The Story of my Relapse

It was two years ago this very day that I relapsed after coming home from rehab. It’s a story I have alluded to on here whenever I talk about my recovery, but I’ve never told the story in full. To anyone really.

I remember so vividly that it was this day for two reasons. Nobody would shut up about how it was Pi Day, and my husband had a very massive surfing accident that earned him extensive surgery and an overnight hospital stay.

The day started off like any other, really. It was a Saturday, the boys and I were having a lazy morning at home. Brien went off early to surf, as he often did.

As I was getting out of the shower, I heard the doorbell ring. At that time, we had a gate on our house and you had to unlock it with a key, or get buzzed in. Brien did not bring his keys with him when he surfed, so I was pretty sure it was him. I told Bowie to let daddy in. Instead of pushing the button upstairs, he decided to go downstairs and greet daddy.

As I was getting dressed, I heard Brien yelling my name. And saying, “Bowie, go back upstairs, it’s too scary.”

I went down there and Brien was covered in blood, and his nose was…not where it should be. “I think I broke my nose,” he said, cool as a cucumber. “I need to go to the emergency room.”

So, off we went. And the boys and I waited in the waiting room for a while after Brien got checked in, eating breakfast from the vending machines. I got texts from him every once in a while with an update, but he didn’t know much. Eventually he told me we might as well go home, it was probably going to be a while.

And then I didn’t hear from him for hours. When he did text he said he needed surgery, he’d text when he was able to again.

In my mind I’m like SURGERY. Dammit. Is my husband ok? How much will we have to pay for this? I was going into what I can now recognize as Panic Mode. A state that, once I am in it, I have a hard time regulating my thoughts and emotions, and I have a hard time coming back down to earth.

Hours and hours later, I still hadn’t heard anything. I took the boys to the park to get my mind off of things. And, I talked myself into having a drink. I figured that rehab had “fixed” me. That it was ok to have a little wine to take the edge off. I went directly to the grocery store and bought a bottle. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Afterward, I regretted it, of course. But I didn’t crave more, so I still thought I was ok. But, I did crave more in the days that followed. Every couple of days I’d have more. Until eventually, I was right back where I started.

My dad and younger sister came to San Francisco for a visit a few weeks later. I drank my way through their visit, using it to “calm my nerves” or whatever nonsense alcoholic thing I was telling myself. Meanwhile I made a fool of myself and ruined their whole visit. I regret it deeply.

My husband and my rehab counselor urged me heavily to return to the rehab house for a short stay, get my feet back on the ground, try some new strategies. I refused. I insisted that I was fine. Everything was fine. Just a slip up from the stress. I was ok.

Except I was not ok. One afternoon, I picked Bowie up from his OT appointment and as I pulled away from the curb and realized I had a flat tire. A totally flat tire, not the kind of flat tire I could have limped home with. So, I pulled over and called Brien to come help me.

I can change a flat tire. I know how and everything. It’s just that…I was in no shape to be changing a flat tire that afternoon. He knew it, I knew it. Bowie’s OT knew it, everyone at Ferris’ preschool knew it, it was one of the lowest and most humiliating moments of my life.

I went back to rehab for 10 days. I was terrified. If rehab couldn’t work on me, then what hope was there? Would I ever be able to get over this? Would anyone ever want to speak to me again? After a few days of drying out, I was able to see very clearly how and why I wanted to stay sober.

Seeing life as it could be, with me feeling happy and strong, and then returning to that dark and awful place, showed me that it was the happiness I wanted. Everything they were teaching me at rehab suddenly made sense. And I finally, finally took the advice of three doctors, two rehab counselors and dozens of friends and accepted medication for my depression and anxiety.

When I returned home, things were very tense between me and Brien for a while. I didn’t know how to interact with my kids. I didn’t know who knew my secrets, who was mad and judging me and who still wanted to be my friend.

But, I got a part time job, and I went to AA regularly, and I soldiered on. Turns out the majority of people didn’t know, and the ones who did know didn’t judge me. The ones who did judge, they were few, and I knew my life would go on without them. I had help, I had support. I made it to a year without a hitch. That day, as many of you know, is April 22.

I would not recommend a relapse to anyone in recovery. The fall is so much harder than the first time around, and the pit is so much harder to climb out of. It is a very, very dark place. You will regret it.

