Saturday, January 02, 2010

2009 recap

I know I have been absent for ages and ages but I have a good excuse(s). I think the best way to catch up on things is to do a 2009 recap, so here goes:

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before? Did night diving, travelled alone on a transatlantic flight with two small children, knit a sweater that someone could actually wear.

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I can’t remember what they were but I am sure that it was something to do with trying to live in the moment and not waste time stressing out about what might happen. I guess I kind of managed that, but it is a ongoing battle.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! Me! And my sister and it seems like about half of my high school class. Seriously, this was the Year of the Baby which is great because it is so much easier to hang out with friends when they are in exactly the same place, family-wise. No more explaining why I have to bail out and head home at midnight, while everyone else whoops it up.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No, but now that I have two kids, it feels like I personally had a brush with death when I hear about someone young, with kids, who has died. When I heard about a mom in my mother’s group who died after giving birth, I don’t think I stopped hugging my kids all day long.

5. What places did you visit? We went to Crete- a horrible vacation that ended a week early for me, when Georgia (3months) came down with the chicken pox. I spent the entire summer in Wisconsin, which was lovely. And this fall, we managed to sneak away alone for TWO (2!) whole weeks, visiting friends in Hong Kong and spending a week in Phuket, in the most luxurious 5 star hotel. It was exactly what I needed to recover from 8 months of sleep deprivation.

6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009? Sleep. Time at the gym. Nights out with my girlfriends.

7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February 20th, since that was the day Georgia was born.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Making such a smooth, stress-free transition to two children.

9. What was your biggest failure? I didn’t manage to lose all the pregnancy weight. Once I fit back in my clothes, I sort of lost enthusiasm for all the deprivation and crankiness that goes along with weight loss. And since I could never manage to get to my 8am yoga class, preferring sleep, I didn’t have much chance of changing the situation.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Well, when the epidural didn’t work right and they had to turn it off, the birth became quite a bit more… intense than I was prepared for. Although, technically, I wouldn’t classify it as an injury, I suppose it might fall under this category since Georgia was born while I screamed at the top of my lungs, ‘Help me! Someone, please, help me!’

11. What was the best thing you bought? Geox shoes. They are so old lady, but I had to throw in the towel and admit that high heeled boots, while sexy, are not terribly practical when running after two small children. My poor joints are finally recovering from the beating they had taken.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My husband is a saint. Also my midwife. And my parents who let me stay with them for months at a time and taking over their house and their lives by throwing an enormous party in their backyard and bullying them into renovating their kitchen.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? I think that I am growing up because I don’t get too upset about other people’s bad behaviour, or more importantly, take it personally. However, the string of horrible haircutters that I had the pleasure of meeting this year nearly did me in. Good god! I don’t know what I did to deserve it, but I had the most horrible haircut of my life this year, followed by truly the most horrible haircut of my life, followed by what has got to be the absolute worst haircut of my life. Three in a row- surely I get a prize for that?
Oh- I just remembered one person who seriously ticked me off this year. I had been looking for bedding for Georgia's room and couldn't find anything to match the wallpaper so I finally stumbled across the idea of having it all custom made by a woman that I found on Etsy. OMG, what an enormous mistake that was! Not only did she deliver the bedding 2 months late but it was so badly done that I had to rip apart every single piece and re-sew it myself, while the baby laid in a basket on the floor next to me. She lied and cheated me and just made me loose all confidence in mankind for awhile there. (FYI, Her name is Brenda at the Etsy shop koryskradle, if you are interested. Avoid her at all costs!) I guess alls well that ends well, though. The room, with the new bedding that I sewed, was one of the nominees on for best kids room. Now imagine how awesome that room would have been if I hadn't wasted all the time and energy on stupid Brenda?

14. Where did most of your money go? I think that between the baby’s room and my crazy hormone-related need to re-look the living room (and the very legitimate need to build some storage space), decorating sucked up a good chunk of change this year. Oh, and I almost forgot about the new car, since our much loved little Punto was not going to be able to handle one more kid and the additional baggage that would mean. Of course, B got quite a bit more car than I had expected, but I’ve slowly adapted to our cushy new ride. Its so weird to actually be able to hear the radio instead of just the rattling of the car as we speed down the highway… After that, I would have to say travel related expenses were pretty significant as well, since we have added another traveller.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My push present- a 4 carat diamond and a jewelry designer, to create the ring of my dreams. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it and never take it off. I’m still in the honeymoon faze and don’t wear any other jewelry. I feel like this ring is all the bling that I need.

