1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Had a brand-new human being emerge out of my body. DUH.
2. Did you keep your New Year's Resolutions, and will you make more for this year?
I don't even remember whether I made any resolutions last year. Didn't make any this year. I don't like the whole ... AURA around New Year's Resolutions. They seem designed to let you down, or for you to let yourself down. I gave up on the whole concept ages ago.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Yep. Sister-in-law N and girlfriend C both had precious babies just four and and a half months after boy was born. Our kiddos hang out a lot together. (Although I will say that emlocke answered this question brilliantly with, "No. Nobody gave birth while close to me either, which is an even greater relief.")
4. Did anyone close to you die?
5. What countries did you visit?
None but the good old U. S. of A. Had the opportunity to travel to Haifa, Israel, but had to turn it down. Someday.
6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
A pair of jeans I adore. And that are a size 8 or 10 that fit. I'm really tired of doing the Shimmy of Shame into my size 12s.
7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched in your memory, and why?
Boy's birthday, for sure -- January 26, 2008.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Learning to forgive myself for not being perfect. Also, asking for help in dealing with my postpartum depression.
9. What was your biggest failure?
There was a time when I might have answered this with, "Getting an epidural and having a surgical birth," but not anymore. I gave that experience everything I had, plus I ran a fever that made surgery necessary, anyway. And at the end of the day, I got the same baby I would have gotten if I'd been able to stick it out and have the birth I'd envisioned.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I dunno. How do you classify medically-augmented labor with no pain medication?
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Books for myself that had NOTHING to do with pregnancy, labor, parenting, infant sleep habits or breastfeeding. I am LOVING getting back into the habit of reading for fun. Recently completed: "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers," by Mary Roach. EXCELLENT non-fiction work about the benefit we've derived as a race from the generous people who have allowed their bodies to be used in scientific research after their deaths.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hm. From first smiles and laughs to first words and now STEPS, I'd have to go with the obvious and say boy's did.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Anyone whose behavior was reported on the nightly news, just about. I've boycotted local evening news for a long time now for good reason. You pretty much only hear about rapists, murderers, crooked politicians and other distressing figures. ... Also, MY OWN for how crazy I got about the first three "Twilight" books. I read them so fast you would have thought I was trying to use the pages to fan myself with. I've said it before, but I really don't think they're nearly as well-written as they could have been. The compelling events in each book take place in the last quarter of each one, and a great deal of the leading angst could have been trimmed considerably. Still haven't read the fourth one, and wondering if I really need to.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Probably to debt-reduction, but it really feels like I should say diapers. Good grief, we buy a lot of diapers.
15. What did you get really, really excited about?
Sadly, being able to get back to taking a shower every day without fail. Even a year after boy's birth, some days are still hit or miss. Also, Green Bay Packers games. And now, New York Jets games too.
16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
It didn't come out in 2008, but Five for Fighting's "100 Years" will always remind me of boy's birth.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier.
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner, due to birth-related weight loss. I recommend it. Getting entire people out of your body can really help you drop the pounds fast.
c) richer or poorer? Emotionally richer. Poorer in terms of sleep. Everything else is probably about the same.
18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Sleep. Exercise. Blog. Staying connected with good friends who are important to me, but with whom I rarely talk.
19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressing about what people thought of the job I was doing as a mother.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my dad's extended family, soothing an overtired boy and hoping he'd sleep in his Pack and Play so that we could stay at the celebration longer.
21. Did you fall in love in 2008?
Yep. Not only with boy, but with his daddy all over again. It's been a joy to watch husband very quickly step into the role of daddy. He's a natural, and he loves his new job very much.
22. What was your favorite TV program?
What's TV? When I did watch it, I watched The Office and Heroes.
23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Like Jon at badlighting, I really don't like that word. It's pretty heavy. But I'll go out on a limb and admit that I have not been impressed with Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers.
24. What was the best book you read?
I dunno. The one I read most often was "Ten Little Ladybugs," by Melanie Gerth.
25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
That most battery-operated musical toys for boy have an "off" switch.
26. What did you want and get?
A beautiful, healthy, intelligent and delightful baby ...
27. What did you want and not get?
... who is a good sleeper. I'll take the baby I've got any day, though. He's exactly the baby God wanted me to have, and I know He's teaching me through this boy. I just have to be open and attentive to learning those lessons.
28. What was your favorite film of the year?
I didn't see many, but I did manage to catch "The Dark Knight." I thought about that one for a long time after I saw it. Loved it.
29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Celebrated with friends who surprised me, as I turned 33.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting fit and slender.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Dairy-encrusted. Nursing-related. Occasionally sporting spit-up as an accessory.
32. What kept you sane?
Prozac. Husband. Mom. My brothers. The night nanny we hired for a few isolated nights when boy was two months old.
33. What celebrity/public figure did you admire the most?
The Obama family, for how they handled the pressure and attention that the election cast upon them. I'm hoping he's the leader I believe him to be -- poised, intelligent, thoughtful and conscientious.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
2008 was the year that "unity" became a political issue, and it was that dialogue more than anything that compelled me to get excited about the possibility of a new era.
35. Who did you miss?
My gramma and grampa. They would have loved meeting and playing with boy.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
Not a fair question. Almost everyone I know now (and have known for years) is a new person to me, since they've had to become grandparents, aunts, uncles, and more over the last year. I will say that I'm super-grateful for my amazing mom's group girlfriends, who are REAL. They're loving and accepting and delightfully REAL.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
I learned a lot of them last year. I'll share a few:
Occupy the top half of the baby while you're changing the bottom half, because after a certain age, diaper changes cause baby boys to make quick-handed swipes for their peeps, even if said peeps are covered in poo.
Don't bother changing the baby out of his jammies before breakfast. He's somehow going to end up with applesauce on his elbows anyway, so you might as well wait.
38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Husband and I still get a little choked up when we hear this one: "I'm 33 for a moment / Still the man, but you see I'm a 'they' / Kid on the way, babe, and family on my mind ..." -- "100 Years," Five for Fighting. Husband was actually 33 when boy was born, so there's personal resonance there.