The dawn of this new year finds me… tired. Happy, but tiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrred.
I don’t know how many people read these surveys – maybe you’re like me, and you really enjoy reading them, but don’t tend to comment on them. That’s cool. If you don’t read them, that’s cool too. But if you DO like to read them, or if you are a person who likes the GIST of a thing, or if you are in a hurry, let me summarize the below: it’s an awful lot about the baby.
May the coming year bring you and your loved ones health and happiness, Internet! And plenty of sleep.
1. What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
Had a baby.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Last year, this was as close as I got to making resolutions:
I don’t think I’ll make resolutions for the coming year, either. There are,
however, things I would like to accomplish. I would like to exercise more.
Eat better. (This has been The Autumn of Carbs, which is quickly turning
into The Winter of More Carbs.) Enjoy the happy part of anticipation rather
than perseverating on the nervous-marking part. Make sure that my marriage
remains a top priority, no matter what else is going on in our lives. Blog
more regularly. Have another garden. Paint the kitchen, dining room, and
the upstairs bedroom as well as put up artwork around the whole house.
Re-organize the storage area in the basement. Okay, this is degenerating
rapidly into a list of housework.
On that front, I continued to eat terribly (until the third trimester, when all I wanted was All The Fruit), worry a TON, neglect my blog, and plant a garden and promptly neglect that. But! We DID paint the kitchen, paint and decorate the upstairs bedroom (the baby’s room), and paint and add moulding to the dining room.
I think my priorities for this year (I’m pretending this question asked about priorities rather than resolutions) are keeping the baby alive, my husband, and trying to be better about juggling work, baby, marriage, household stuff. And I know that sentence lacked parallel structure, but I don’t know how else to say “my husband.” He’s a priority, and I want him to continue to be, and that’s that.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Well, you don’t get much closer to me than me. A few close friends also had babies, which has been tremendously fun.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. We are so fortunate.
5. What countries did you visit?
I didn’t do a lick of travel. Well, I flew out to see my parents last March, but that was IT.
6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
7. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 13 – This was the baby’s due date, and so was a major focus for me for nine entire months. Well, okay, eight entire months, since the baby had been cooking for a month by the time we found out about her.
June 28 – This is the day that I went into the hospital for my induction.
June 29 – The day the baby finally made her appearance!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Listen, I am going to say breastfeeding here because it was such a freaking struggle for so long. I think it took me a good six weeks to stop hating every second of it. It’s something I’ve wanted– and tried – to post about, because the one thing that helped me get through it (besides just getting through it) was reading about the breastfeeding experiences of other new moms. But it’s so tangled up with emotions for me that my first few drafts have all reached book-length before I even got past describing the hospital stay. You may be surprised to know that I exercise restraint before I typhoon all over my blog, but I do. Occasionally.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Well, we can just skip right past blogging, which has all but ceased entirely. (Not for lack of desire. Or even lack of post ideas. I am just so TIRED.) I think my garden was my primary failure, because, well, I am looking out onto my deck right now and the sad, overgrown remains of my poor neglected garden are STILL THERE, covered with about eight inches of snow. Sad. And gross.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Aside from the Daycare Colds my kid brings home every other week, I have been remarkably healthy. Thank goodness.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I love every inch of the baby’s nursery. We got some super sweet prints for the walls from Etsy that I have some vague notions of posting about at some point. I love my iPhone. But I think the best purchase was the breast pump. Tuna on rye, these answers are SO LAME.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
This is boring (SENSING A THEME?), but my husband deserves celebration and applause. My husband has always been a calming, supportive force in my life. But this past year, he was just… above and beyond. Dealing with me for twenty-five weeks while I lay on the couch and moaned with nausea and refused to let him cook anything or eat anything with a scent… then dealing with my constant fretting about the baby for the remainder of the pregnancy… then dealing with my anxieties AFTER the baby arrived… It’s all been more than enough for the guy to deserve about a thousand medals. But I was also surprised and touched by things like how wonderful he was in the delivery room, coaching me to push. And by how upbeat and We Can Do This! he was about everything in those dark, terrifying first weeks with the baby at home. And by how quickly and smoothly he slid into his new role as father. Don’t get me wrong – I had no doubt he’d be an awesome dad. But he has just been so good at it, so quickly.