But what I will say is that for me, personally, it was one of the best things that could ever have happened to me. I finally fully hit rock bottom. Before that, I had been hovering just above. I had my eyes opened to the damage my addiction was really making. I was aware of the control that alcohol had over me, and I was determined to regain that control. I finally admitted that maybe my mood disorders were too much for me to handle on my own. And by taking medication and seeking therapy, I was among so many other people doing the same thing.

I hate Pi Day, for what it represents for me and my family. It was a dark, scary day and I have a lot of bad memories of all of it. And worst of all, I caved to my addiction, which I still feel pretty ashamed of, even though they all tell me not to be.

I learned a lot from the whole situation. I’m not proud of it, but I also can’t discount the benefits it created, ironically. They say that relapse is the rule, not the exception. Not to condone relapsing, but to remind those of us who have relapsed that we are still ok, we can still beat our addiction, we are still worthy of recovery and still worthy of love.

I’m lucky to have been surrounded by an extremely supportive community, and to have a team of people working with me. Some are not so fortunate, but you can be an advocate for someone who is suffering. You can’t force anyone to recover, they have to be ready to do it on their own, or it won’t work, it just won’t. But, you can let them know you’re there for them. Millions of other addicts have gotten better. There is help out there.

World Series 2016

This has been the best, most memorable baseball season of my entire life. I’ve always been a Chicago Cubs fan, and I come from a long line of Cubs fans. This win was HUGE.

And it’s not just about the win. There’s also the love of good baseball, all the memories that come flooding back, and the camaraderie of belonging to a group of fans.

We lived in San Francisco for all three of their World Series wins, and that was magical and wonderful, and I loved seeing the city so upbeat and celebratory. But it was different. The Cubs were still my team.

Year after year, we told ourselves, “There’s always next year.” I usually got bored with them by July, knowing the season was not going anywhere. This season, they had more wins than any other MLB team. They were on fire. I knew they’d go far, maybe even make it to the World Series. And when they made it there, that was enough for me.

But the win. YOU GUYS. So huge, so wonderful, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for 2 days. I have so many great memories of watching games with my Dad. I’ve only gotten to be at Wrigley for a game once, and I got to see Sammy Sosa hit a home run.

I had the awkward pleasure of wearing my Cubs gear and going to a game in San Francisco when the Cubs were in town. It was especially awkward, but totally worth it, when the Cubs would win in San Francisco.

I’ve also know some incredibly dedicated and faithful fans who have passed away and did not get to see this win, at least not from our vantage point. I hope that wherever they are, they know that it finally happened, and I hope they’re celebrating accordingly.

I’m super jealous of my relatives who got to attend the parade, I bet that was so fun.

Here’s to my meager 37 years of hoping and wishing, compared to some people who have waited many more years. It was worth the wait, and even more joyous and amazing than I could ever have dreamed it would be.

Go Cubs! Hugs, Chicago! Fly that W!

flythew

 

My Favorite Day

“What day is it?”
It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day,” said Pooh.” 
― A.A. Milne

I have been through the wringer lately, a story I will share with you another time. But, the experience has taught me to truly treasure the present moment. To open my eyes and take in every little detail I can, and recognize that once a moment is gone, it’s gone forever.

I tended to live in the past and the future a lot. I would constantly agonize or chastise myself over past events. I’d go over and over the event in my head, making a list of what I did wrong, what I could have done, what I could have said, how a different outcome could have affected my present day life.

And I’d do what’s known as “future tripping.” I agonize over what will happen to me and to my loved ones 10 years from now, 5 years from now, 1 year from now, in the next hour, whatever. And I was always in Worst Case Scenario mode. So, one moment I’m signing a permission slip for my older son to go to the museum, and the next, I’m imagining him having an untimely and grisly death in a giant bus crash. Ridiculous, I know. But, this is how my mind, namely my anxious personality, works.

I’ve learned how to deal a little better with all of that. To tell myself to just CTFD and sit with my feelings as I am having them, here and now. And to enjoy the precious time I have with my boys while they are young. I can already see that portions of Bowie’s “babyness” have gone away for good. He is maturing. Slowly now, but it will pick up pace. I can almost imagine him as a teenager now.

And as my boys have been on summer vacation, I’ve found myself wanting to flit and fly here and there with them, and just experience everything we can. Do what we want, when we want to. The moments are even more precious, now that I’m working part time. It’s only a few shifts a week, but that’s 3 or 4 bedtimes I’m missing, chances to wish them happy dreams and tell them I love them before they drift off.

