Year End Meme 2013

 1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?

Put baby in daycare.  Got laid off.  Took baby to Europe for 3 weeks.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Last year I resolved to send 5 thank you letters, and I think I got close?  I honestly forgot that I made that resolution, so didn’t track myself.   I also wanted to transition back to work gracefully, and after one of the worst weeks of my life (starting J in daycare), work was just fine.  Until the company laid off 20% of the staff, but whatever, that’s not on me.  For next year?  I resolve to do my best to enjoy the new baby and still manage to give J the attention she deserves.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
One of my favourite coworkers.  That’s about the only person I can think of.  2012 was the Year of the Babies, in my circle.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Thankfully, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

We went to Dallas in February, Toronto in May, and Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Estonia in September.  I also went on a couple of work field trips to Northern Alberta and BC.  Doesn’t really compare to Northern Europe.  At all.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

I don’t know.  This year has been pretty great.  Less uncertainty, I guess?  I hated the Schrodinger’s Cat feeling while waiting to see if I survived the work purge or not, and waiting to see if I was pregnant, and then seeing if it would stick.

7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The 23 days in Europe will probably be my strongest date memory from this year.  Especially as I can’t actually remember what day I finally peed on a stick.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Taking an 18 month toddler to Europe and having an amazing trip.  Everyone always talks about how stressful and terrible traveling with toddlers can be, but it was amazing.  In part because I planned the hell out of the trip (even printing walking maps for every bit of the trip) and in part because we didn’t plan anything once we were in the cities (playing each day by ear and mood and weather.)  And also, in part, because we’ve done our best to make J a flexible baby.  (Sure, it was probably luck, but I have to take a little credit for having such an awesome kid.)

 9. What was your biggest failure?

Falling to absoulte peices when Jess started daycare.  I called it Dead Dead bad, because it really was about that bad.  I feel a bit stupid in hindsight, as J has unquestionably flourished in daycare.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

The first trimester of this pregnancy has sucked.  Hard.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Vacations.  Always vacations.  The memory of Jess’s first steps in Dallas.  Her first multi-word sentence in Denmark.  Her stealing the sardine head off the plate to sneakily eat it.  Money buys vacations which make precious memories.  Money well spent, always.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

David is such a great, amazing dad and partner.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

American politics.  God, I’m glad I’m Canadian.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Vacations, for sure.  Also, house stuff and hockey games.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Europe. 

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?

The chorus of Said the Whale’s Emerald Lake, AB don’t read like much, but as a strong happy repeating chorus they are glorious.

What a fine life we are living.
The Lumineers’ Ho Hey song has been on heavy rotation this year.
So show me family
All the blood that I would bleed
I don’t know where I belong
I don’t know where I went wrong
But I can write a song
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet
I’ve been loving The Joy Formidable’s Big Roar album, especially Whirring:
Turn the dial on my words
I can feel they fall short
Turn the dial, chime alarm, chime alarm
Watch these hands move apart
Turn the dial on my words

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter.  I’m going to get so big this pregnancy, I’m sure.  So far, no weight gain, but I have a belly already.
c) richer or poorer?  Richer.  Especially after the severance cheque.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I spent the whole summer wanting to walk to the Reservoir, get an ice cream and go for a family walk.  We someone didn’t quite make it.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stressing.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At the inlaws, then my mom’s.  Lots of family time, lots of presents, lots of J being adorable.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?

Not with anyone new.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Can’t choose.  Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Doctor Who, Modern Love, The League, Happy Endings, Always Sunny in Philadelphia…  We watch a lot of sitcoms and British shows, and I love them all. 

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

I had a work nemesis, so that was fun.  She was a giant bitch and she wanted the layoff package and didn’t get it.  I laughed.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read over a hundred books.  I couldn’t even start to pick a favourite.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 

The Joy Formidable.  Said the Whale.  Lumineers.  Serena Ryder.

26. What did you want and get?

To go to Europe.  To get pregnant again.  To advance in my career.

27. What did you want and not get?

To keep my job until mat leave.  A bunch of very happy reactions to our pregnancy news.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Another year of seeing almost no movies in the theatre.  I did really like the new Star Trek movie so let’s go with that one.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 32. I got laid off the week before.  I went for a bunch of massages.  On my birth day, I felt pregnantly terrible and D made us KD for dinner.  The next night we went out for a 3 course fondue meal and D took me to a Said the Whale show at the university.  It was awesome.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Less Schrodinger’s Cat sensations.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?

Lazy.

32. What kept you sane?

David.  Books.  Exercise.  Friends.  The internet.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jason Segel.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Abortion in America.  How is this still a debate??  I know I said that last year and the year before, but yet, here we are again.

35. Who did you miss?

My dad.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

Not quite new, but a guy I worked with became a truly awesome mentor.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

This too shall pass.

Year End Meme of 2012

Because why not keep traditions alive?

