Posted by: Hannah | 01/01/2013

my year in review, 2012

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?  Became a mother of three boys. Buried a pet in my backyard. Turned away clients because I had no space in the dayhome. Finished the year with a zero credit card balance. Watched my husband kiss a bear. Bought a bathing suit with an eye to proper fit, not cost. Started texting (no, that’s not a typo). Did all of my Christmas shopping online.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Last year I promised myself that I would try to stay glad, and not be lonely. Considering how seldom I actually got out of the house, I did pretty good. I had a semi-regular coffee date with a couple of moms here in town. My online relationships with some of my flat-friends deepened and – lucky me! – I’m definitely meeting one of these lovely ladies in person soon, and hope to meet more this summer. I also reached out to my younger siblings, which was long overdue, and my whole family is happier for it.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?  Yeah, me! On January 6th we welcomed Baby G, who isn’t really a baby anymore but rather a full-on toddler who steals candy, busts into his brothers’ room to get at the Lego, and yells “go-go-go!” whenever we put a coat on him.

4. Did anyone close to you die? No one very close, thank goodness. My great-uncle died on Boxing Day, after a protracted battle with Alzheimer’s. Of that generation on my mother’s side, there are now only three left – and it was a huge family, once. He was a very kind man who had a dairy farm and drove a school bus. I missed his funeral yesterday because of a rotten winter storm that left behind icy roads and treacherous driving conditions.

5. What countries did you visit? Every year with the ‘what countries did you visit’. As if every year I would be visiting a vast panoply of different countries! My passport would be covered in stamps! In this alternate reality, I would be well-traveled. *sigh* We didn’t get very far from home this year. Baby G hates the car. Like, HATES IT. Unless he’s asleep, his limit is about 45 minutes, tops. Every single time I tried driving any distance from home this year, he screamed blue murder. Low point was definitely a trip to Charlottetown to visit friends. The round trip took ten hours and he screamed for eight of them.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?  Better fitness level. I am really hoping to find a fitness class or outlet of some sort that I can work into my ridiculously crowded schedule. Zumba, yoga, time at the pool – I don’t care, I just really need something that is just for me.

7. What date(s) from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? January 6th, Baby G’s birthday. The day in November when terrified Ron finally managed to duck his head under the water.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  We got our finances in order and managed to end the year with our credit cards and line of credit all at zero. Considering that we started the year with Michael on parental leave for three months and me with only one client instead of the three I need to break even, this was a huge effort for us and I’m quietly thrilled that we’re starting 2013 in such a solid position, financially.

9. What was your biggest failure?  This year I’m taking some umbrage at that word ‘failure’. Everything we do – even the things that don’t work out the way we want to – go toward helping us learn. That said, I think I’d have to say I’m not doing a very good job navigating the changing and complex relationship with my mother. As an introvert I’m inclined to bottle things up, letting them compress into a ball of resentment and hurt feelings that even I can’t see the bottom of, and then everything gets weird (or at least I think it’s weird) while meanwhile I’m pretty sure my mother has no idea that things are strained. This situation has been going on for a long time and I need to make 2013 the year I address it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nope. I never even had the flu this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?  I found a quad stroller on Kijiji and although shelling out the $200 at the time was painful, it was definitely a smart purchase. Being able to load up all the littles and go for longish walks really helped keep me sane, especially during the summer months when Luna spent most of her time here screaming. She liked walks. Therefore, we went on a lot of walks.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?  Harry and Ron are the best big brothers anyone could ask for. Helpful, cheerful, pleasant, patient, and unfailingly kind to their baby brother. I worried that Baby G might have a hard time finding his place because the older boys have such a strong bond, and they do go in their room and slam the door fairly regularly, but they are very good at playing with him in between times.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?  The American gun lobby. I’ve expressed my feelings before – and on Twitter I’ve gotten downright pissy about it – but I’ll say it again. You do not stop gun violence by buying more guns. Ask Syria. Or the Democratic Republic of Congo. And if states can find money to arm teachers but not to provide current textbooks… well. That’s both appalling AND depressing.

