I can’t believe that Colin is actually a year old. Time has just flown. I think with the second child, you are always so busy that you don’t even realize that time is passing by so quickly. No, this isn’t the end of my blog, just a big moment in Colin’s life and a good moment to stop and reflect.
It has been an amazing year with Colin. He started smiling the second day he was home from the hospital and never stopped. He is a happy, easy-going guy when things are going well. He laughs a lot, is curious about everything and loves his big sister so much. It has been such a joy to see the two of them growing together and forming the sibling bond. I’ve loved all the wonderful “baby” moments and milestones of this past year. With the giant learning curve and anxieties of first time parenting behind me, I could relax and enjoy things differently and appreciate the baby stages, knowing that they are gone in a blink.
Although incredible, this year has been one of the hardest years of my life. The challenge of learning to care for two children, to divide myself to care for everyone and changing everything food related in my life were a lot to take on. The early months when we didn’t know what was wrong with Colin, surviving colic, finding information on food intolerances, being Colin’s medical advocate, feeling exhausted and deprived and all the emotions of this rollercoaster were tough. Much has gotten easier but it still isn’t easy. Although many foods no longer tempt me, I still miss many of the old foods I can’t have and we are constantly searching for safe things for Colin and I to eat. Food = work. As my husband could tell you I’ve complained many many a day, asked God to let me “quit” the food/breastfeeding job, and yelled “I’m Done With This” too many times to count. Despite these moments of frustration, I know that this challenge was set before me for a reason.
In this last year I’ve come to see resources and support in my life I might not have appreciated enough before. I am more thankful than ever that I am a foodie and I am a stay at home mom. I’m not sure how I would have made it through otherwise. When I realized we couldn’t eat anything made in a store I was able to start making everything that went on our plates. I have a wonderful husband and daughter who, without complaint, took to eating my diet. They gave up all the yummy cheesy dishes we used to eat, gave up nights out at restaurants and they put up with all of the failed experiments that come out of the kitchen (not to mention the dishes I create doing all this). I also have amazing family and friends are so thoughtful and have graciously changed their menus and even vacation plans for us. In addition I’ve met wonderful moms and kids also dealing with food issues that I would never have met otherwise.
This challenge has helped me to see the strength in myself, that I can rise to the occasion, daunting as it might be. I learned how to be a better advocate for my child and a smarter consumer. I also became a better cook, making things I never contemplated making like mayonnaise, chiffon cake, and edible baked goods made with water and no butter.
The end of Colin’s first year is also the beginning of his second year. I know there will still be obstacles in his future but I’m willing to bet he will have a lot of food successes. I’m looking forward to seeing him turn into a toddler and see his personality continue to emerge. I hope that weaning will happen sooner than later and that it will be an easy process for the both of us. To get there he needs to take in more calories in “food” so this year will be a year of many food trials. It will definitely be an interesting and challenging year ahead!