Posted by: Hannah | 12/31/2011

my year in review, 2011

New Year’s Eve! Since I don’t seem to be having a baby yet – stupid baby – I figured it was a good time to do my annual year in review post. Then I’ll take out the Christmas tree, clean the dayhome, sort the boys’ Lego into storage bins, fix the fence, make turkey soup, and anything else I can think of that will SHAKE THIS BABY OUT GET OUT BABY WE WANT TO MEET YOU.

1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before?  Took a photography class. Started and finished NaBloPoMo. Was in a car accident bad enough to necessitate a trip to the ER. Accidentally took a turkey out to defrost too soon and had the throw the entire thing away when it gently rotted in the fridge. Took Harry on an out-of-province roadtrip, just the two of us. Actually got over my feelings of inadequacy and country-mouseness long enough to eat – twice! – at the trendiest restaurant in the city.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?  I don’t do new year’s resolutions. I find them difficult to keep – and they change, too. What I think is very important on the last day of the year may seem silly come April. Yesterday Bon posted Woody Guthrie’s resolutions for 1942 and I am going to print that sucker out and stick it to my fridge. My personal favourite items are “don’t get lonesome” and “stay glad”. Just imagine how wonderful life would be if we could remember to stay glad, when we have every reason to feel good!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?  My sister had a lovely chubby baby boy on Groundhog Day. He does not look like a groundhog (well, much). He’s my only nephew so far and I have a bit of a soft spot for him. I loves me some boys.

4. Did anyone close to you die?  My grandfather died in a messy and protracted way in March of this year. It was draining, and sad, and frustrating – he probably could have lived if only he’d dropped his guard for long enough to let anyone help him when he first became ill, but instead he fought and cursed and resisted. I rushed home when he was hospitalized and spoke to him very briefly before his lucidity left him forever. I sat a vigil and held his hand and did everything I could to offer him comfort. He did not ‘go gently into that good night’; he fought it and railed against it and battled with death even though he’d seemed tired of life for many months.

5. What countries did you visit?  We went to Ontario this summer with the boys to visit Hubs’ family. I didn’t leave the country, though. It’s on the long-term plan (think in ten years). We have friends in Maastricht and other friends emigrating to Portugal next month, so we’ve got places to stay – it’s just a matter of trans-Atlantic flights for a family of five.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?  More time and focus to work on my photography. Reliable clients. More mobility (this pregnancy started kicking my ass early). A 50mm lens for my camera. Freedom from the small voice in my head that runs me down.

7. What date(s) from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Feb 2nd, my nephew’s birthday. Middle of April, when I found out I was pregnant again.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  I made it through a whole year running the dayhome, and most days I did love my job.

9. What was your biggest failure?  This was not a good year for my relationships with my family – my mom and my youngest sister particularly. Earlier in the year there were harsh and hurtful words exchanged on all sides and even though things are getting back to normal I still think about it at least once a week and wish I had handled things differently.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not really. Pregnancy I suppose doesn’t count as an ‘illness’, although at several points during the first four or five months I would beg to differ. Oh, when we had the car accident it made my already-sore back and hip joints worse, and I ended up going to two different massage therapists just so I could keep going. But everything wrong with me is transient and really quite minor.

11. What was the best thing you bought?  My new laptop is wonderful. My friends live in it. Also the aforementioned photography class. And gently-used crib for the baby on Kijiji. It’s a far nicer and more stylin’ bed than the boys had.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?  My kids! They are respectful, helpful, pleasant to their parents, their friends, and each other. They let me sleep in, share their toys, and have been unfailingly supportive and excited about the new baby. I really couldn’t ask for more delightful children.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?  My clients. ‘Appalled’ might be a strong word but certainly I was saddened and annoyed by some of the things my clients did; at least once every client I had demonstrated a complete lack of respect for me and my family – or worse, for their own children.

14. Where did most of your money go?  Let’s see… clothes and toys for the kids. FOOD. Gas. Cable / internet / phone. FOOD. Insurance. RRSPs (enjoy my money, Greece, you bastards). Did I mention food? We spend a LOT on food. We have become foodie snobs and while it is possible to get deals as you get to know more local producers, it is still expensive to try and eat local / organic meats and produce.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?  Babies! Mine and other people’s. All the fantastic and hilarious women I met on Twitter this year. Our family vacation. Reconnecting with old friends from back home.

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2011?  Oh crap, the music questions. Don’t be asking me music questions, I don’t listen to anything new ever.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are… the most pregnant person alive. More relaxed about money – hey, it comes and it goes.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?  Walking the dog. Reading actual books instead of silly pop culture items on time-wasting websites. Taking pictures.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?  Complaining. Worrying about what other people are thinking of me / saying about me.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?  Spent it quietly, in our usual fashion – big turkey dinner with friends on Christmas Eve,  then spending the big day in pajamas assembling 50 million bits of Lego. We only went visiting once this holiday and you know what? It was really nice to just have the four of us home, with no extra kids and no real responsibilities or need to be anywhere or do anything.