14. Where did most of your money go?  Food. FOOOOOD. I don’t drive as much as I used to so our gas bill was lower, and we had a very mild winter so our heating bills weren’t too bad either. But as a family of five big eaters (yes, Baby G is an up-and-comer, that child will eat ANYTHING) we go through a lot of food. We buy in bulk when we can and prepare almost everything from scratch, but even still, we average around $200 a week on groceries.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?  Baby G, of course! (Well, and the camera flash I got for my birthday, and the KitchenAid mixer I got for Christmas.)

16. What song(s) will always remind you of 2012?  Hey, I have an answer for this one! There were three – count ’em, THREE – earworms this year that everyone knew, including me. Gangnam Style, Call Me Maybe, and Someone That I Used to Know. Confession time – I love all three of them. A catchy pop tune is a catchy pop tune. And some of the parody videos were bloody brilliant, too.

17. Compared to this time last year, you are… More comfortable in my own skin.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?  Playing with my own kids.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?  Laundry. Holy shit, but I do a pile of laundry. If I don’t do AT LEAST one load every day, I fall behind. At one point this year my washing machine was out of commission for over a week. It was horrific. By the time the machine was repaired, the mound of laundry was actually and literally waist-deep. It took twelve loads to get everything done. It was AWFUL.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?  Spent Christmas Eve with good friends, as is our tradition. Christmas Day was spent in our pajamas. Tried visiting family on Boxing Day but Ron had a fever, so that was cut short. The rest of the week we stayed pretty close to home, although we did go for brunch with friends at one point. Our usual routine is very busy, with extra kids here all the time and lots of extra-curricular activities as well, so having several days to just flop was blissful.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?  I did – with baking. I love to cook and always have, but baking has never been my strong suit. This year I finally started to get the hang of it, to the delight of my family and the detriment of my hips. Then I started my Sixty-Seven Muffins project and I have already learned loads about how baking works, how the different ingredients cause different things to happen, and where I’ve been going wrong.

23. How many one-night stands?  I have a standing date every Thursday night with this Chinese restaurant. It’s not a one-night stand but it’s the closest I come to cheating on my husband. I don’t like to think what would happen if I could never have their hot & sour soup again.

24. What was your favorite TV program?  Game of Thrones, True Blood, Gordon Ramsay’s Ultimate Christmas. I changed the way I roast my turkey this year based on GR’s recommendation and OH MY WORD, it was fabulous. The best turkey I’ve ever had in my mouth, bar none.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?  That nutcase who runs the NRA.

26. What was the best book you read? The best book I read? I’m not sure, although I did read many more books this year than last. I do know the worst book I read without any hesitation at all was the Fifty Shades trilogy. You can read more about how much I hated them here, here, and here. Those were three of my most popular posts in 2012, by the way. I don’t know much about SEO but tag your posts with that hideous book and watch your page views go through the roof! I still get at least one person every day searching for some idiotic piece of information about those dreadful books and landing on my page by mistake.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?  That Baby G is very musical. Many babies love music, but he’s been trying to sing along for months now. His voice goes all high & breathy, and he trills in time to whatever music he’s listening to. It never fails to make me smile.

28. What did you want and get?  A healthy, happy, baby boy. Professional clients who understand I’m running a business. That mixer. 🙂