I’ve learned outings with them don’t have to be huge productions. Full days at the museum, complete with dropping a small fortune on lunch there, and making sure to see every single exhibit.

These days, I’m content to sit and watch them run along the beach. Or go to the museum, see one thing, and when Bowie says he wants to leave, I say okay. Or we hit up the park with friends from school. Or we sit on the couch and read books together. This simple stuff fills my cup as much as any grandiose and overly complicated planned-out day.

And I’ve realized that it’s ok if they get dirty. If their clothes get dirty. If they have ice cream too close to supper time. If they fall asleep in my arms late in the day and I know bedtime will be a bitch, I let them snooze anyway. I soak up that beautiful moment and bank it away. I’d rather have memories of them laughing and having fun and being kids, than having to be the “don’t play in the mud”, “no sugary treats before dinner”, “it’s 7:oo, you should already be sleeping” mom.

A lot of people, especially older people, will tell you to “enjoy every minute” with your kids because “it goes by so fast.” Well, duh. But, this is about more than just my kids. It’s about enjoying moments with my husband. Sitting next to each other on the couch, making fun of Naked and Afraid contestants, sharing ice cream from the pint. This isn’t “special”, really, but I know in 20 years it sure will be.

And it’s about me too. Personal fulfillment. Not acting like a new day is something to be endured, but instead something to be enjoyed, and filled with purpose. I got a part time job. I have met new people. I enrolled in school to become a Vet Tech. I am reaching out to family more. I am making something of each day, and at the end of the day, I feel accomplished and satisfied. I used to feel like I was crawling to bed every night, and I didn’t know how I could get through yet another day. I read something somewhere (I can’t accurately give credit) that said basically that the phrase “tomorrow is another day” to a person with depression or anxiety is not a promise, but rather a threat. And I know that was true for me.

But, with the help of therapy, medication, supportive loved ones, and my will to carry on, I’m enjoying today. I’m not listening to yesterday and I’m not afraid of tomorrow.

my favorite day

 

Discard Pile

I’m reading this great book about tidying up your house. Her words seem a little hokey at first, and some of it feels impossible. But, we’ve managed to clear out a whole bunch of stuff already.

In the book, she has a system for the purging. You start with clothes and books, then tackle miscellaneous items, and then move on to the more sentimental stuff.

I’m having trouble getting started with the boys’ room. Because it walks the line between miscellaneous and sentimental. With each little t-shirt and toy I try to toss out, I get stuck in this sort of mom guilt nostalgic state. How can I throw away his very first toy that his Auntie brought to him in the hospital? How can I toss this shirt when he looked so gosh darn cute in it (when it still fit him)?

I know that they are growing, and will keep growing, but I guess I feel like if I keep this stuff around I can somehow delay the process. There are toys that both of them are much too old to play with. Though, those toys do tend to emerge every once in a while as their Toy of Choice for a day. So, then I start to think, will they miss it if it’s gone? Then what do I do? Your baby rattle went to live on a nice big farm with all the other baby rattles that little boys got to big for.

Or an item is tied to a specific event or a special day we had. How can I let go of the dragon stuffie we got on that trip to Portland when he was a baby?

And they have zillions upon zillions of Matchbox cars. I mean, possibly a full ton. I don’t know how to purge that pile. Some of those cars hardly get touched, while some of them remain very popular, and I have to wrestle them apart because a fight will erupt over it. And I don’t know which cars fall into which category.

There’s also a cache of toys I’ve handed down to them. A mish mash pile of old Fisher Price goodies and other such stuff that were still in perfectly good shape, so I handed them over. Those have double sentimental value. I remember fondly playing with those toys as a child, and watching them play with them. A new generation getting enjoyment out of them.

Don’t even get me started on the books. I love buying books for them. I feel like they are a good investment. I want them to enjoy reading. When I’m at a garage sale or thrift store I generally clear the shelf. But, truthfully, they’ve both outgrown some of the titles, and I really should just donate them so someone else can enjoy them. But then all the memories come flooding back of cuddling up and reading those books to them.

I have no qualms about tossing broken toys, or cheap Happy Meal goods, or the little nonsensical items that come in birthday party goodie bags. But, even those I wonder, do they still play with these? Will they miss them?

