2007 MEME

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?

Well for starters, I gave birth and went on maternity leave. All very new for me.

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

I made a resolution not to make and/or keep any resolutions, so yes, I guess I kept that.

In the new year, I’d like to become more patient and understanding.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

No one extremely close but I met someone through chlidbirth class.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandfather just died a couple days ago.

5. What countries did you visit?

I did not leave the country this year due to pregnancy and lack of funds.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?

More confidence in myself and more push to find a career job instead of just a job job.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

August 29th, when my son as born.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Well, as if you already weren’t sick of hearing about it, I think birthing a kid was a pretty big achievement. Personally, making it through his first six weeks was a pretty hard time.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I guess along the same lines as my new goals, I felt like I wasn’t very patient or understanding when it came to my husband and family.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major, thankfully.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I don’t put too much stock in material things but I guess I am pretty happy with all the stuff we got to remodel the room for the baby.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Ash, because he had to learn the ropes of new fatherhood and do a lot of things that pregnancy and birth would not allow me to do myself.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Half of the people we keep reading about in the media. But other than that, no one.

14. Where did most of your money go?

The normal bill-type things and a lot of lattes.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

I was really really excited the moment this child exited my body because it was finally mine again!

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

Hmm, I think “Crazy for you”by Madonna. Sure it’s not new but I sang it to Elliot a lot in his first few weeks on this planet.

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

a) happier or sadder? I think happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter but it’s pregnancy weight.
c) richer or poorer? Financially better off.

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

I wish I had exercised more during pregnancy and that I had read more to Elliot when he was a tiny baby.

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

Less worrying.

20. How did you spend Christmas?

My parents came up before Christmas, then my in-laws were here, and then the family on my dad’s side got together for a funeral. Not the best way to punctuate the holiday but it was good to see people.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?

Yes, with my newborn son. The moment I laid eyes on that tiny little alien that was thrust upon my chest all gooey and new, I was deeply in love.

22. What was your favorite TV program?

Seriously? I got way too addicted to all the baby shows on TLC.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

No, I don’t think so.

24. What was the best book you read?

The best book I read was probably Watchmen. Do graphic novels count?

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Hmm, Dragonforce or rediscovering Air Supply.

26. What did you want and get?

I wanted a healthy baby boy and… voila.

27. What did you want and not get?

Nothing, I suppose. Some of the things I want are too silly to even think they’d actually happen.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?

I think the best film I saw this year (and it was on TV) was Everything is Illuminated.

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

I was 28 and I don’t think we did a damn thing. Well, we went to dinner.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If parenting was my dream job.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?

For when I was pregnant: “Everyone in Polos” and afterwards, “Rediscover the sweatpant”

32. What kept you sane?

Walking with my new friend once the baby was born, little bits of caffeine when pregnant, ham, egg and cheese biscuits from a bakery on the way to work, and lots of reading.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

This year, I don’t think anyone.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?

I don’t get all fired up about that stuff because it stressed me out.

35. Who did you miss?

I missed the people from work and how they’d randomly come into my office to talk.
36. Who was the best new person you met?

I guess, Joanna, from childbirth class.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.

Be patient with your children and appreciate every single moment you share with them because they change right before your eyes.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

And someone is calling my name
From the back of the restaurant
And someone is playing a game
In the house that I grew up in
And someone will drive her around
Down the same streets that I did
On the same streets that I did

Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it
Smile like you mean it 

Happy end of 2007

Is this year over already? Where did it all go? Oh, that’s right: I spent the better part of it being pregnant and then after that, learning the ropes of motherhood. Ridiculous! As my cousin said, he never thought I’d be married and having kids before himself; he just turned 30.

The funeral for my grandfather was… nice. People said some really great things about the man: about how he was generous and determined, intelligent and purpose-driven. He played on an undefeated football team in high school, flew planes in World War II, raised a family, had a bunch of grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. He slipped me hundred dollar bills when I went to visit him during college. He was a good man who lived a long, successful life. He will be missed.

Today involves much cleaning and trying to somehow piece my life back together. Not because of the family death but because we’ve had so many people come through here. Plus, we’re having some people over tonight for a New Year’s thingy. I don’t know; I don’t plan on having all that good of a time, since SOMEone has to watch the baby and you know it’s going to be me.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year; don’t drink too much so you can enjoy the first day of 2008.

Post-holiday blahs

Did I mention that I completely lost my voice on Christmas day? I started having a cough Friday night and it all began from there: sore throat, congestion and finally, having to whisper. On Christmas Eve, I could talk but I was hoarse and it sounded awful. On that night, however, I got about an hour reprieve because my Brother-in-law’s girlfriend wanted to go to church.