29. What was your favorite film of this year?  OK – the only movie I saw in the theatre in 2012 was The Avengers. Not even kidding, that was the only one. And I did love it, so that’s alright. Let’s see – also on the ‘recommended to others’ list – 50/50, The Grey, The Town, and a long list of comedies aimed at 12 year old boys because I find those are more my speed these days.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?  I was 34, and I spent it at home with my family. It was a very quiet day, and at least it was on a Sunday so I didn’t have to work.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?  Being able to sleep past 6AM, ever. Baby G is a fantastic sleeper – best one I’ve ever given birth to, for sure – but he is a very early riser. Doesn’t matter what time he goes to bed, every morning he gets up between 5:30AM and 6AM. He wakes up so that he can have a poop. I tell you this so that you can feel my pain, being dragged out of my cozy bed a good solid hour before I need to get up (and don’t talk to me about weekends), made to cradle a baby who fusses loudly if you put him down, just so that he can be comfortable and snuggly while he has a truly vile bowel movement that I then get to deal with before the sun is even up. Every morning.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?  I’m really trying to focus on getting clothes that fit. And I’m also trying to come to terms with the notion of needing two completely separate ‘wardrobes’ – lots of comfortable, inexpensive clothing for working hours, and a couple of nicer outfits for leaving the house. I’m also on the hunt for a more dressy shoe I can wear when I’m out and about. Right now I own a pair of winter boots, a pair of rubber boots, and my beat-t0-shit sneakers – and that’s pretty much it, except for some heels that make my feet hurt. Thanks to my last pair of slip-ons giving up the ghost about a month ago, when I’m trying to just put something on my feet to go out for coffee I’m at a loss.

33. What kept you sane? Blogging. My online friends – you know who you are, lovelies. Michael taking an equal responsibility for menu planning and taking on most of the meal preparation duties.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Chris Hemsworth. As Thor. As himself. Whatever. I’ll just leave this here:

Um. Yeah.

 

35. What political issue stirred you the most?  Watching US politics this year was like watching a train wreck, but I couldn’t look away. It was… tough. Like watching a family member destroy themselves. Gun control. Reproductive rights. Fiscal cliffs and Congressional inertia and class divisions… oh, it was brutal, continues to be brutal, and is just painful. Here at home, the Coronation of Justin Trudeau continues apace, and makes me stabby. Oh, and Senator Patrick Brazeau is the single best argument for abolishing the Senate altogether. I’ve had more sober second thoughts between my toes after I wear fuzzy socks.

36. Who did you miss?  My real-life friends. Having a new baby put a massive damper on my getting-out-of-the-house time. I plan to remedy that this year.

37. Who was the best new person you met?  I’ve met so many smart, funny, warm, and caring people online and off this year, it’s really been stellar – but one in particular is the wonderful Not Mary P, at Daycare Daze. She’s a professional mentor, a personal friend, a great support to me and a riot, to boot.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:  The only person responsible for your happiness is YOU. I’ve heard it many times, and said it lots too, but this year it really came home to me – because there were days when everything in my life was going ‘right’ and I was still dissatisfied. I’ve been working hard on myself and I think I’m improving on that front.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:  

I will show another me / Today I don’t need a replacement / I’ll tell them what the smile on my face meant

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Responses

  1. Happy New Year!
    Nice meeting you, Hannah, thanks for the muffin recipes.

    • You too! And you’re very welcome!

  2. ok the part about the cuddle poops? Coffee on laptop lady. :p

    Have a great year hannah. You more than deserve it 😀

    • Henceforth they shall be known as ‘cuddlepoops’. Not to be confused with the ‘dinnertablepoop’, which also happens every night just when we’re halfway through eating. Regularity is a beautiful thing.

      • I always did appreciate the regularity, even though it tended to be about 3am with mine. :p I told my BF about the cuddlepoops and he just got the oddest look on his face. he couldn’t understand why I was alternately giggling and feeling bad for you :p

  3. YES on the gun lobby. I tried really hard to stay out of it because I get REALLY aerated on the subject but I did get drawn into one debate on a friend’s post because she posted about stricter gun laws and I said that America’s pro-gun culture is a bigger problem than their actual laws, and told her that in my experience Americans report being much more willing to, say, shoot an unarmed intruder in their home.

    Then an American friend of hers responded with (I kid you not) “Hell yeah I would shoot an intruder in my house, who gives a shit if he was armed. Sorry if that makes me part of America’s “shoot ’em up” culture or whatever, but I’d appreciate you stop bashing my country for things you don’t understand. If those teachers had had guns none of this would have happened.”

    HEAD MEET DESK

    • Yeah, there is one person I know online only – she’s a nice lady, smart and funny, but MAN, do we have opposing political viewpoints. On everything. Including gun control. I try very very hard not to be needlessly antagonistic, and I couldn’t care less about how the US tax system is structured, but when it comes to the availability of automatic weapons there is no middle ground. In the week after Newtown – and then again after that NRA speech – I found myself biting my proverbial tongue a lot. And then just going offline altogether.