If you’re an overall tidy type of person, and often toss things out, please tell me how you handle your kids’ items. Is it harder for you? How do you decide what goes and what stays? Am I just being a sentimental weenie about the whole thing?

toys

Year in Review 2013

2013 was a big one. Full of twists and turns, ups and downs, surprises and losses. I’d use the old cliche about emotional roller coasters, but truth be told, I stayed pretty much at the same sad, anxious, emotional level all year. I held things together by using my family and my bloggy community as duct tape. It was really hard to write this Year in Review, which is why it’s being posted so late. Lots of inward observation and reflection. Which gets a little exhausting. I’m hopeful for a happy, healthy, well-adjusted 2014.

1. What did you this year that you’d never done before?

Had to have a pet put down. Had melanoma. Had a lymph node removed. Sent a kid off to elementary school. Appeared on national television.

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

I’m sure I resolved to lose weight, as I always do. I didn’t lose any, I actually gained a small amount, but the gain has leveled off. I’m also sure I resolved to save money. We’re trying. *cough* MEDICAL BILLS CAN BITE ME *cough cough*. More realistically, I’d like just overall stop and smell the roses when it comes to my boys. And I’ll resolve to save money *this* year, because the aforementioned medical bills were recently PAID IN FULL (woooot!). Barring any injury or illness this year, we should do all right.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

My sweet, sweet kitty, Nashua Bean. I’ve had a hard time grieving for him because he was, after all, just a cat. But, also a good, sweet friend for nearly 20 years. He brought so much joy to my life, with nothing expected in return but love, food and scooped poo. He had such a kind soul, and I know he’s somewhere, watching over me.

I also lost a dear friend and favorite high school teacher to breast cancer. She was something really special, and she will be missed by many.

4. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Money. A therapist. More time to myself. My new Etsy shop up and running. More blog posts. A lot less in the cancer department.

5. What dates from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

My melanoma diagnosis. The day Nashua died. The day Bowie started Kindergarten. Ferris’ first birthday. My brother’s wedding.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Finally getting to the dermatologist and getting the cancer before it got me.

7. What was your biggest failure?

Not properly processing my cancer emotionally, and not allowing myself to fully grieve for my cat, and thusly letting myself fall apart emotionally.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Surgery. It was a beast. And I had some nerve damage, so my leg still hurts a bit.

I somehow managed to avoid the norovirus (knock on wood) which Bowie had three times, two of those times within a week of each other.

9. What was the best thing you bought?

My surgery.

10. Where did most of your money go?

Bills still from having Ferris. Cancer bills. Pants for the boys. (They grew SO FAST.) Milk. Rent.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Being cancer free! After spending a week thinking the cancer had spread, it was the hugest feeling of relief I’ve ever experienced.

12. What song will always remind you of 2013?

The song “I’ll Follow You Into the Dark” by Death Cab For Cutie for some strange reason always did, and always will, remind me of Nashua. I think from now on it will make me remember when he died.

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

a) happier or sadder?

b) thinner or fatter?

c) richer or poorer?

a) Sadder, I think. But, it was a hard year, so I’ll cut myself some slack.

b) About the same.

c) Poorer. Still. We’ll get there someday.

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

Traveling, spending time with family, hugging my boys, exercising, crafting, reading. Writing.

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

Yelling at Bowie. Leaving Ferris to play by himself. Worrying.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

We spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day a few hours away at my in-laws’ house. All of my husband’s brothers were there from their many scattered locations, and it was the first time in a long time we’d all gotten together, so it was a lot of fun.

It was also the first year Bowie really got into the Santa thing, and we all had a ton of fun with that.

17. What was your favorite TV program?

Mad Men. Parenthood. Orange is the New Black. Downton Abbey.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old are you?

I turned 34. I honestly can’t remember what we did. It was right after the cancer thing. Right before Nashua died. Sandwiched in between two major events. I think we might have gone out for dinner? Anyway, most days I can’t even remember if I’m 33 or 34, so I’m sure my birthday was as insignificant as my age.

Happy 2014 to everyone, and may it treat us all a little better than 2013 did.

Stuff

When my husband and I ventured west, from Wisconsin to California, we had to pare down our belongings so that everything would fit inside a five foot by eight foot U-Haul trailer, and the back of the hand-me-down Dodge Caravan that we were driving around back then.

My husband had landed a job in California, which he had to start pretty quickly. And, I was slated to be a bridesmaid in my cousin’s wedding that summer. So, he went to California six weeks ahead of me. Leaving me to deal with all of our stuff.