She has one of those conflicted families: her father is Catholic and her mother, Lutheran. Traditionally, they went to Christmas Eve mass at the Lutheran Church and on the 25th, at the Catholic mass. She did some research and found a Lutheran church that was of the sect that allows anyone to worship so the three of us attended the 7:30 candlelight service. It was… interesting. I have to say that it felt like a stripped down version of a Catholic mass. Certainly not as much sitting, standing and kneeling and they cut out a lot of the responses that typically come after readings and other prompts. But I had a good time and I felt spiritually moved; an emotion I have not felt in quite some time. Not since I really stopped going to church. At the end of the service, everyone lit candles and sang “Oh, Holy night”. Very cool.

Today, I ran a bunch of errands including buying the hoses and other parts for the breast pump (so I can back to work next week) and buying a top to wear to my grandfather’s funeral on Sunday. All my tops are summer-ish and low necklines. Not exactly funeral appropriate. Made out like a bandit at Kohls; I deem it my new favorite place, well, aside from Target. Nothing bumps Target from the top of my list.

One of my good friends sent us a 25 dollar Fresh Market gift card and I’m itching to use it. Except, I have no desire to go running about town with the kid in tow, and Ash and his brother just left to go shopping. I have a feeling he’s buying Rock Band. Ash just likes to spend money. Although, as soon as I started messing with my new camera I felt compelled to buy a protective skin for it.  Of course, Ash talked me out of it, saying I was only feeling like spending money because I have it. Sigh. I told him the same rules apply to him and not to buy Rock Band.  But he’s got free reign, you know?

Anyway, I am going to get some things done while little Elly finally rests. Hope everyone’s holidays went/are going well!

Goodbye

I have waved goodbye to the Christmas feeling; now all that’s left is the setting up of new gifts like my Brookstone Weather thingy, this nifty game called Ladderball, and my life-sized Maurice Jones-Drew Fathead poster. Also, I’ve only just begun to explore my newest camera: the Canon Powershot SD850. I have the 550 so it’s an upgrade for sure. It was the most unexpected gift, aside from all the stuff Ash got me: apple corer, spice rack, crock pot, etc. He really hit the jackpot on random but useful gifts. He knows how much I like gifts that have a use – I hate pointless crap. Ok ok, that’s not always true. I also got this nifty Jack Skellington bobble head thing.

I also say goodbye to my grandfather today. He passed early this morning at 88 years old. When I was a little girl, he held sardines in his hand for me to eat, and poured me sweet tea in a little orange cup. He drove all the grandkids out to the fireworks store and loaded us up for the new year. He would pull you aside and give you little butterscotch candies in between meals. Granted, he also always asked why I didn’t wear dresses or enter beauty pageants like my cousins, told me to lose weight constantly and ragged on everyone. But he was a kind man at heart and I am sorry that I no longer have paternal grandparents. (My grandmother died in 2002). He is the grey-haired smiley guy in the middle:

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Mele Kaliki Maka

We’re about to open presents. I am thankful that Ash’s family could all be here with us and that later in the week, I’ll get to see my mom and dad again. We’re all so fortunate that we have all these things in our lives. We are overflowing with abundance.

I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and good fortune in the New Year.

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For the first time

So, last night, after a long day of picking up my brother-in-law from the airport, going to lunch, and then taking the baby around to all the people at Ash’s job that want to see the little munchkin, we didn’t feel like going for dinner. I offered to get Outback take-out. As I was readying to go, I began to cough and noticed that I had a sore throat. This morning, I felt OK but the throat, my did it burn and feel scratchy. I opted out of going to a movie with them and stayed home but it progressively got worse. So, I figure that I was getting a cold but my efforts to combat it with vitamin C and rest have staved off the worse parts and left me with just a sore throat.

But anyway, Ash and his brother brought me some soup after their movie and then went out again but they took Elliot with them. It’s the very first time I have been home alone. I keep thinking I have to go check on him, as if he were napping. It’s actually really nice! I ate my soup and then took a nap on the couch. I’m feeling a lot better now, if not just a bit worn down. I kind of think that’s my overall problem anyway; stress and doing too much for Christmas.

So today is all rest. Tomorrow I have to go one more place for presents and then I’m calling it. No more shopping. Ash’s dad gets in tomorrow afternoon then his brother’s girlfriend is coming on Monday and for part of Tuesday. I’m all ready for company so I’m not stressing. Nope, not me. Not this time. I’m going to sit back, suck on this honey lemon lozenge and just chill…

Domestic duties

Sometimes, I become overwhelmed by the baby AND the day to day chores in the house. Ash’s responsibilities include cleaning the kitchen when I cook and taking out the trash. However, he hasn’t done the trash in weeks so I’ve sort of erased that from his list. When I do the laundry, I sometimes ask if he’ll get it started and then I’ll fold and hang, since that’s the part he hates. And he gives me a hard time so I threaten to quit doing it. He has five work shirts, which means he can go a whole week but things can get off and he may be without them. He says, go ahead and not do the laundry, I’ll be fine.