  4. I’m making a mental list of all the teachers I had in my 12 years of public school and wondering if there is a single one who I’d trust with a gun. Certainly not any of my gym teachers. English or language arts teachers? Nope. WAIT — my grade 9 drama teacher was also a professional body builder and was very level headed. Maybe her. Not my high school social studies who was also our school’s career counsellor. Mind you, he committed suicide the year I was in grade 12 so it’s a moot point.

    Anyway…

    Who’s the blogger you are meeting?

    • I had some teachers that I barely trusted with a pencil. I had a grade four teacher who grabbed a book out of my hands and threw it across the room because I was too busy reading to pay attention. I had a grade eight teacher who grabbed a heavy dictionary and threw it at the chalkboard because the class was acting up. My mom had a teacher in high school who picked up a desk with the kid still in it and threw the whole works out into the hallway.

      But by all means, let’s take overworked, underpaid, stressed-out people asking to do too much with too little and arm them. Because THAT’S just good sense.

      I’m meeting NotMaryP! I’m SO STOKED!

  5. GAH — my comment was suppose to be a “reply” to IfByYes’s comment, but I don’t think it’s “threading” as such. Mind you, either way it’s not truly related to this post. Sorry, Hannah. I’m scattered today.

  6. Great post, I love your writing style. I feel like I know you so much more now by reading this post. I especially like how you asked the questions. Almost baby’s birthday- are you having a party?

    • Thank you! What nice compliments for me to start the year with. Here’s something else you can learn about me – I’ve never once thrown a birthday party for my kids. *ducks* I always have a cake, and balloons, and they can choose whatever meal they want for their birthday dinner. Sometimes we choose an excursion or special activity. But I have studiously avoided the birthday party thing. Feels too much like working on my weekend, looking after & entertaining other people’s children. 😀

      • Dont worry, I will not being throwing anything at you! Birthday parties are a lot of work.. and I don’t throw super duper ones either.. I’ve never had a “kid party” grandmas grandmas, cousins, that’s it!

  7. Baby G!!! Are you going to name him something else on the blog as he becomes less baby? Just G? I want to think of a good comment but I have no brain power today. So – fun post! I need to do my own year in review.

    Post a pic of your new mixer!

    • Ah, my new mixer. I’m trying to come up a name for it right now. I think Clarissa. Michael thinks Igor.

  8. Can I steal your turkey tips from Gordon? I’m new to the turkey game, and the two I’ve done so far have been pretty good and juicy, but 100% white on the outside. I am seeking golden brownness. What did Gordon say?

    • OK. I’ll post the details later today or tomorrow. Short answer? Don’t stuff the turkey, and use lots of butter. 🙂

  9. “More sober second thoughts between my toes after I wear fuzzy socks” HA ha ha ha. It’s mean AND funny AND true!

    I think I stole your meme for this kind of thing last year. I see no need to disrupt a perfectly fine tradition.

    Sounds like you got a lot done last year. Here’s to better clothes, shoes, coping techniques and to babies who learn how to poop without constant company.

    • AMEN. And since I stole this meme from Carol @ IfByYes years ago, you go right ahead. 🙂

  10. @wrathofmom – my grade 12 English teacher was known to be extremely paranoid and if you walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder, there was a good chance he would punch you in the face. Once I walked up to him with a video camera and he panicked because for a second he thought it was a gun (for my 10 year reunion I put that reaction in slow mo and everyone was highly amused). Can you imagine if HE had had a gun?

  11. Re: Baby G – his name is fine the way it is, but in keeping with the Harry Potter theme, maybe George or Grawp? :-p

    • I was thinking George, actually. Certainly he’s got a well-developed sense of humour for a 1 year old.

  12. Great roundup! It sounds like 2012 was good overall. May your 2013 bring all the good things you hope for and even more. 🙂

    • It was, and thank you. Here’s hoping we ALL have a great 2013!


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