it here? Traffic is absolutely atrocious, day and night. If you such as need to run to the store for 1 or 2 forgotten items, it takes at least 45 minutes. It’s urban, but things are spaced so far apart, with a thick strip of trees between everything to make it appear more rural. All the roads are twisty, making it also take longer to get from one place to another. There’s no direct route for anything. People are nice most of the time in public, but no one seems to want to create a real friendship. (I know some of the is the pandemic, I don’t need reminded).
I used to think living in a bigger town/city would be more convenient. With more things to do and a bigger variety of people to meet and befriend. More career opportunities and a better overall environment. I was completely wrong. It’s simply not for me. I want a smaller town. Where businesses are all within a couple miles of each other, and you can go for pleasant walks in your own neighborhood without cars flying past at 60mph. I want familiar faces instead of a constantly changing sea of strangers. I want a bank and doctors office that greets you, knowing who you are instead of treating you like “just another person.”
I never in my life thought I’d say it, but I miss Newton. Maybe not Newton specifically, but the culture. The small town, familiar faces, some people know your name, safe, comfortable culture of a smaller town. It’s the kind of place I want to raise Felix. Not the city.
I can’t say I regret coming here to the Raleigh area. I have learned a lot, mostly about myself. It’s something I should have learned earlier in life. But now that I know, I want to find a smaller town to go plant roots. Maybe Iowa, maybe not. Wherever the wind blows Jarrod and me. I love exploring, but I look forward to finding a place that we don’t want to move away from.
We made it! Felix is a year old! He has grown and changed so much since he was born. For the first six months of his life I didn’t think we’d make it to this day, but we sure did. Nowadays, Felix is a very busy boy. He is working very hard in physical therapy, building up those muscles that it takes to crawl and eventually walk. He crawls a little bit at a time once or twice per day, so he DOES know how. But he finds it easier and faster to army crawl on his belly to get to what he wants. He likes to use his walker toys to pull himself up onto his knees or his feet. But he’s not at all steady on his feet yet. I am excited for him to learn how to use his body in these ways, but I am in no hurry. He’s moving on his own timeline and I’ve finally come to a place of acceptance with that. He’s healthy and happy and that’s what matters the very most.
Felix is still breastfeeding, though less these days. He eats breakfast, lunch and supper with the family, mostly eating what we eat. He still has some purees and softer foods because with his motor delays, he has some delays in how he eats as well. But its getting better every day. He loves bath time…. in fact I think anything involving water is his favorite! He splashes and crawls around in the tub. And when I take him to the pool at the local YMCA, he is very excited and kicks and splashes the whole time! His other favorite part of the day is breakfast time with mommy and daddy before work.
I don’t want to jinx anything and say everything is on track with sleep… because nothing is perfect. But for the time being things have improved. In general he’s sleeping more at night, but still never took up napping. I’ve accepted that as well, and quite enjoy him being awake and keeping me company during our days. He’s so fun, smiley, and really likes helping me do household chores and having me play with him in his playroom. He also has a couple of friends for play dates now.
Some things coming up for Felix: he had an eye exam and they found he needs glasses. Hopefully that will help inspire him to keep working on crawling. We’re hoping if he can see further and more clearly, he will want to explore his surroundings more. Also, when he stands, he has a tendency to turn his feet over and stand on his toes and the tops of his feet with his toes curled under. The PT says that is what some kiddos do for stability, though it is terribly counter-productive. So he’s getting SureSteps (braces) for his feet that will go with shoes and help create the habit of standing on his feet properly. He is expected to need them for only about 6 months, since he’s so young. Also, since we’ve been working so hard on large motor skills, we’re going to get new evaluations for fine motor skills and feeding. He’s making wonderful progress, so we expect a little extra help will help him get caught up all the quicker.
This has been a challenging, but exciting year. I’m very happy with how far we’ve come, and where we are now. I’m excited to see what the next year brings and beyond. Felix has become such a wonderful little boy. I don’t know what I’d do without him.
Felix is 11 months old now! I feel repetitive when I say this, but he’s very close to crawling now. He’s on his hands and knees quite a lot, and scooting backwards. He just needs to learn a little more coordination between his hands and knees. He is enjoying playtime a lot more, and enjoys a variety of toys now instead of just a select few. He’s even playing with pots and pans in the kitchen when allowed. He’s been pulling himself up onto his knees lately, but doesn’t really have the trunk strength to support himself in a standing upright position, so he quickly “melts” into a tummy-down position.
This last few weeks has been full of illnesses. A cold, the stomach flu, another cold. It feels like an endless loop of snot and congestion for Felix. It has messed up anything resembling a sleep schedule, and has made him very clingy.
He remains a great eater. He loves meal times, and always wants to eat what we’re eating. He eats all of it in small bites. He does well with dairy now, and has no diet restrictions any longer.
Felix loves going out of the house. He gets irritable when we stay home for a whole day, so I try to at least go for a short drive every day. However, we are entering the coldest part of the year, so that may change for the next couple of months.
Physical therapy continues to go well. Felix is getting stronger and stronger every week.
This year, I have a few things I want to work on. I’m sure I won’t keep up with it all during the whole year. But I’m going to give it a good try. So here’s my short list:
Improve attitude. No need to be so annoyed, irritated and angry so often. And when I am, I don’t need to rattle on and in about it. I need to internalize a little, and work through it in a more constructive way.
Read more. Books, stories, whatever. At least 15 minutes a day, or perhaps a book per month. I miss reading for pleasure, and I want to start again.
Use Duolingo for Spanish for once! I’ve gotten pretty far before, and I’ve always wanted to be fluent in Spanish. I have a good foundation from high school and even a little in college. So what the heck am I waiting for? I don’t wanna waste what I already know.
Vlog at least once a month, joining my friend Jess in vlogging for 2020. I don’t know what sort of content I’ll be posting besides Felix, but I’ll figure something out. Even if they’re just 5-minute videos. I want to document our life for memories.
Improve my diet. I’m not looking to lose a ton of weight or anything drastic. I just want to cut out some junk food and cut back on portion sizes. The goal is to not gain any weight back. And maybe lose 10-20 lbs.
These are pretty simple and not very demanding of my time, so hopefully at least a couple of these things will make it until the end of the year.