01 January 2017

Wrapping Up 2016

Wrapping up 2015
  1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?
    Gave birth
  2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
  3. From Last Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Eating when I'm stressed/bored/sad/celebrating
      LOLOLOLOL
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: light woodworking parenting
      Well, it happened whether or not I was ready for it!
    • A person I hope to be more like: Someone who can easily socialize with others
      I have had to meet and socialize with many new moms to get out of the house and feel like part of a community. It has been very good for me and for baby.
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate my time
      Like...what time? I did end up making freezer meal(s) for new mom(s) in my area, and I stepped up to take on a role in my local parenting network.
    • A place I'd like to visit: England
      Again, pregnant. And then had a baby. Travel overseas for no reason other than to travel? HAHAHA.
    This Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Eating cheese outside of meals
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: Hand Lettering/Bullet Journaling
    • A person I hope to be more like: Someone who can be self aware without feeling awkward about themselves
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate to a Food Pantry
    • A place I'd like to visit: An Alpaca Farm
  4. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Well, I did, haha. It does't get much closer than that! Otherwise, yes, there were a few other babies joining mine in 2016 :)
  5. Did anyone close to you die?
    Fortunately, although I did lose many childhood idols this year, no one closely related to me passed on.
  6. What trips did you take?
    We went to PA for a wedding, and TX to visit with family.
  7. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?
    A full night's sleep
  8. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
    April 8th, the day our daughter came into our lives. Of course, I already forget most of the pain and stress, but I will always remember how that tiny little person joined our family.
  9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    Having a birth that was nearly the opposite of my birth plan in every way, and still feeling as though it was everything that it should have been.
  10. What was your biggest failure?
    Just my big mouth...again.
  11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    My femoral nerve was damaged when I gave birth. I was unable to walk for days. I fell twice (hard). I laid in a hospital bed, needing everything to be handed to me, afraid to shower because I was a fall risk, seeing physical therapists and a neurologist in addition to the lactation consultants and pediatricians. My spirits were high—I had a brand new baby, after all, but it was tough. Thankfully everyone was supportive, and no one withheld her from me if I felt I needed her, because there was no way for me to take charge in that position. I finally left the hospital five days later with a full leg brace (never needed it, thank goodness), and a walker. I barely made it to my front door that first day, I had to pause in the middle of my lawn while my family brought out a kitchen chair for me to rest on!