Yeah, right.

This morning, we proved that he will not be fine. There were no shirts. And from the moment he realized it, there have been no words. So, in his little manipulative way, it’s not worth it for me to even accidentally forget to do the laundry because then, I’m punished with the cold shoulder. Men: cranky little boys in grown mens’ pants.

First Christmas

First Christmas, originally uploaded by Allstarme.

Elliot looks surprisingly unlike himself in this photo. And as commercial and phony as pictures with Santa are, we had to do it. You can’t see the cute little teddy bears on the pockets of that outfit, which is kind of a bummer. But you get what you get. Next year will be a whole lot better.

I promise to take pictures of him wearing that outfit again!

Random, cheaters

I’d like to revisit my prior complaint about holiday traffic/stress for a moment. I tried to drive a mere 1.5 miles from my house and sat in traffic the whole way. I have to wonder why these people aren’t at work, earning the money they’ll inevitably need to pay their phenomenal credit card bills after Christmas. Once I got to my destination – Borders – I had to drive ’round and ’round for the lot was full. Elliot didn’t really allow me much time so I left empty handed. As I got back to my car, I noticed that the couple parked beside me just got in and was about to open their doors. So, since with my Element I have to have both doors open and then put the kid in, I set down the baby seat and waited a sec. I glanced at the car beside me, sort of stared beyond it at the traffic, and was then caught off guard by the middle-aged black man in the car who yelled, “What the fuck you lookin’ at?”

Uh, huh? Taken aback, I sort of sputtered out a reply to the effect of, I thought you guys were getting out and I was letting you go first. He grumbled something, threw something at his wife, and then they both got out and slammed their respective doors. Some things I will never understand, I suppose.

On a tangent, I’m ever so proud of my school right now. ::Rolls eyes with sarcasm::

Cheaters

Not that they would have won a bowl game anyway; we haven’t been good since 1999. Good thing I was here to witness their one last hurrah as a great football team.

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Sleeping, dreaming, shivering

Three nights in a row. That’s how good my little one is. Yes, that’s three nights of much better sleep for me. However, my body is a little slow to catch up with his new feeding schedule and my breasts pay dearly for being overfull. Have another blocked duct and let’s hope and pray it doesn’t turn into Mastitis AGAIN.

With that said, I was thinking about the things I daydream about when I don’t feel well or when things are getting me down. When I was a kid and I had nightmares (actually, I was one of those kids who suffered from night terrors) my mother would come into my room and calm me, telling me to think happy thoughts. I always always always thought about Disney World. The funny thing is, I still sometimes resort to that when I am down. I conjure up images of that first long hallway as you enter the Magic Kingdom, the one where they have posters of the rides lining the walls. I think about the train that circles that park; the teepee and Indians near Tom Sawyer’s island. I remember with fondness the Carousel of Progress and the old song(Now is the time, now is the best time…). I think about EPCOT and Horizons, the best defunct ride. The giant vegetables in The Land, the lighted sidewalks, the weird musty smell at the France pavilion that I complained about every time my mother dragged me into that movie. All of these images made me feel calm and blissful and I could find sleep, even in fever and illness.

The last time I was really sick and the chills and hot flashes kept me awake, I thought about Hawaii. Hands down the best vacation I have ever been on. The reason it wasn’t like any old vacation was because we didn’t stress about making sure we had activities planned. In fact, we did a lot of stuff with little to no planning. We climbed Diamond Head on a whim, bought tickets to snorkel at Hanauma Bay because they sold them in our hotel’s lobby, and went to dinner in fancy restaurants just because we felt like it. Everything was so perfect. Only one day did we feel the slight grumpiness of being in a foreign place; we stayed in the hotel, took baths, and watched Wedding Crashers on Pay Per View. On the day before we left, I went to the spa and had a 90 minute hot stone massage. I had free reign in the spa area: sauna, jacuzzi, showers, etc. When I was sick last time and felt cold, I kept imagining myself in that whirlpool, under a flower wrapped arbor, on the balcony overlooking the entire city of Honolulu. That morning was cooler with a bit of misty rain but still sunny. It was an idyllic setting and one that to this day cannot be matched but serves as a peaceful mental getaway.

Today is cold (30) and overcast. If not for a sleeping baby who is sure to be waking soon, I would run a bath and think back to the above memories and slowly drift away…