I was amazed at just how much STUFF we had accumulated in our three years together. When we started out, we lived in the tiniest efficiency apartment. It was basically the size of that U-Haul trailer. So, we didn’t have much. We lived meagerly because we just plain didn’t have the space (well, truthfully, we didn’t really have the money either).

In the next three years, we would move into bigger and bigger places, and accumulate more and more stuff. Our last place in Wisconsin was a modest two bedroom house. Somehow, we went from a tiny efficiency apartment to a two bedroom house, and in the meantime, had gotten enough stuff to FILL the two bedroom house. As I packed, I was thinking how does this HAPPEN? We were still living paycheck to paycheck, but look at all this STUFF.

It was embarrassing the amount of trips to Goodwill I had to make, the guy at the donation door filled my last tax receipt out for me, name and all. Also of note are the many hours I spent sifting through STUFF, deciding what would go and what would make the trek to California. Not a lot of stuff made the cut. You’d be surprised at how quickly a five by eight space fills up. I was even handing things to my mom on the day we loaded the trailer. “Here, don’t you need these great canisters? What about this awesome box fan?”

When I first arrived in California, the apartment was barely furnished. My husband had gone to IKEA and gotten a chair, an end table, some lamps and some dishes. We went out that week and got a couch, and a table and chairs, and we filled in the empty spots with the few things I lugged along. But, it was still sparse. We didn’t even have a bed for a month or so. Not very much stuff. Clean slate.

So, that is why it amazes me so much, after six years in California, how much stuff we have accumulated again. I look around our house and think of all the stuff we have purchased just in those last six years. Just in the last 3 years. Just in the last year. I want to do away with all the clutter in our house, but I find it really difficult to pare down again.

I guess I feel like I had to leave so much behind in Wisconsin (there was some stuff that it really bummed me out to see go), that now I will just keep whatever I can. Not like, Hoarders style or anything. I still donate a few boxes every couple of months of the stuff we really don’t need anymore. But, it’s weird, I look around and can point out at least a dozen things in this room that we totally don’t need, that we never use, that are still good and someone else could use them. But, let them go? That’s the hard part.

A lot of stuff goes along with kids too, new furniture, clothes, toys, books and gear. Sometimes I fear we’re giving our son the wrong message about stuff. That you need stuff, and you need a lot of stuff. We try to keep the toy buying to a minimum, but it’s hard to deny that adorable face asking, “just one more race car please” when he asks so nicely.

What is your view on STUFF? The more the merrier? Or, are you also living in clutter, scratching your head trying to remember where all this STUFF came from?

THREE

I sit here in front of these posts every year, because this is what a mommy blogger DOES, by golly. Then I go to write a letter to little man, and all I can think is, “I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you…”

But, let’s get serious here people, HE IS THREE. I remember being equally stunned upon realizing that he was 1 week old. And that he was one year old. And when he started preschool. And when is time going to just stop moving forward already?!?!?!?!?

Dear Bowie,

Well, bug, much to our chagrin, you’re 3 now and still not potty trained yet. Which I’m learning to deal with. Everyone keeps telling me, “He’ll get it when he gets it.” But, if I have to clean poo out of tiny underpants any more…I might just lose my proverbial marbles.

But I do so adore talking with you. You have developed conversational skills like talking in full sentences, having feelings and opinions and answering questions. Even though our conversations go something like this: “Mama, look! It’s Lighting McQueen!!! Wow, what a cool toy. Is he your favorite toy? Yeah, he go SO FAST! And look, he is all red! Sure is! What number is he? Ummmm….7.” I still love talking to you. (Psst, and I always will.)

You’re also remembering things, totally random things, completely on your own without any prompting from me. For instance, the time the police man on the horse was outside the swim school. He was letting kids pet the horse, and you were a little shy, so mama petted him for you. You insisted you would do it “next time”. Next week when we went to swim school, that was all a distant memory for me, but you asked, “Mama, when is the horsie coming?”

And can we discuss the movie Cars? Because I don’t want to forget this hilarious and adorable part of your life. You have nothing short of a complete obsession with this movie. You were already in love with cars, especially race cars, before you saw the movie so it really was a natural fit. But, we watch that movie no less than 4 times a week, often more. And I don’t turn it on because I want you out of my hair for 117 minutes, but because I know the sheer pleasure and joy you get from watching it, even for the 57th time. Cars 2 debuts in theaters this summer. I think I have chosen what will be your first movie theater movie. And I can’t wait to see the look on your face.

