What an amazing year it was. How full of joy and laughter and surprise and handwringing and pureed vegetables and diapers. How rife with questions and answers and “what if”s and “remember when”s and nights after the baby went to bed spent looking at photographs of the baby taken when he was awake.
It was a year that surprised me by how very much it did not suck (sometimes mommyblogs can be harbingers of the doom that never comes), but it was also not a year without regrets, my biggest one being that I’ve slid out of a couple of scenes I’d always enjoyed being knee-deep in–(1) my office and (2) this blogosphere webiverse place–and if there were something I could have done just for myself in 2009, it would have been either (a) stop caring so much about being involved at the office and in the webisphereiverse so I don’t miss it so damn much or (b) find a way to suck the marrow out of those bitches with what little time I have.
But before I make myself sick with metababble, I’ll get straight to the task at hand, which is completing the year-end meme (via Sundry, as per usual) that I always regretted not getting to last year, what with the newborn and all. Little runt makes it hard to record things for my posterity!
1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
I watched a newborn grow into a toddler before my eyes. I threw a birthday party for a baby. I mothered.
2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I can’t imagine I was in any kind of resolution-making frame of mind last year (see: two-week-old baby), and although I’m tempted to drag the “I’m a new mom” excuse into the new decade like a child trailing a security blanket, I will say, VAGUELY, that I’m resolved to stop using “I’m a new mom” as a cop-out for accomplishing things I should be able to accomplish if I’d just shut up and get out of my own way. Fitness goals, career goals, creative goals, personal goals, you’re all in the line of fire.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A good deal of Internet folks had babies in 2009, but I’ve also been lucky that my baby has made me a magnet for other babies in real life as well. The friends we met on New Year’s Eve last year had a baby girl in February, our neighbors across the street had a boy in August, and my coworker had a girl in April, at home, on the rug, into my favorite pair of maternity pants. My Mormon cousins also spawned a lot, as Mormon cousins are wont to do.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
I hate this question because I always feel like I’m forgetting someone, but no, I can’t think of anyone close to me who died aside from my family’s cat, Molly, who was 13.
5. What countries did you visit?
Well, I visited Sleepdystopia and Poopsylvania–magical lands you can’t get to by boat or train or plane–places you can’t leave of your own accord–places that don’t make postcards printed with “Wish You Were Here” because no one would send them, not to their worst enemies.
6. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
I’d like to have a better hold on my freetime (whatever that means), so I can stop feeling dissatisfied/guilty/harried about all the great plans that never came to fruition because I had to catch up on “had-to”s. Also, a big sack of money would be nice.
7. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Wombat’s birthday party was on 12/12, and that was a good day, made especially memorable because our parents were able to celebrate with us. Holly and Sean‘s wedding on 9/5/09 made me feel that much closer to a great group of friends I love more and more each day.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I juggled being a mom and being an employee without losing my damn fool mind. Working part-time was WAY harder than I thought it would be. I expected to be fully a mom part of the time and fully an employee part of the time, but between unforgiving deadlines and freelance work and my own expectations and, oh, a little boy who just won’t leave my mind for a second, I found myself trying to be fully everything all of the time, with the result that a lot of what I did was half-baked and half-assed. For the last few months, I’ve woken up by making (a) a cup of tea and (b) an assessment of who I could afford to disappoint that day, and that pretty much sucks. Hey, you know what else sucks? When the question is “What was your biggest achievement of the year?” and you answer by detailing your biggest failure! Moving on!
9. What was your biggest failure?
Well. Didn’t see that coming.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Aside from my bits being a bit out of whack after shooting an entire person out the ol’ Brewster (thanks, JT!), I was remarkably healthy this year. Go go gadget immune system!
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I got a lot of great things (camera flash, baby gear, Wii, KitchenAide mixer), but the best thing I (we) bought was probably the year-long membership to the California Academy of Sciences. We’ve been a handful of times, and at $25 a pop without a membership, we got a heck of a deal.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Simon is my hero. He gets up to change nasty diapers, he volunteers to spoonfeed the nasty potted meat, and he’s never too tired to get nasty at the end of the day. He lets the cats upstairs again and again and again in the middle of the night, he cooks dinner 90 percent of the time, and he makes business phonecalls I’m too chicken to make for myself. The man’s a frickin’ saint for putting up with the lot of us.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Jon Gosselin. Oh, Jon.
14. Where did most of your money go?
OH MY GOD, have I mentioned yet this week how much our mortgage(s) are? Because they’re…wait…let me check…yes, still MASSIVE.
15. What did you get really excited about?
I’ve always been fairly easily impressed, quick to take pleasure in the small and simple things life has to offer, and being the mother of a mostly delightful child has multiplied that by three bazillion, so the list of things I’ve been “really excited about” starts with “watching Wombat eke out a fart smile” and goes onward and upward from there.
16. What song will always remind you of 2009?
To reveal this would be to give away Wombat’s name, but thank god it’s a good song, a strong song, a timeless song, because it’s one I’ve played and sung and heard hundreds of times this year, and I have a feeling this is only the beginning. When someone meets Wombat for the first time, they greet him with the song. When he’s upset, I can sing it to him and he quiets immediately. When HeatherB gets drunk and leaves a voicemail, it’s what she’s belting at the top of her lungs. (No, we didn’t name him Delilah.)
