Saturday, January 7, 2012

A new year and a new blog

My first post on my new blog. Woo hoo! Let's hope its not my last. I'm not usually big on New Year's Resolutions, but for some reason, this year I have like 30 and "Blog more" is one of them. So here we go.

Why a new blog? I already have a blog that I rarely post to anymore - Plan B(aby). I started it when I was dealing with the loss of my baby and trying oh so hard to get pregnant with another. I needed to write about what I was going through. I've never been much of a journal writer, but for the first time, I literally HAD TO write. I had to get out some of the pain and frustration and sadness. It helped me get through it. And while I am not completely "through that" or "over that," it IS different now. Plan B worked. We have a son (who is the cutest, most smartest and adorable 2 year old EVAH) and while I still grieve the loss of our baby and recently feel very infertile again, I am also generally happy and having a (mostly) wonderful time being a stay-at-home mom. Plus I also decided that I hate the other blog's name. I thought it was so clever at the time - I'm a huge planner, things didn't go as a I planned in the babymaking department, so we moved onto Plan B, blah, blah, blah. But now it just makes think of the morning after pill. Which doesn't seem right when my main blogging topic was pregnancy loss and fertiliity issues.

Alright enough about that. I'll save why I chose "The Years are Getting Shorter" for another day (as I pretend that its not totally obvious and horribly cliche)....

I saw this "Yearly Recap" on another blog and decided that doing one for myself would help me jumpstart the whole new blog/more posts thing. Like I said before, I'm not usually a resolution gal, but this year I feel so ready for a new year and some new changes that I am embracing it wholeheartedly. I'm a little afraid that its because I am bored and in need of some changes and excitement, but whatever.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?
Went gluten free. And it has improved my health SO MUCH. It was really hard at first and there are moments when it still sucks SO BAD, but its worth it to feel better. And I do feel better.
Starting taking Zumba classes. Which is only worth mentioning because historically, I HATE to exercise and have pretty much avoided doing it until this, my 38th year of life. But I was in such bad shape at the beginning of last year (not just out of shape, but really not well - its for another post) that I had to try something - which is also why I went gluten free. One of my best friends starting teaching classes at her sister's dance studio which is a minute and a half from my house, so I gave it a shot. And I LOVE Zumba! Its fun, I see my friends, I get out of the house BY MYSELF and, it turns out, exercise does in fact make you feel better. Who knew?
Invested in a business. G$ and I put money into my brother's new bar. We happen to think its a good investment, but I also love that we are supporting him in this way. He is quite successful in his other two ventures, but this one is pretty much on his own (with his girlfriend). And I am so proud of him. I was a huge asshole to him for most of our childhood so I'm hoping this makes up for it. And I love talking to him about "OUR bar." I know he hates it.

*After reading this back, I decided that I am a boring person and I need to do more exciting new things in 2012.

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

Well, I didn't make any last year, so I guess the fact I am making ANY makes it more. And, for the record, I'm aware that going from 0 to 30 may not bode well for actually keeping them, but you have to admire my enthusiasm.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Three of my friends. All boys. All adorable. And they all make me want another one so bad.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Thank God.

5. What countries did you visit?
Mexico. G$, Finn and I went to our timeshare in Cabo and had our first family vacation. It was great.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?
A renewed connection with my husband. I don't think 2011 was BAD for us, but I think that the trauma and stress of losing a baby and dealing with infertility and then the stress of having a newborn sort of put our relationship on the back burner for the last few years. And now that we are both feeling better and getting some sleep, we need to make sure that we are paying attention to US every now and again. The truth is that most days, I am just so damn tired by the time Finn goes to bed that I just want to veg on the couch in front of the TV or read a book. From what my girlfriends tell me I am not alone in feeling this way. But I need to find the time and energy to devote to my husband sometimes too. We need to go on more dates. We need to have sex more. We need to find more TV shows that we can watch together (he has terrible taste in TV shows - and would say the same thing about me). And we need to get away for a night!!!! We have been away together for ONE NIGHT since Finn was born and it was for our 20th high school reunion (yes, we went to high school together) that I helped plan. He didn't eat dinner and got hammered off 4 beers and had to go back to the hotel early and I had to stay and help clean up. So it was not an incredibly romantic night away.

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
I can't think of any dates that really stick out. It was a year of overall contentment and lack of drama or trauma. Thank God.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I think I have two. Learning how to eat gluten free is one - it wasn't easy and it has totally changed the way I shop and cook. I cook more and better now. And I think its healthier for all three of us. And my second would be just learning how to do this whole stay at home mom thing. I mean I'm not perfect, but I have got it so much more figured out this year. The first year with Finn was pure survival. I was so sleep deprived and new at it and it turns out I was not very healthy to top it off. But last year I feel like I got into more a of a routine.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I don't think I had any HUGE failures. I'm sure I'm screwing Finn up in some way that I have yet to realize, but mostly I think I'm a pretty good mom. And again, I wish I had done more to be connected and intimate with G$, but I think that I am mostly doing the best I can. And I guess I could be nicer to the dog. I'll have to work on bigger failures this year. Or the ability to honestly recognize them in my life.

