Year in Review

Round Two: “My Year in Review”

Photo Credit: Sam Howzit

Check it out! Another “Year in Review”…the second for this blog. You know what that means, right? I’ve blogged for a whole year on the same blog! Okay, so, maybe I took a hiatus after the birth of my son for a few months there…but, still, I’ve tried hard to get back into the swing of things. I’m working on it. I’m trying to get better. 🙂

1. What did you do in 2015 that you had never done before?

This is easy: I became the parent to a living child.

Such a simple, short sentence. It doesn’t nearly capture the weight of the meaning behind it. And yet I’m not sure I could really do the importance of that feat any more justice by expanding upon it. ❀

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
©Motherhood & Everything Else

In one of the first posts on my first blog, I came up with goals rather than resolutions with the hopes that working toward something would be better than resolving to start something cold turkey on January 1st. My goals for 2015, according to 2014’s Year in Review, were as follows:

1. Reach a new weight of 175lbs. Ah, fuck. This one is a fail due to lack of time management, a fear of reducing my breastmilk supply, and…laziness.
2. Be honest with myself and what I want to do with this year. Done! I honored what I wanted to do—which was stay home with my baby. But…the end of 2015 marks the halfway point of my leave of absence from school. I need to make a decision this year about what I’m going to do.
3. Get the house in full working order. Well…we got one floor in sort-of working order? We also opened/closed the pool (didn’t swim in it, but that’s beside the point), maintained the lawn, fixed a leaky bathtub and a leaky fridge, sort of put my office together, and stumbled through babyproofing. Did I kind of accomplish this goal?
4. Get out there and meet my neighbors; make some friends in the neighborhood. I went out and met people on Halloween. I wave to my across-the-street neighbors when I leave for work almost daily. I wave to people walking around the block when I’m leaving work/coming home.
5. Blog for an entire year—no excuses! Well…kinda?

Meh, 2015 goals, meh. I’ll do the same for 2016 in setting five goals again, though. At the very least, they’re something to strive for, right?

1. Reach a new weight of 175lbs…by the end of the year or before TTC for baby #2 (whichever comes first). I am carrying this over from 2015, and I will be forcing this as a priority for 2016. My son is already mobile and crawling, which means he’ll be walking and running soon enough. I need to lose the weight, for him, for myself, and for trying to get pregnant again. Since TTC #2 is up in the air as far as a schedule goes, the deadline is whichever comes first. But it has to happen, so it will happen.
2. Return to graduate school before my Leave of Absence runs out. I am really nervous about this one. The end of 2016 will mark the end of my LOA, and after that I would have to re-apply to the school as any other person would. With two semesters remaining…I’ve got to get back in there and finish the job. Summer or fall? Summer or fall—or both? Decisions, decisions…
3. Get the house in FULL working order. I am carrying over this goal, too! I think my husband and I have made great progress this year with the first floor of the house (and he, with the basement), and I think we can have all boxes unpacked and some semblance of organized chaos by the end of next year.
4. Follow and maybe even expand upon my self-care plan. I need all of these things checked off. And maybe I’ll add to them. Stay tuned.
5. Blog for an entire year—no exceptions. You feel me, future self? You’ve got your Twitter account that you update sometimes (at the very least, every time you post), and you’ve got your Facebook page that you update a little more regularly. Let’s make this blogging thing a thing.

3. How did you spend Christmas? How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

Ah, Christmas. I wrote about it earlier this week in this post will finish the post on it next week, but the short version: woke up late-ish at around 8:00AM to a wide-eyed little babe and a sleepy husband. Coffee, pump, coffee. Unwrapped Joey’s gifts (he tried to eat the wrapping paper). Parents, brother and his girlfriend, came over with coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls and some KahlĂșa. Stockings, more presents. Family left, the boys took their naps while I cleaned and relaxed. Showed up late to Christmas dinner at my aunt’s house, more presents. Baby napped on me. Husband played poker with the guys, I chatted and drank with the ladies while the baby played. Home around 11:00, bed after midnight. Woke up late Saturday, coffee and The Polar Express. Baby took his nap, husband and I tried to clean up from the day before’s chaos. Showed up late again to Christmas, Round 2. Presents, alcohol (tequila, specifically), family, love, babies, fun, laughter, home at midnight, bed even later.