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Ugh, sadder, I think, because again, I’m thinking and dreaming bigger than ever before now, but I don’t have the time or energy or money to accomplish all I want to. Boo. Low expectations made it so much easier to feel fulfilled.
- thinner or fatter? Much thinner since losing those seven pounds of fetus and the other thirty pounds of whateverthehellthatwas.
- richer or poorer? Poorer, my god, will someone please fix the healthcare system so I can receive a paycheck with an actual dollar amount after my insurance costs are taken out?
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Writing, reading, making videos.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Getting all stomach-twisty about not having enough time for writing, reading, making videos.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
We were back in Utah for the first Christmas in years, and although I always overromanticize it into a BFD beforehand, it was still great to see all the old gang doing all the old stuff, with the added bonus that my parents just moved into an amazing new house, which meant we didn’t have to sleep on an air mattress or in the same room as the baby and that we got to bowl in the unfinished basement.
21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
Cheese alert: Every single day.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
We really got into the two seasons of So You Think You Can Dance, and America’s Next Top Model is always a good time too, but the one show I rediscovered and really fell in love with was Martha, which probably has a hell of a lot to do with why I feel like such a domestic failure.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I…don’t think so?
24. What was the best book you read?
Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week. This is not just a clever way of saying having a baby means giving up literature (true as that may be); I actually really liked this book, especially when I could find places where Wombat’s development was ahead of the curve and could let forth a celebratory “Booyah!” without alienating myself from any other parents within earshot.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I think diving into the catalog of Martin Sexton albums made a big impression on me musically. And his song “Diner” wins second prize for Most Memorable Song of 2009 because it’s our go-to, no-fail, shut-up-Wombat song. The Ting-Tings also turned out to be a nice surprise.
26. What did you want and get?
A camera flash. Family around to celebrate Wombat’s first birthday. A late-riser baby.
27. What did you want and not get?
A big sack ‘o cash. A Wii Fit. A month’s (paid) vacation from everything to just catch my breath.
27a. What did you not want and not get?
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I honestly can’t think of anything we saw that blew me away. Let’s just say there was an unintentional Seth Rogen marathon going on for a little while in our house…
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned thirty, and because I’m lame, I just wanted to stay home and chill out. I ate some cake and drank some champagne. Pretty much a typical Friday.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Having the time to record everything I wanted to record, in words and pictures.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2009?
Grody nursing bras and saggy sweatpants. When I was on mat leave, I did a great job showering regularly and getting dressed for the day, but since I went back to work, it’s either heels and jewelry and the whole shebang (one day a week) or shuffling around the house looking and smelling like ass. Sigh.
32. What kept you sane?
Saint Simon. Good thing, too, because he’s also the one that drives me crazy the most.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
My heart ever belongs to Ewan MacGregor, and even though I didn’t see him in one thing this year, I just wanted to make sure he still knows he can call me any time. (Seriously, ANY TIME. Like, now would be good.)
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Gay marriage. Why, why, why is this still up for debate? WHY? Are there not enough heterosexuals destroying traditional marriage to keep the conservatives busy?
35. Who did you miss?
I missed my family being around to see Wombat grow up so much in this first year. I missed my brother, who makes it nearly impossible to stay connected to him. (HINT) I missed all my BlogHer friends, since they still haven’t moved to my neighborhood like I asked them to. I missed my pal Teddy before he moved back to California.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Among the many wonderful ladies I crossed paths with at BlogHer, it was an especial thrill to meet Sweet Salty Kate in person and see her in action. Also, if anyone counts as a “new person,” Wombat sure does, and it’s been magic to meet him, little by little, as he becomes who he is in front of my very (and very misty all of a sudden) eyes.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2009.
Sometimes people move out of your life for a reason, and often that reason is a really really good one, so just let it happen.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“We all fall down / There’s not enough hours in a day” from “Whippin’ Picadilly” by Gomez, the song I used in this video, way, way back in 2009, remember that?
Visions of sledding and snowman building and spread-eageled angelling danced in my head all last week, and what I got instead was tears and something that we call in my family the “shit look.” This Utah mama and Michigan papa made a California baby through and through.
We’re off to the mountains today, where we’ll spend the holiday with the whole crazy Utah family, and where our California baby will be seen frolicking in the yard with plastic bags cinched over his fancy shoes because he doesn’t own any boots, coming from Birkenstockland and all. Let us, however, give thanks to the Baby Jesus for the D.I.‘s $2 coats; to my dad, who reminds us that “Life is not a fashion show,” so stop fussing with your wardrobe already; and to technology for turning a fourteen-hour drive through the snow into a two-hour flight to the soothing white noise of sturdy plane engines, which will carry us safely over the land and lake and lull my busy baby to sleep.
Merry Christmas, everyone. You have no idea how much we love having you all be a part of our lives (and how much we’ll miss you while staying in a house with no internet access (ZOMG!)).