16. What song will always remind you of 2009? Just before Georgia was born, I went on to I-tunes and decided to just download all the mellow songs that I found that I liked to make a really awesome maternity playlist. It was so worthwhile, even though I was too hysterical to actually listen to music while in the delivery room. Once I was back in my room with the baby, I played it non-stop. Same when we got home from the clinic. And the best part? People kept telling me what a great mix it was, so I didn’t even have to be embarrassed about my lousy taste in music. The first song on the list is ‘Angel’ by Jack Johnson and when I hear, it immediately takes me back to that first afternoon, sitting in my bed and examining my new baby girl.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I’m happier.Much much much happier. Last year, those horrible pregnancy hormones (which eventually led my sage-femme to tell me that it seemed like my body really really didn’t like being pregnant) had me in such a state, that no amount of meditation, massage, or molly-coddling could get me out of my depression.
b) thinner or fatter? How awesome to be able to say thinner- but that is merely in the strictest sense. In relation to everything else, I am fatter (than I want to be, than I was, than my stupid skinny friends, etc…)
c) richer or poorer? Hmm. I guess probably poorer since it seems like we spent a lot of money this year? I am sort of disconnected from our finances at the present time, being otherwise occupied. However, I do have big plans to either get back to work this year or put into effect plans to get back to work. I don’t know if that means going back to school or just applying or just figuring out what I want the next step in my life to look like but it will involve making money.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Spending time working out and hanging out with friends. I sort of cut myself off from all my socializing, but with limited free time, it just seemed more important to spend that time with my husband or relaxing, quietly.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Spending time on the internet. I wish that I had spent that time reading real books and magazines, even though it is sort of a question of economics.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2009? Same as usual, in Wisconsin, with my family but it just seemed extra nice, somehow. All my siblings had a long vacation at home and we all managed to be organized so there was none of that last minute rush to get things done that has made Christmas so stressful the last few years. Now, if Georgia had let me sleep 8 hours even one of the nights that I was home, I might have really enjoyed things. As it was, I do feel like I sort of sleepwalked through the week.

21. Did you fall in love in 2009? Absolutely. I fell completely in love with Georgia, and just love discovering her personality developing a little bit more each day. I also am a little bit in love with the new salon that I found, where I finally got a decent cut and color and began to feel like I was emerging from my post-natal slump.

22. What was your favorite TV program? How I Met Your Mother.

23. What did you do for your birthday in 2009? Bruno and I went out to dinner (can’t for the life of me remember where…) and I had a really nice spa day but since Georgia was only two weeks, the big party had to wait....

24. What was the best book you read? Revolutionary Road

25. What did you want and get? I wanted a nice calm first few months with Georgia and convinced B to let me have a sitter come every single afternoon for three hours. It sounded like such a luxury when we were talking about it, but it made such a difference for us all. If I hadn’t slept well at night, I managed to sneak in a nap. I could go and get Ella from school and spend some time alone with her. I could go to the grocery store or run errands, alone, at my own pace (ie, either running through the shops as fast as I could or lolly-gagging and window shopping, two things impossible with the girls), without having to worry about keeping a small person entertained at the same time. I could cook a nice dinner every night, so that B and I could sit down and enjoy a meal together after the girls were in bed. What a difference from the first months with Ella which were so difficult. Shirley, our sitter, is an absolute angel and she is the person to whom I owe my sanity!
I also managed to pull together an amazing party for Georgia’s baptism. I never get to host parties for my family so it was such a special treat for me. It was really a highlight of my year.

26. What did you want and not get? I wanted to have settled into a good schedule with the girls but Georgia resists all my efforts. I’ve spent so much energy on this that I haven’t managed to do much else, it feels like. I wanted to have a nice vacation in the sun with my new family of four in the springtime, to give me an opportunity to relax and re-charge. Instead, I ended up stuck in a house alone with no help, no entertainment, and no calm plus an infant who was sick with the chicken pox. Horrible, horrible vacation and absolutely the opposite of what I had imagined.

27. What was your favorite film of this year? I really liked the Benjamin Button film, which I saw days before I gave birth so I ended up crying buckets. On the airplane at Christmas, I managed to watch The Hangover and loved it!

28. Did you make some new friends this year? I did. I started going to a new playgroup with Georgia and although it doesn’t seem like it will be as great at the one I had with Ella, there are some really fantatic moms in the group and I really look forward to getting to know them better.

29.What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Learning how to deal with lack of sleep; more exercise.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009? Comfortable. I already admitted to my Geox shoes in place of high heel boots. The item of clothing that I wear most is a big grey cardigan from Comptoir des Cotoniers that I bought when I was pregnant, which I wear with my Trussardi jeans which are truly Mom Jeans- high waisted to avoid the muffin top? Check. Stretchy? Check. Slightly short due to overwashing- due to a daily assault of spit-up from the baby? Check. I have also held on to my expensive maternity tops from Isabella Oliver, mainly because they are long and I don’t have to worry about them sliding up and exposing my squishy belly, but also because they cost so damn much that I refuse to send them to storage in the hopes that one day I can pass them on to someone else. My lovely Ferragamo bag that I bought in the January sales is officially a diaper bag now- besides the fact that there is always a pacifier stuffed in there, along with wet wipes and a stain remover pen, I’ve discovered a suspicious white streak down the side, which resists all my attempts to clean it off. Good thing that I have that flashy diamond to distract people from my pathetic outfits.

31. What kept you sane? Shirley’s key in the door at 3 pm and the internet, keeping me linked to the outside world, even in the worst days of babymania.

32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I know, I know- he looks as dumb as a stump, but if Madonna is ever busy, I’ll be happy to babysit Jesus Luz for her.

33. What political issue stirred you the most? I was pretty apathetic this year when it came to the news. Sad but true.

34. Who did you miss? I wish I could see my friends’ babies more.

35. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009. Seize the day. ***Editted. No, I'm changing my lesson to this one, stolen from BitchPhD, who quoted Robert Burns: The best laid plans gang aft agley. Very true + it takes me back to much loved time in Edinburgh.

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