I love January. It's the beginning of a new year.  A fresh start.  I love setting goals for myself, but I also love reflecting on the past.  It's January 6th and I haven't even begun to think about setting goals for the new year yet.  I feel like I have to say goodbye to a few things before I can welcome 2014 with an open heart.

December 31, 2013 marked the end of nursing Ellie.  She ate at 7 a.m. just like always, but after that: NOTHING.  She would scream at me if I so much as offered!  It was completely unexpected - up to that point she had  been nursing at least four times during the day and usually once during the night. I was worried about a possible ear infection but it turns out that she just had four top teeth coming in at the same time.  Just … Poor little muffin.  I was able to pump once a day for the first few days but now my supply has dwindled so much that we've switched her to formula, which she does not enjoy.  She'll take about 1.5 ounces during the day, then 6 oz during the night - and that's it.  The rest of her diet is made up entirely of solid food.  It's exciting (FREEDOM!!!) - but I can't help but be a little bit sad.  Which is strange in itself, because I've never been a mom who really enjoyed breastfeeding.  I only did it because I could - and because it was the cheapest option.  I might as well be honest!

I figured the end would be coming soon so I've made a conscious effort to focus on remembering - no more iPhone during feeding time, just mom and baby, and time together.  I missed Topher's last time.  I was probably watching TV, hoping he would hurry up so we could do whatever we had planned that day.  I remember Ellie's.  Her little eyes staring into mine, her smiling and clapping while she ate.

Yeah,  I know.  She's freaking adorable.


I think she knows it, too!

December 31, 2103 also marked another end:  the end, at least for awhile, of me working outside the home.   I officially resigned from my position.   Nathan and I have been crunching numbers and tweaking our budget since I began my maternity leave, trying to figure out a way for me to stay at home with the kids.  No matter what we did, we were coming up short - but we both felt that I needed to be at home, and that somehow we would find a way to make that happen.

In September, our day home provider told us that she was pregnant and would be closing at the end of December.  We had been sending Topher once a week since March because he loved it so much - and because we wanted to keep his spot in case I had to go back to work.   It's not easy to find good child care, and the day homes in our area of the city have year long (or longer!) wait lists.  So yeah.  That was one confirmation.

Another came in October, when Nathan received a raise.  It wasn't a huge amount, but it was enough to make my staying home seem like much more of a possibility.

Then, in December, I found out that my boss was looking to hire  contract workers.  She asked me if I was planning to come back to work and when I told her that I was leaning towards no, she said that they would hire me as a contract worker, evenings and weekends.

And that was that.  I am now officially working from home.   

In addition to the typing gig, I'm also going to be doing some freelance writing - which I've never really blogged about, but it's been an ongoing project for the past year.  I'm actually more excited about the writing than anything else - it just doesn't make me a whole lot of money at this point!

I know that endings bring with them new beginnings, and although I'm scared (!!) - I'm excited, too.  2014 is  the Year of the Horse, after all!   How can it be anything but fantastic?