My blog tells me I posted eight times in 2014. EIGHT. That is really, really sad. I miss blogging, I miss reading blogs, I miss the comment sharing and the camaraderie and… sigh. I don’t know that I can change anything. The only reason I am typing this is because the baby is asleep and I am unable to connect remotely to my work network. Okay, that’s not the ONLY reason. I feel a compulsion to do this recap because I’ve kept it up for five years. Why skip it this year in favor of watching Property Brothers or putting a load of laundry in the washer? Man, I really should throw a load of laundry in the washer.
ANYWAY. 2014 was a year of not much blogging but it was full of other things that I will try valiantly to remember.
(This yearly recap quiz originated with Linda of All & Sundry. If you’re so inclined, you can read past versions of my responses: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009.)
NOTE: Since I have been out of the blogging game, WordPress has gone all wonky and I cannot fix the numbering below. ARGH. So, fair warning.
- What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
Flew on an airplane with an infant, and then with a toddler (twice).
Baked a cake. Two cakes: a banana smash cake for my daughter’s first birthday, and a lemon cake for the grown ups to eat at her party. Okay, it was four cakes, actually, because I baked practice cakes.
- 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 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.
I don’t know that I really succeeded on the husband front. We are working on transforming our marriage to accommodate the baby. I am not meaning to say that things are bad – I think they are really good. But we do, as many new parents do, I suspect, tend to focus the majority of our outside-of-work time and energy on Carla. We DID, finally, find a regular babysitter. And we have gone out on some honest-to-goodness actually DATES, so that’s good.
As far as the other priorities listed above: I have to this point kept the baby alive, and I think I am doing okay at juggling things. Not GREAT, but okay.
I think those are pretty good priorities for the year ahead, too: baby, husband, balance. But I’ll add a couple of things:
- I want to do better about accepting that I am me, and I am not perfect, and that is okay. And if other people can’t deal with that, fine. I can’t live to make other people happy.
- I want to try to DO things with Carla. Most of the time I spend with her is in the evenings or on weekend, which means that most of the time I spend with her is spent doing errands or housework. I would love to do OTHER things, like crafts or museums or walks or… I honestly don’t know what. Just things that we can do together that extend beyond the routine.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A few close friends had babies, which has been tremendously fun.
- Did anyone close to you die?
Sadly, we lost my husband’s grandmother this year. She was the last remaining grandparent on either side. She always treated me like her own granddaughter, and I have many memories of her over the past dozen years, AND she got to meet Carla several times. But I still think of her and miss her.
- What countries did you visit?
I visited three states besides my own: Colorado, Florida, and my home state. All with Carla.
- What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
More confidence in myself. More time to breathe.
- What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 29 – Carla’s first birthday, which was much more emotional than I anticipated. For me, only. It felt like a real milestone, for ME, and I kind of went overboard with decorations and cake baking for what was a small, but lovely, party for my daughter. It felt like a rite of passage, somehow, to throw myself into the preparations. And I knew and accepted that I was killing myself for ME – she will never remember that day. But I will.
July 5 – This is the day Carla gave up breastfeeding. What an emotional roller coaster THAT was. I was fiercely proud that I made it a whole year. And so deeply irritated with myself that I FORCED myself to do it for so long. It was so difficult and there are OTHER PERFECTLY GREAT WAYS TO FEED A BABY, why did I have to FORCE myself to do it for a year? And why does it make me cry TO THIS DAY to think about it?!
- What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I don’t know what to say here. I don’t feel like I achieved anything in particular.
- What was your biggest failure?
Oh so many things. Let’s stick to the superficial and go with the care of the outside of our house here. It is just so overgrown and ugly and I have neither the knowledge nor the time to deal with any of it. I tried to do some gardening, and that was a disaster. And the stupid pots with their dead plants are STILL sitting on my stupid deck. The whole thing gives me a headache.
- Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just normal Daycare Bugs.
- What was the best thing you bought?
This is a recent purchase, but we bought Carla a toy kitchen for Christmas and she LOVES it. Probably there were other things, but I am not recalling them now.
- Whose behavior merited celebration?
I am going to go with the same answers I gave last year:
My husband, who really is a rock star. My partner. My best friend. A wonderful parent. And really just a fun, funny, cuddly, genuinely delightful person to have in my life.
My parents. For many reasons, some of which I cannot post here. But in a nutshell: they are supportive and kind and caring and just overall amazing.
Once again, my boobs. Even though I had a lot of mental struggles with breastfeeding, they really stepped up to the plate. They fed my baby for an entire year, despite all my emotional turmoil. My handy little Baby Connect app says that they went through both 321 hours of nursing AND that they produced over 43 gallons of pumped milk. Way to go, boobs!