My parents were also especially wonderful this year. My mom came out and stayed with us for a whole month, and did laundry and cleaning and cooking so my husband and I could get to know the baby. My dad not only flew home when the baby was late (he HATES to fly), but he spent hours on the phone with me, talking me through all my New Baby worries – which doesn’t sound like much, I guess, but it was. It was such a huge help.
And I really need to give a shout out to my boobs. They’ve had to take on some massive responsibilities this year, and they’ve really stepped up. My handy little Baby Connect app says that they have gone through both 212 hours of nursing and 21 hours of pumping AND that they’ve produced over 30 gallons of pumped milk. Way to go, boobs!
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I have no idea. I’ve been pretty wrapped up in myself this year.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Aside from the normal – taxes, loan payments, mortgage, savings – we also had hospital bills, daycare, and fun things, like Baby Room Décor. Okay, so “most of my money” didn’t go to Baby Room Décor, but it was still more money than I care to admit.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Um. If by “excited” you mean “terrified,” then the baby, obviously. (And excited, of course.)
16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2013?
Berceuse by Chopin, which I listened to, on repeat, in the car on the way to and from work for at LEAST the last month of my pregnancy. Often while sobbing loudly.
Get Your Shine On by Florida Georgia Line
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke
Royals by Lorde
Home by Phillip Phillips
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier!
Okay, I had to come back and edit this. I AM happier, for the most part. The baby has truly brought untold joy to this household. But on a day-to-day basis, I think I may be sadder. Not for any REASON, just… there are all these feelings associated with having a baby that I’m dealing with All The Time. Worries and inadequacies and frustrations and TIREDNESS. Plus, I have lingering anger/sadness about the whole birth experience that I wish would just Go Away. And have I mentioned the worrying? I am so constantly focused on What Could Go Wrong that it’s hard to just sink into the happy parts, you know?
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner, but that’s cheating since I was four months pregnant at this time last year.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer – hello, daycare!
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Going outside when the weather was nice. Sleeping.
I am also going to add that I wish I’d been better about keeping up my relationships. I have all but lost contact with two of my dear friends, and that sucks. And it’s entirely my fault. I’ve been so wrapped up in me and the baby and I have chosen, time and again, sleep or sitting in front of the TV with my husband over calling a friend and staying in touch.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
20. How did you spend Christmas?
In my house, for the first time ever, with a real tree my husband and I picked out together (with the baby) and decorated together, with my parents and my in-laws and my sister-in-law.
21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
I fell in love with the baby, of course. She is such a sweet, fun, funny little girl. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next, who she’ll become.
And, barf, I know, but I fell in love with my husband all over again as we approached this Big Life Change together, and as I witnessed him transform into this even better version of himself.
Okay, you can stop gagging now.
22. What was your favorite (new) TV program?
Justified. I can’t even begin to explain how much I love this show. And to think I almost never saw it because I hated the TV promos for it so much!
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I can’t really think of anyone I hate.
24. What was the best book you read?
Well, it certainly wasn’t any of the books here.
25. What did you want and get?
26. What did you want and not get?
Um. Diamonds? I don’t know how to answer this.
27. What was your favorite film of this year?
I don’t recall seeing a film. At all. That doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t SEE one, but there you go.
28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 32, and I cannot for the life of me remember what I did for my birthday.
29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Being able to just LET GO and not freak out about EVERYTHING.
30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
For the first half, stripes and polka dots because it seems like maternity wear creators all banded together on the belief that if you’re pregnant, you need to emphasize that fact with lines and circles. For the second half, fluids of various kinds.
31. What kept you sane?
My husband. My iPhone.
32. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens.
33. What political issue stirred you the most?
I have no idea.
34. Who did you miss?
35. Who was the best new person you met?
36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
Sleep when the baby sleeps. Sleep when the baby is awake. Sleep as much as you can because it will never be enough.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home.
Happy New Year, Internet!