*Okay, after further thought, I figured out a failure. Or maybe its more of a personality flaw. I have a hard time "living in the moment" or "being present." Both of those phrases have always sounded sort of obnoxious and made me want to roll my eyes until lately. But since having Finn, it seems that time is really flying (or the years are getting shorter....). I'm almost 40, he's already 2, G$ and I have been married for 6 years - WTF?! And I just want to savor some moments, big and small. Like I said earlier, I am a huge planner - short term, long term, I like to have a plan and know where I am headed and what is going on. I also am a big multi-tasker. Now, I happen to think that both of these qualities are not always a negative. But it can also mean that I am always thinking one step ahead or trying to cross two things off my list rather than really DOING what I'm doing at any given moment. Or that I play with Finn in a half assed distracted way while I try to tidy up the living room. Or that I don't have a glass of wine with a fabulous lunch out with a girlfriend because it might make me feel tired or bother my stomach and I have to get home and watch Finn and figure out dinner. Or that I only half listen to G$ while he tells me about his day because I am worried that the dinner dishes are not washed. If I'm going to tidy the living room I should do THAT. If I going to play with Finn I should do THAT. And if I get to go out with a friend once every three months I should allow myself a glass of wine and just be a little tired for the rest of the day. And I should make G$ do the dishes....

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Specifically, no. I was actually pretty healthy. I had like one really bad cold and one really bad hangover (does that count?). Having said that, I still don't know "what is wrong with me." Going gluten free improved my symptoms by like 75% but I still have pelvic pain, abdominal pain and IBS and we don't know why. But I have an appointment with a new OB/GYN and I'm sure she will figure it all out by the end of the month. K? Thanks.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new car - its mom car (not a minivan for God's sake, a Chevy Equinox) and I love it. Our bed. It was HELLA expensive but totally worth it. Unfortunately, G$'s back still hurts every morning. But mine is better. So, yay for me! And I admit that I love my new iPhone. I had the same old flip cell phone for like 5 or 6 years and didn't want to spend the money on an iphone for myself (G$ really wanted one and I thought he should have it, but I said I would be happy with whatever was free). But now that I have it, I really love it.

12. Where did most of your money go?
The mortgage

13. What did you get really excited about?
The holidays. I love the holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Year's is my favorite time of the year. Ever since I was a kid, I have just loved it - the food, the traditions, the presents. But after we lost the baby, it was not so fun for a few years. In many ways, it fucking sucked. Last year was back to being good, but I was still SO TIRED (my darling son never slept through the night until I weaned him at 13 months) that I barely remember it. This was the first year since having Finn that I really, really enjoyed. And watching him have so much fun with our family and opening presents and start to sing parts of Christmas carols and wear his Christmas pj's and be scared of was just so wonderful.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?
You Are My Sunshine. My mom used to sing it to me and my brother and I've been singing it to Finn since he was born, but this year he KNOWS it and likes it and I feel like its our song. Oh and that Adele song that they play twice an hour on every radio station. Its a great song but I mean, come on.

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

– happier or sadder? Hmmm, probably about the same.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner. I am back to being a skinny bitch as Joy Behar says. Don't be mad. I dropped the rest of the baby weight when I weaned Finn and went off the gluten. And then I lost more a few months ago for no apparent reason. I was pretty sure it was because I had lung cancer but my doctor says I don't.
– richer or poorer? A little poorer because we dipped into savings to do a few house projects. But mostly, the same.

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

More writing, more sex, more dates with G$

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

Watched less TV, worried less about things that are out of my control

18. How did you spend Christmas?
I talked about it a little in #13, but specifically we did Christmas Eve with my family and G$'s mom at our house. We had crab and prime rib and it was so frigging delicious. We always do breakfast on Christmas morning at G$'s mom's house with his brothers, sister in law and two nephews. And then we had an impromptu Christmas dinner of leftover crab and prime rib with my family at our house.

19. What was your favorite TV program?
Hmmm. I have more than I would like to admit. I started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflix. I love every season of The Amazing Race. And I really like Parenthood and The Good Wife. Oh and there are other reality shows - Top Chef, Project my defense, my husband works lots of nights and so I watch TV and play words with friends and its very nice and relaxing. But in 2012 I am going to blog more, so I won't watch as much TV.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?
I started reading the new Ken Follett, Fall of Giants, in 2011, but I'm not quite finished. And Cutting for Stone was SO GOOD. And I loved the whole Dragon Tattoo series.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Hmmmm. I guess I'll say the music we listen to in Zumba. Some of it is like top 40 dance music and some of it Zumba-latin type stuff. It makes me think of dancing and feeling good.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?
I honestly don't think I watched a single movie last year. I watched my shows on tivo and I watched a couple of TV shows on netflix. I'm too tired to stay awake for a whole movie at home and if we get a night out I don't want to spend it watching a movie. I'd rather do dinner and/or see friends.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
G$ had to work on my actual birthday, so my best friend came over and made me a delicious gluten free meal and a GF cake
and my parents babysat Finn so I could go to Zumba. Boring and wonderful!

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
This is tough because 2011 was incredibly satisfying for me. I think the only thing that could have made it better was if I had gotten pregnant at the end of the year.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?
Trying not to wear sweats every day. And, when I did wear sweats, trying to have them match my shoes and shirt.

26. What kept you sane?
G$, Finn's 7:30 bedtime, my book club, my parents watching Finn pretty much whenever I need it

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Eating right and exercise makes you feel good - physically and mentally. And the phrase "the days are long, but the years are short" has really hit home with me this year. I hope the lesson I take from that is to live in the now, try to be very present and savor and enjoy moments, both big and small, while they are happening.

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