A whirlwind of two days—but it was absolutely amazing and magical. I only cried twice!

©Motherhood & Everything Else

New Year’s Eve will be a lot less low-key. At the time of this writing, Joey is just settling into the thick of whatever illness I’ve had since before Christmas…so I’m not holding my breath for anything crazy. I might get out of work early? My husband is working. Joey and I might hang out with my parents. But honestly, we might just stay in. I have Friday (New Year’s Day) off, so I might just take the opportunity to stay up and binge on Netflix and enjoy one too many beers.

4. Did anyone close to you give birth? die?

Again—thankfully, no one close to me died this year (which isn’t to say I haven’t had deaths in the family; I have, but we were not very close to me). As for who had babies…so many people! All of them from the online infertility/miscarriage community.

But most importantly, to me anyway, is that both of the bloggers I met initially upon entering this infertility/miscarriage blogging universe—Kristen and Sondra—finally became and stayed pregnant! The former is due in February, the latter in April. Congratulations, ladies! So happy that we’re all on the other side of miscarriage. It really is amazing if you think about it. ❀ ❀ ❀

5. What places did you visit?

Um…nowhere! New baby + new house + new car = broke.

6. What would have made 2015 more satisfying?

Less anxiety all around. More time with my son (being a working mom is so, so friggin’ hard). Maybe a vacation (maternity leave does not count).

7. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?

You know what I said last year??

A little bit more focus, a little bit more calm, a little bit more stability and regularity to routine. This year was a jumble of about a million different things; I expect 2015 to be just as crazy, but hopefully in a more manageable and predictable way. I would also like a better dedication to blogging, because I really do love getting on here and sharing my story.

Well that’s just funny.

I did not have focus. I did not have calm. Stability and regularity to routine is a joke when you’re the parent of an infant. Was I really so naĂŻve? Apparently, I was.

I would like a vacation (DC and VA Beach, I’m coming back for you). I would like more time with my son (not sure how I’ll manage this, outside of using vacation days). I would like some date nights with my husband. Oh, I would like more money. That would be nice. Not even to splurge; just to pay the bills and not have a heart attack.

8. What date(s) from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

March 6th — the day of my scheduled c-section, and therefore the day Joseph Matthew was born! ❀
May 10th — my first Mother’s Day with a living child…
July 10th — the day the Rainbows & Unicorns blog was launched and published its first post!
December 25th — the first Christmas I celebrated with my husband as a family of three

9. What was your biggest achievement of the year? biggest failure?

It sounds stupid, but I would say the biggest achievement for this year was getting through it. The beginning started off with continuing anxiety about my pregnancy, followed by a birth plan I didn’t want. I spent most of my maternity leave in a postpartum fog, barely lasting long enough for my vision to clear and for me to enjoy the time home with my son before I returned to work. Being a working parent—and also working opposite schedules of the other parent—is more exhausting and more trying and more exasperating than I had expected, and I had expected a lot. This year was probably the best and most fulfilling in my life so far, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it was the easiest!

Biggest failure is easily not being a consistent blogger. I keep telling myself I want to make something out of this. And then I keep fucking up. Someday, I’ll nail it. Someday, I’ll have more than 10 people read this shit. 😉

10.  Did you suffer illness or injury?

It’s not an injury, really, but…my c-section counts, right? That thing took FOR-E-VER to heal from!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
©Motherhood & Everything Else

My Blue Apron subscription! Even though we haven’t had a delivery in months because we’re so damn broke, I am so glad I signed up and received weekly deliveries when I did. As someone who had very little confidence when it came to being in the kitchen (yes, that’s right, my husband is the cook around here), I felt that it was really important that I step up my game in anticipation of the new way of life after Joey was born. Not only do I want to be able to cook meals for my family, but I also wanted him to eat healthy—and that wasn’t going to happen if my husband and I weren’t eating healthy. Plain and simple. He eats what we eat. Frozen pizza and boxed macaroni and cheese is okay once in a while, but not every day! The deliveries may have stopped, but my confidence and inspiration to cook for my family hasn’t died down.

12. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Talking? My husband. Texting? My husband and my cousin/nanny.