It’s been an eventful year, to say the least. What, with all the growth spurts and picky eating and tantrums and potty training and starting preschool. We also moved to a new house since you turned 2, and you took to it like a champ. I think you wanted the extra space as much as we did. We decided to make you a big brother this year, and though we have hit a big bump in the road, that’s still our intention. There’s no telling what this next year will bring for you, but I know you’ll be the awesomest big brother that ever was.

Here’s to another year of your sweet little voice saying, “I love you mama!” because I know those moments will be fewer and farther between all too soon. Here’s to another year of my kisses making all your boo boos better. Here’s to another year of snuggling in your bed with you to help you fall asleep. And here’s to a lifetime of the special bond we have as mother and son. I love you, little man, have a very happy third birthday.

Love,

Mama

Year in Review 2010

A questionnaire that I filled out last year, and I think serves as a great way to sum up the year in one small-ish post.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Interviewed at preschools, started potty training someone, collected unemployment checks, had my dad visit in San Francisco, enjoyed Brussels sprouts (who knew?)

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

Hubbs and I resolved to pay off the car, which we successfully did. We also resolved to move into a cheaper house, which we did. I, however, was not all that successful at losing weight (though I have recently dropped 5 pounds). I had also resolved to sort of come to terms with being laid off and…I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Oh! We went to the dentist, all of us! That was a big one for me.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

Fortunately, no. Though, my Great Great Aunt Frannie passed away this year at the ripe old age of 100, and though we were not “close”, she will surely be missed.

4. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

More money in savings, maybe another kiddo, Bowie in a preschool, more writing work. A pedicure would be nice.

5. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Bowie’s second birthday, because we were visiting in Wisconsin, and a lot of family and friends joined us to celebrate. It was a lot of fun. Also, the week we moved, because it was really dramatic for a lot of reasons. And Christmas Eve, that was sooooo fun.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting Bowie into preschool! I was such a nervous wreck about the whole process, and felt like I was a bad parent that had put it off too long. And I was all, “he’ll get in later, it’s no problem.” But, secretly I was longing for the free time.

7. What was your biggest failure?

Weight loss. I expected a lot from myself. And I could have done it, I really could have. But, I had a lot of hurdles: depression, chronic pain, time. Maybe next year. But I’m done being so hard on myself.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing outside the normal stuff.

9. What was the best thing you bought?

Bowie’s drum set. And his tricycle. And my G2 haha.

10. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, car payments, diapers, milk, fixing my phone, fixing my camera.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving. We found an awesome house, cheaper rent and a great neighborhood. It was a good move for us.

Edit: My good pal Dawn reminded me of our trip to Paris. DUH. We certainly got excited about that, and had an amazing time.

12. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Pretty much anything by the Avett Brothers. For better or worse.

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

a) happier or sadder?

b) thinner or fatter?

c) richer or poorer?

a) Much, much happier. Getting laid off was such a blow to the ego. But, as time moves on, so do I.

b) About the same, honestly. I’ve been down a bit, up a bit, but I think I’m pretty much the same right now.

c) Richer. Paid off medical bills that were haunting us. Paid off our car. Found a cheaper house. It’s been so great.

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

Spending more one-on-one time with Bowie. He’s starting preschool soon, and then he’ll be grown up before I know it. Also, spending time with family far away. It’s so difficult to get out there, be we really should try more often.

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

Worrying. I lay awake many nights worrying about things that either I can’t do a damn thing about, or will eventually resolve themselves anyway. I need to stop “sweating the small stuff”. And procrastinating. It’s true, I do work best under deadline, but not all things in life work this way.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

The night before, Brien put together Bowie’s flashy new tricycle, and on Christmas he woke up early and we urged him to go look in the living room. He stood there and stared at it in a daze for a moment, and didn’t leave it alone for the rest of the day. We were so NOT going to do this Santa Claus thing, but it was so damn fun.

17. What was your favorite TV program?

We were so happy to see the Apprentice come back this year. We were also dedicated LOST fans again, but now that show is over *sniff*. New shows I am hooked on this year: Parenthood, Modern Family, Raising Hope. And, as always, How I Met Your Mother.

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

This year I turned 31, and it was so uneventful that I can’t for the life of me remember what we did. I probably made dinner.