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Went to Cabo, pregnant.  Had a baby.  Collected EI.  Took baby on a road trip, took baby to Mexico.  Lots of baby related firsts.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Didn’t make any last year.  For next year, I resolve to send 5 thank you letters, and to attempt to transition back to work gracefully.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Me, of course.  A couple of cousins.  The woman in our birth and babies class who I’ve since become close to, if that counts.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Well, David’s cousin died, but I only met him once.  Hard on the family, when a teenager dies.

5. What countries did you visit?

David and I went to Cabo in January, a road trip with Jess to Montana in the summer, and to Cancun with Jess in November.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2012?

No depression would be nice.  More money than EI brought in will also nice.  I don’t know – the second half of this year has been pretty great.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 6 – Jess’s birthday.  Pretty much the biggest day of my year.  (Even if the labour itself was more days than that.)

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Kept a baby alive with my boobs.  Had a totally awesome child.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Well, it might not read as failure to others, but I absolutely felt like a failure because I failed to birth Jess and needed the c-section.  PPD felt pretty failurific.  My milk drying up didn’t feel great either.  Yeah.  Bodies, man.  I feel that mine failed me a bit this year, and then I blame me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

C-section recovery sucked.  PPD also sucked.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Vacations.  Always vacations.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

David is such a great, amazing dad and partner.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

American politics.  God, I’m glad I’m Canadian.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Day to day living, mostly.  Three small vacations.  Cloth diapers.  Impulse baby clothes.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I don’t know.  So many months this year were spent in a depressive episode followed by a certain amount of flatness.  The highs were there, but they weren’t generally something I was excited about in the lead up.

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

I sang this song to Jess while crying, for the first couple of months of her life.  Mumford & Sons, Little Lion Man.

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear?”

But then things got better.

Other songs that capture the year include Wintersleep’s  Mirror Matter, with it’s chorus of “Happiness, it’s all around you.”

I listened to Of Monsters & Men’s Little Talks many many time.

“The stairs creak as I sleep,
it’s keeping me awake
It’s the house telling you to close your eyes

Some days I can’t even dress myself.
It’s killing me to see you this way.

‘Cause though the truth may vary
this ship will carry our bodies safe to shore.”

Japandriods’s The House that Heaven Built was also in regular rotation.

“When they love you and they will
Tell them all, they’ll love in my shadow
And if they try to slow you down
Tell them all, to go to hell”

I listened to a lot of music this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder? Happier.  Definitely happier.
b) thinner or fatter? I’m no longer pregnant!  Much, much smaller in the waist area.
c) richer or poorer?  Pretty much a net neutral.  Spent less, made less, spreadsheets show that this year was about even.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Taking Jess to the swings in the summer.  We went on tons of walks, but rarely to the swings.   Otherwise, it’s been a pretty ‘achieving my goals’ kind of year.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Crying.  Feeling sad.  Doubting myself.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

At home.  David’s parents came for a day, my mom for the afternoon.  Dinner at my aunt’s.  Then the rest of the week hanging out and watching movies and playing video games and trying to get the baby to figure out why we’re ripping open presents.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?

With the baby.  It took awhile, but now I can’t imagine the world without her.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Can’t choose.  Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Doctor Who, Big Bang Theory, Modern Love, Always Sunny in Philadelphia…  We watch a lot of sitcoms and British shows, and I love them all.  I had a lot of time on the couch nursing, and watched the entire run of West Wing, and HIMYM, Gilmour Girls and Vicar of Dibley.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Nope.

24. What was the best book you read?

I read over a hundred books.  I couldn’t even start to pick a favourite.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? 

Japandriods.  Of Monsters and Men.  Mumford and Sons.

26. What did you want and get?

To have a healthy baby.

27. What did you want and not get?

To have a happy post partum experience, and fall instantly in love with my baby, and other such idealized ideas of motherhood.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

Um.  I think we saw like, two movies in theatres?  A Bond one?  And maybe something with Jason Segel?  That one.  Sure.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 31.  Jess and I had a totally normal day, and then I got presents in the evening from David and Jess.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

No PPD.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Yoga pants.  Tops that allowed nursing.  In a word: comfortable.

32. What kept you sane?

David.  Books.  Exercise.  Friends.  The internet.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

Jason Segel.  Yum.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?

Abortion in America.  How is this still a debate??  I know I said that last year, and yet, here we are again.

35. Who did you miss?

My dad.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

I’ve made a couple of mom-friends (or, friends I made through the fact I had a baby) and they are both pretty great.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

Life is hard, but it gets better.  Eventually.

I have way too much stuff

The meme goes: Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don’t use, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of. The ones I’ve done nothing to I don’t, and have never, owned.

“I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation’s cupboards.”

Luckily my ex kept most of the more ridiculous kitchen stuff, and my current kitchen, while totally lacking in counter space, does have a lot of cupboard space.  Because, ridiculous or not, I love my panini maker.