2013 meme

Jan. 7th, 2014 01:55 pm
eohartman: (Rowdy)
[personal profile] eohartman
Years past: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?
Successfully kept a human alive for an entire year, witnessed my husband go through the most unimaginable pain possible and took a road trip with Toby on my own.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't really do new year's resolutions, so I didn't have any to break nor do I have any to make. [Same as last year's.]

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yes! This was the year of births: my brother Ben had a girl in January, our friends Kevin and Kristen had a baby (also in January), and there were tons of LJ/twitter/FB people who had babies: [livejournal.com profile] glowbutt, [livejournal.com profile] papayarain, [livejournal.com profile] thejoysofjess, Stephanie, [livejournal.com profile] emstar21, [livejournal.com profile] birdsonthewire, [livejournal.com profile] chasingangie05, [livejournal.com profile] cme2694, [livejournal.com profile] enogitna, [livejournal.com profile] jessicala, [livejournal.com profile] lilsayermonster and [livejournal.com profile] moober. WHEW.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Dustin's Granny died in January and my great aunt Peggy died in April. Although both deaths were expected (they had been failing in health for years and had been in/out of hospitals and nursing homes), we were both still pretty devastated. I also found out that a former coworker was murdered on Thanksgiving, so that sucks.

5. What countries did you visit?
Ha. Definitely not this year.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
My family to be healthy. (And maybe another fetus?)

7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 26th - Dustin's spinal cord surgery
November 11th - Toby took his first steps; our 7th wedding anniversary

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Breastfeeding for an entire year. Toby had tongue-tie and lip-tie (which we got fixed when he was three days old), I had to use a nipple shield for awhile because he had poor latch, we dealt with thrush, mastitis and an overactive letdown (and resulting reflux). Most of all, though, I had to balance breastfeeding and pumping with the other challenges in life. When Dustin was in and out of the hospital in February, March, April and May, I had to remember to bring my pump with me each time. I had to pump often, in front of many, many (many!) people (including hot doctors), and Toby went from primarily nursing during the day to nursing the most at night, when I was able to be with him. My supply dropped dangerously low so I had to dip into my freezer stash (which hurt me SO much, as that was the milk I had worked so hard to pump to donate!) and I even had to start taking (not-FDA-approved, bought from overseas) medicine in order to get my supply back up to a sustainable level. Despite all of this, we managed to continue a successful nursing relationship. There were several times where I thought we wouldn't be able to make it, but we managed to overcome it all and he's never had to have formula. Now we're on Month 13 of nursing and he (nor I) have any plans on quitting anytime soon! I still pump while I'm at work so he can get breastmilk at school, too.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I let Toby CIO (cry it out) on several occasions when I just got so frustrated with his sleeping issues and couldn't handle it anymore. I suppose I should be proud of myself for walking away when I knew I was getting angry, but I'm more disappointed in myself for not keeping it together and caring for him in the manner that he needed.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I have some severe stomach pains of undetermined cause that occurs about once or twice a month, which is annoying. I've been informally diagnosed with PTSD due to seeing Dustin in so much pain before/during/after his spinal cord surgery. So there's that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Health insurance. We cashed in on that sucker this year. Dustin's surgery, hospital visits, and related expenses totaled over $125k. Our out-of-pocket expenses? Less than $300. Boo-yah.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Our family and friends. We had a lot of shit go down this year and they really helped us get through some hard times. I heavily relied on my family and friends to help with caring for Toby when Dustin was recovering from surgery, for emotional support through everything, and for tons of advice.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Our government. I'm really annoyed at their inability to get anything done.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Childcare, which is about $900/month (just for part-time!). Ouch.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Watching Toby grow up and discover new things, like how to move his arms to grab toys, or learn to crawl and walk! It is neat to watch him grow and change on a near-daily basis now as he picks up on things and learns how to interact in a different way.

16. What song will always remind you of 2013?
Royals by Lorde

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder? Happier!
b) Thinner or fatter? Thinner! I'm down to a size 14, y'all. I am so ecstatic by this!
c) Richer or poorer? Richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Sleep. I have a child who is very difficult when it comes to sleep - he is a year old and still wakes up every 3ish hours. I don't even know what I'd do if I had 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Cry. Worry. Be fearful of the future.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
For Christmas Eve, we went to an evening church service at my aunt's church, then went to a friend's party. Christmas morning, we woke up and opened presents, just the three(!!) of us at our house. Then we went over to my parents' house, ate breakfast, and opened up more gifts with my parents, my brother, SIL, niece (2.5 years old), my aunt, and my two grandmothers. That afternoon, we went over to Dustin's sister's house for an hour to open gifts, before going to my brother and SIL's house for dinner.

21. Did you fall in love in 2013?
Over and over again. <3

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
NCIS, Real Housewives of Orange County (shut up), and Modern Family

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

25. What was the best book you read?
Cold Spell, by Jackson Pearce. Right after Dustin had his surgery, she and another friend of mine came to visit me at the hospital, and she gave me an advanced reading copy of the book. I read it while taking care of him in the hospital and it really helped keep me sane.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don't think I made any musical discoveries this year. That's sad.

27. What did you want and get?
Continuing to work part-time. When I was pregnant, my boss told me that I'd be able to work part-time for three months after I came back from maternity leave, but then I'd have to return to work full-time. At the end of those three months, I told him that either he could continue to have me part-time, or I was prepared to leave the company. It took him several weeks to work out the details, but he managed to find a way that I could continue PT. :-)

28. What did you want and not get?
A full night's sleep.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
I only saw two movies in the theater this year - Gatsby and Man of Steel. I don't think I saw any movies at home - we rented a couple, but never got around to watching them. It's hard to find the time to sit down for 2 hours when you have a baby.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30. I had a couple of small celebrations with friends and family. Nothing extremely exciting, but it was still nice. On my actual birthday, my aunt and grandmother took me out to lunch and babysat Toby so I could get a much-needed haircut. Dustin and I went out to dinner the next day.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If my family didn't suffer as much illness, injury, and emotional pain.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2013?
Does it have spit-up or shit on it? Nope? Okay, then I'm wearing it.

33. What kept you sane?
My family and friends.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I still love Jimmy Carter.

35. What political issue stirred you the most?

36. Who did you miss?
My great aunt Peggy. I wish I had been able to see her more often before she died, but between being pregnant and having a newborn, it didn't lend itself much to visiting her in the nursing home (especially because they were on "lockdown" frequently due to illnesses). I've been thinking about her a lot lately, since Christmas was always built around making thousands upon thousands of Christmas cookies with her each year.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I met several new online people: Emma, Rhian and Chrystal. Although I didn't meet her in 2013, I reconnected with an old acquaintance from high school who had a baby the same time I did, and we go walking once a week. She's become one of my closest friends.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.
It's okay to ask for and accept help - it doesn't mean you're weak. Family and friendships are give and take - this was definitely a year where I "took" more than I "gave," which was a first for me. Between a colicky baby who would cry for 8+ hours a day until he was 3 months old, to an ailing husband who quickly became crippled and needed serious spinal cord surgery (and then had to learn to walk again), to balancing work with everything else, I heavily relied on family and friends to help us out. After all the goodness that we've done for other people, it's okay if some of that goodness is shared with us, too.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
"And nobody, nobody knows
Let the yoke fall from our shoulders
Don’t carry it all, don’t carry it all
We are all our hands and holders
Beneath this bold and brilliant sun
And this I swear to all" - Don't Carry It All by The Decemberists

40. Do you think 2014 will be a better year for you?
God, I hope so.
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