And I’m going to add Carla to this list. She is really doing a kick ass job of being a toddler.
- Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
There are a couple of people who come to mind.
- Where did most of your money go?
Taxes, loan payments, mortgage, savings, daycare.
- What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The holidays this year. Carla is so excited about EVERYTHING, and it is so fun to see that. For Halloween, she became OBSESSED with pumpkins. Our grocery store had a bunch of pumpkins on benches and on the floor outside the entrance, and Carla had to go and hug every single one. So obviously we took her to a pumpkin patch the next weekend. She patted every pumpkin she could see and tried to pick them all up. We brought two home with us and she had to say hello to them every morning and goodbye to them each time we left the house. For the winter holidays, I went a little overboard and bought her a bunch of holiday-themed toys: a menorah puzzle, books about Hannukah and Christmas, a singing Christmas tree, a dozen tiny snowmen, and others. She loved lighting the menorah – and even learned how to say both “menorah” and “Hannukah”! – and when she first saw the singing Christmas tree, she picked it up and hugged it and carried it around the house All Day. Then, on Christmas morning, she literally jumped up and down when she opened her big gift from her grandparents – a singing, talking rocking horse. It was So Fun.
- What song(s) will always remind you of 2014?
Shake It Off by Taylor Swift, because it is Carla’s FAVORITE. I mean, I love it too. But Carla says “No” to every other song we play in the car. She wants me to play the video on my computer, and to dance to it in the kitchen when we play it on the ipod.
And also Fancy by Iggy Azalea because it was – and continues to be – played ad nauseum.
- Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? I don’t know. I have been a bit down in the dumps lately. And I am writing this on the last day of a two-week vacation, and so I am currently choked up about going back to work and leaving my baby, so I certainly don’t feel all that happy right this second. Overall? Not sure. We certainly get more sleep these days, so I’m guessing that adds to the general level of happiness for our whole family.
b) thinner or fatter? Fatter, but not hugely so. I was just on The Breastfeeding Diet last year at this time.
c) richer or poorer? Poorer.
- What do you wish you’d done more of?
Going outside when the weather was nice. Taking Carla to Do Things rather than just puttering around at home.
- What do you wish you’d done less of?
- How did you spend Christmas?
In my house, with a real tree my husband and Carla and I picked out together and decorated together, with my parents and my in-laws and my sister-in-law.
- Did you fall in love in 2014?
This is so corny, but I fall more in love with Carla every day. She is such a fun, funny, happy, good natured, curious, eager-to-learn little girl, and I feel so unbelievably lucky to know her.
- What was your favorite (new) TV program?
The Americans. My husband and I started watching this a while ago… maybe while I was pregnant? And we stopped watching for some reason. But we are now back to watching it – with a vengeance! Or whatever. And it’s pretty great. There may be others, but I probably watched them so long ago I cannot remember what they are.
- Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I can’t really think of anyone I hate.
- What was the best book you read?
Grudgingly, I wound up loving The Goldfinch. Hated it until the last bit. And then… it just hit me, what a great work of writing it is. I think I read some other books this year too… but that’s the only one that stands out.
- What did you want and get?
The Taylor Swift CD.
- What did you want and not get?
Same answer from last year: Um. Diamonds? I don’t know how to answer this.
- What was your favorite film of this year?
The only film I recall seeing – which doesn’t mean there aren’t others, you see – was Wolf of Wall Street and while it was entertaining, I didn’t feel it had any redeeming qualities. So I suppose I should just erase this and say, “N/A.”
- What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Practically the same answer as last year:
I was 33, and I cannot for the life of me remember what I did for my birthday.
I even asked my husband what we did, and HE couldn’t remember. We did do something for our anniversary, though, so that’s good.
- What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Same as last year:
Being able to just LET GO and not freak out about EVERYTHING.
- How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
Dresses for work, legging and zip-up hoodies from Costco for home.
- What kept you sane?
My husband. My iPhone.
- Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Matthew Rhys as Philip from The Americans.
- What political issue stirred you the most?
- Who did you miss?
The baby, when I was at work.
- Who was the best new person you met?
I don’t know that I met many new people this year.
- Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
I learned two:
- You can’t make everyone happy. Just focus on making yourself happy (and maybe your kid and your spouse), and that has to be enough.
- Fold each load of laundry as it comes out of the dryer. It makes life better, trust me.
37. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
I’m dancing on my own. / I make the moves up as I go. / And that’s what they don’t know.
Happy New Year, Internet! I hope your 2015 rocks your socks off.