21. Did you fall in love in 2011?  No, I’ve already got that covered.

23. How many one-night stands?  This question makes me think this list was originally written by someone much younger and more interesting than me.

24. What was your favorite TV program?  This year HBO had so many shows I got addicted to that I actually unbent and paid for the premium cable package just to watch them. True Blood! Game of Thrones! Real Time with Bill Maher (even though sometimes he is a total asshole, a lot of his guests were fascinating). The Big Bang Theory. Even How I Met Your Mother redeemed itself and had some storylines that were truly moving.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?  Hate is a strong word. I don’t think I hate anybody. Strongly dislike, sure. But hate? Not so much.

26. What was the best book you read? *sigh* I didn’t really read books this year. I did get Tina Fey’s Bossypants for my birthday and it was a hoot, although not really one for frequent re-reading.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?  Grooveshark. At long last, a free and possibly illegal way to indulge my taste in songs that were recorded thirty years ago.

28. What did you want and get?  Pregnant. At the beginning of the year when we started trying, we confidently expected that we would get pregnant right away, as we did with the boys. And then… we didn’t. Now, it only took a few months and believe me, after being part of the blogging community for almost seven years now I know we are completely blessed. But I still have a hard time wrapping my head around just how demoralizing that was. The low point was April Fool’s Day; I was visiting my sister to finally meet my nephew for the first time and that very morning I got my period. Holding that chubby little bundle and smelling his little baby head while knowing I wasn’t pregnant – again – was tough.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?  Please, I’m a Potterhead. Deathly Hallows Pt 2 finished off the series on a high note. I went to see it on opening night… in 3D… at the IMAX… with my sister and a whole roomful of fellow nerdly maniacs. It was a wonderful fun shared experience. I also really dug Moneyball, far more than I thought I would.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?  Let’s see… I was 33, and we went to dinner at this restaurant, which still stands as one of the best meals I ever ate.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  I don’t know, it was pretty damned satisfying anyway.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?  Stained maternity clothes, a belly band, and the same pants day in and day out for four months counts as a personal fashion concept, right?

33. What kept you sane? My Twitter peeps. You know who you are. Without your wise council, support, and hilarity this year would have been much more difficult.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?  I simply refer you to my post of sexiest men. Take your pick. (Although you know, I just realized I forgot to put the eminently fanciable Alexander Skarsgard on that list! Shame on me. Here is a picture for your edification and viewing pleasure).

35. What political issue stirred you the most?  Good lord, we had another goddamn federal election this year. And the Conservatives got a majority. And the Liberals imploded and may never recover. And the NDP became the official opposition because Quebec decided they’d had enough of Gilles Duceppe and went over to Jack Layton, who then died. And the NDP’s new interim leader is a non-entity and the slate of leadership candidates is depressing. The one candidate who has actual leadership experience dropped out because the country pilloried his bad French. I dunno, Canada likes to mock the US for the disarray their government is in, but I don’t know that ours is much better.

36. Who did you miss?  I wish I had a transporter, or at least a $50m lottery jackpot, so I could meet all my Twitter friends in real life. I’ve never had so many people I wish I could hug.

37. Who was the best new person you met?  Now, this is just a popularity contest and I refuse to answer. I met too many wonderful people to choose, for heaven’s sake.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011:  You can’t win, with six year olds. Best to just let them scream until they get it out of their systems. Same with three year olds, really.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:  A bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down, and won. And it was 12 o’clock before I realized I was havin’ no fun.



  1. Alexander Skarsgard…

    What’d you say?

    Happy 12, Hannah. Can’t wait for that baby myself.

  2. I was frantic because I couldn’t get into twitter this morning and I was sure you had had the baby! I’m glad you posted this or I would have spun off the planet, not knowing. Maybe the baby will come tonight! COME ON BABY. Hurry up!

    I like your year in review!

  3. between Woody Guthrie’s resolutions and your John Prine lyrics (love), i think your baby must be a folkie. a little Arlo? Joni?

    happy happy new year, Hannah. yours is probably the news of the new year i’m most excited about!

  4. Oh, I have to steal this. I never know how to organize my year review post (although Nicole’s way was good too – I think mine last year was just one big blobby paragraph and it was NOT satisfying or aesthetically pleasing).

    Totally concur about wanting to embrace The Twitter.

    Come on, Baby!

  5. Happy New Year to the Hodge Podge family! Great list!

  6. Happy New Year!

  7. Number 23 made me laugh!

  8. Hope you have a great 2012… and hope that baby comes already! Didn’t he/she know he/she could’ve been a tax break for 2011?

    I’m a January 7th baby and I’ve been reminded more than a few times that I just missed the tax year by 7 days 😉

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