Happy 2011 everyone, hope it’s a winner!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Interviewed at preschools, started potty training someone, collected unemployment checks, had my dad visit in San Francisco, enjoyed Brussels sprouts (who knew?)

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

Hubbs and I resolved to pay off the car, which we successfully did. We also resolved to move into a cheaper house, which we did. I, however, was not all that successful at losing weight (though I have recently dropped 5 pounds). I had also resolved to sort of come to terms with being laid off and…I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Oh! We went to the dentist, all of us! That was a big one for me.
3. Did anyone close to you die?
Fortunately, no. Though, my Great Great Aunt Frannie passed away this year at the ripe old age of 100, and though we were not “close”, she will surely be missed.

4. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More money in savings, maybe another kiddo, Bowie in a preschool, more writing work. A pedicure would be nice.

5. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Bowie’s second birthday, because we were visiting in Wisconsin, and a lot of family and friends joined us to celebrate. It was a lot of fun. Also, the week we moved, because it was really dramatic for a lot of reasons. And Christmas Eve, that was sooooo fun.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting Bowie into preschool! I was such a nervous wreck about the whole process, and felt like I was a bad parent that had put it off too long. And I was all, “he’ll get in later, it’s no problem.” But, secretly I was longing for the free time.

7. What was your biggest failure?

Weight loss. I expected a lot from myself. And I could have done it, I really could have. But, I had a lot of hurdles: depression, chronic pain, time. Maybe next year. But I’m done being so hard on myself.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing outside the normal stuff.

9. What was the best thing you bought?

Bowie’s drum set. And his tricycle. And my G2 haha.

10. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, car payments, diapers, milk, fixing my phone, fixing my camera.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving. We found an awesome house, cheaper rent and a great neighborhood. It was a good move for us.

12. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Pretty much anything by the Avett Brothers. For better or worse.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

a) Much, much happier. Getting laid off was such a blow to the ego. But, as time moves on, so do I.

b) About the same, honestly. I’ve been down a bit, up a bit, but I think I’m pretty much the same right now.

c) Richer. Paid off medical bills that were haunting us. Paid off our car. Found a cheaper house. It’s been so great.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spending more one-on-one time with Bowie. He’s starting preschool soon, and then he’ll be grown up before I know it. Also, spending time with family far away. It’s so difficult to get out there, be we really should try more often.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. I lay awake many nights worrying about things that either I can’t do a damn thing about, or will eventually resolve themselves anyway. I need to stop “sweating the small stuff”. And procrastinating. It’s true, I do work best under deadline, but not all things in life work this way.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

The night before, Brien put together Bowie’s flashy new tricycle, and on Christmas he woke up early and we urged him to go look in the living room. He stood there and stared at it in a daze for a moment, and didn’t leave it alone for the rest of the day. We were so NOT going to do this Santa Claus thing, but it was so damn fun.

17. What was your favorite TV program?
We were so happy to see the Apprentice come back this year. We were also dedicated LOST fans again, but now that show is over *sniff*. New shows I am hooked on this year: Parenthood, Modern Family, Raising Hope. And, as always, How I Met Your Mother.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This year I turned 31, and it was so uneventful that I can’t for the life of me remember what we did. I probably made dinner.

Remember When

Bowie has been making me so crazy lately. No, seriously, I mean CRAZY. If he’s not screaming at top volume because one of his toys is stuck under the couch, then he’s biting me because I won’t let him completely rip apart the detailed model train set at the Conservatory of Flowers. Or perhaps screaming so loudly in the car that, even though we have all our windows up, and the car next to us has all their windows up, they all still turn to see what creature is emitting that horrific noise. Repeat, day after day, hour after hour, except the blessed 7 hours he sleeps at night.

But, the other day, to make some space for piling wrapped presents in preparation for Christmas Eve, I had to move around all of our framed pictures on the mantle, of family and friends and whatnot. And one of those framed pics is Bowie’s ultrasound picture.

I remember when I was pregnant, right after we came home with that picture, I could not stop staring at it. I felt like I had gotten to meet him that day, and I couldn’t wait for him to come out and be with us. And I would imagine the kind of baby he would be, and the kind of man he would grow up to be. I was completely smitten, and all I had was that grainy picture.

I’m trying to remember how I felt back then, how grateful I was to have a healthy baby growing inside me. Before he was yelling and screaming and hitting and biting and throwing toys. Their childhood is so fleeting, I want to try to enjoy every single second. It is so tough, you all know that it is. But I can do it. I think.