13. Did you fall in love in 2015?

Oh yes. Yes, I did. With my son. ❀

14. Where did most of your money go?

Bills. Lots and lots of bills, of all sorts and sizes. And baby shit.

15. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?

Is “Target” a fashion concept?

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2015?

Fight Song,” Rachel Platten
Heartbeat Song,” Kelly Clarkson
Geronimo,” Sheppard

when I lost it, yeah you held my hand
but I tossed it, didn’t understand
you were waiting as I dove into the waterfall

so, say geronimo! say geronimo!
can you feel my love?

17. What do you wish you’d done more of? less of?

I wish I had done more babywearing, breastfeeding, cosleeping, walking with the baby during the springtime (when it wasn’t too hot), swimming, and saving money. I wish I had done less crying (postpartum—ugh), feeling anxious, doubting myself, and using Google. I mean, seriously, if I ever have a second kid—someone disable my friggin’ internet.

18. What did you want and get? want and not get?

I wanted and got my son delivered safely and without complications. I wanted and did not get a chance at a vaginal birth.

19. What was your favorite TV show? favorite book? greatest musical discovery? favorite movie?

Favorite show is still Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Favorite book…a tie between The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Wonder Weeks? (I haven’t had much free time…) Greatest musical discovery was, again, more of a rediscovery: I got reacquainted with Breaking Benjamin, Backstreet Boys, and Angels & Airwaves. Favorite movie would have to be Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I. (I’m pretty sure I saw it this year…)

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

I turned twenty-eight this year (what?! why?!) and I spent my birthday going into work after being out sick all week. Still sick. With a baby who was also sick. Yuck!

21. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a. happier or sadder?
b. thinner or fatter?
c. richer or poorer?

Haha! Happier! Thinner (but I was hugely pregnant this time last year). One thousand percent poorer (I didn’t think it was possible).

22. What kept you sane?

I don’t think this changed from last year! My husband. My family. The close friends I made in the online infertility community. And of course, my little baby boy. ❀

23. Who did you miss?

I mean…of course, I missed family that have passed away over my lifetime—my uncles, my grandparents, and others. And I’ll always miss my babies. But this year was the first year in a good amount of time that I felt a little bit less of the loss that has been so strong lately. In large part, I think I owe that to my son.

24. Did you make new friends this year? Who was the best new person you met?

Make new friends? No, I don’t think so. However, through the Rainbows & Unicorns blog, I have grown incredibly close with a few ladies that I was “just friends” with before. I also feel like I’ve specifically solidified some friendships with people on Twitter that might’ve been more “acquaintances in passing” last year.

25. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Dude, this is such a weird question. Why am I allowing it to still exist? Ha!

My husband, again, I guess. He survived me through the end of the pregnancy; he stepped up in a big way when our son was born and I was recovering from the c-section (I never would have thought he’d be so skilled at changing diapers); he put me back together after my postpartum hormones tore me to pieces. In general, he’s just rallied this whole year. Parenting is not easy. Balancing a child with work and house and finances and family and friends is not easy. We’ve had our ups and downs as we’ve struggled to adjust, and I’m grateful that he’s been beside me the whole time. Trying, shifting, reacting, solving. ❀

26. What did you get really excited about?

Becoming a parent to this sweet, innocent, adorable, adventurous, scheming little boy that I love with every cell of my body.

©Motherhood & Everything Else
27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned.

When it comes to parenthood, expectations are a foolish thing to have. Live in each moment, take them and enjoy them as they come, then tuck them away in your memory when they pass.

28. What does 2016 hold for you?

My son’s first birthday! (GULP.) Probably, my return to graduate school. Vacation with family. Hopefully, maybe, some amazing things with my Rainbows & Unicorns team. The new year has a lot of promise; I just hope it sticks to it!

I hope you enjoyed this, at least a little. 🙂 And I hope all of you stick around for 2016! Maybe this year I’ll live up to my blogging expectations…

until tonight, I’d only dreamed about you
I can’t believe I ever breathed without you
baby, you make me feel alive and brand new
bring it one more time…

this is my heartbeat song and I’m gonna play it
been so long, I forgot how to turn it up, up, up
all night long, oh up, up all night long… ❀


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