    Once I got home, I managed to fall a third time in our bedroom. There's still a hole in our drywall shaped like my backside!
  12. What was the best thing you bought?
    We bought a Subaru Outback. I have never had a new car for myself, and it has been very exciting driving around in one of the top safety rated cars with my kid in the backseat (I am so cool!)
  13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    J, because when I wasn't 100% myself after our daughter was born, he took it upon himself to be present and he took more time off from work than I thought he would (and that I thought he would be able to). He made sure we were both taken care of.
  14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    Drumpf - many of the people who voted for him. And especially people who complained that those who "lost" the election were mourning the loss. Oh, I'm sorry that I have feelings. I'm sorry that I'm feeling exactly what you did eight years ago.
  15. Where did most of your money go?
    That brand new baby (and car)
  16. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    Can I mention that I had a baby enough times?
  17. What song will always remind you of 2016?
    Cecelia and the Sattelite by Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness | Closing Time by Semisonic
  18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    Sleep!
  19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    Stress about things outside of my sphere of control.
  20. How did you spend Thanksgiving?
    With our Massachusetts family and friends.
  21. How did you spend Christmas?
    In PA
  22. How will you be spending New Years?
    Probably sleeping, because the baby isn't going to let us sleep in on January 1st!
  23. Did you fall in love in 2016?
    Every single day, with my babe and with my husband.
  24. What was your favorite TV program?
    I watched a lot of things on Netflix, but not one of them was especially memorable...remind me to answer this question when I have time to process shows again, instead of just consume them mindlessly.
  25. Do you "hate" anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
    I think that I've come to decide that "hate," even the mild pretend "hate," is a completely wasted emotion. This doesn't mean that there isn't anyone that could have made this list, just that I choose not to participate in this question anymore.*
    *I have added an addendum to include the strong sense of dislike that I feel for people who mark up library books.
  26.  What was the best book you read?
    Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and Little Blue Truck
  27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
  28. What did you want that you also ended up getting?
    An Outback, a Vacuum Sealer, This Circle of Neglect.
  29. What did you want that you did not end up getting?
    Oddly enough, snow. Last year was miserable, but this year we only got one snowstorm, and I had to snowblow our driveway being miserably pregnant because it was the one day J had a work trip this winter, and plow companies wouldn't come out to our house for such a small amount of snow (enough snow to keep me homebound, too little snow to warrant an emergency).
  30. What was your favorite film of this year?
    Amanda Knox, the Netflix documentary. It was illuminating, even to someone who was pretty familiar with the case.
  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I turned 32. I am sure that Jason and I had a nice dinner, but what I really remember was taking the day off from work, scrubbing the sink, and pampering myself all day long with a face mask and a foot soak (scrubbing the sink was nesting, gratifying, and something I do all the time now).
  32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    I grew a lot from it, but I can't imagine how different my story would be right now if I hadn't damaged my nerve in April. I still suffer from side effects from that trauma now, and it wasn't even "that bad."
  33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?
    A continuation of the maternity pants theme, until they stopped fitting (because the baby was out! Not the other way), then yoga pants and sweatshirts.
  34. What kept you sane?
    My husband, and yoga
  35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Benedict Cumberbatch, America Ferrera
  36. What political issue stirred you the most?
    Just the election in general made me so unbelievably angry. I'm glad that I'm in a like-minded Massachusetts bubble, but I was appalled at how senselessly callous some people can be in the name of politics. Things that they would not normally say about someone are fair game as long as it's an us-vs-them argument and they neglect to remember (or care) that their loved ones are sometimes "them."
  37. Who did you miss?
    My grandmother, as always
  38. Who was the best new person you met?
    My baby :)
  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015
    Always close your mouth when a baby's mouth is near yours, because they just might puke into it for funsies and without warning.
  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
    Of all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you. - Andrew McMahon

28 December 2015

Wrapping up 2015

Wrapping up 2014
  1. What did you do in 2015 that you'd never done before?
    Made a baby
  2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
  3. From Last Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Buying snacks from a vending machine. So, I guess this one waxed and waned, but I tried very hard most days to NOT do this.
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: How to do a stunning cat eye
    • A person I hope to be more like: My husband, who is mindful and organized. I'm still working on it
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate to one of the many public services we utilize. We donated to WERS & WBUR this year, as well as our alma matters, and the conservation lands in our town.
    • A place I'd like to visit: All of the conservation trails in my neighborhood. Definitely have hit up many of the conservation trails in our area. Have absolutely done all of the ones in walking distance of our house and then some!
    This Year
    • A bad habit I'm going to break: Eating when I'm stressed/bored/sad/celebrating
    • A new skill I'd like to learn: light woodworking parenting
    • A person I hope to be more like: Someone who can easily socialize with others
    • A good deed I'm going to do: Donate my time
    • A place I'd like to visit: England
  4. Did anyone close to you give birth?
    Yes indeed! We had a little baby girl come into our circle of friends this year
  5. Did anyone close to you die?
    Thankfully, no.
  6. What trips did you take?
    We went to PA for a BBQ, and MO for a wedding.
  7. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015?
    A new car, a baby!
  8. What date from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
    August 6th—the day I found out I had a + pregnancy test.

    I got that first, faint positive on that Friday night, and was surprised as F*-all. I actually had a glass of wine while I was cooking dinner, and I had poured myself another one. I was feeling light/happy and a little bit tipsy, and thought I'd take a pregnancy test for giggles. I had SO MANY OF THEM, due to buying multiple packs of ovulation strips—it was cheaper to buy them bundled together.

    I dumped that second glass of wine immediately and proceeded to flip my shit in my head. I waited to tell J until Saturday morning when I was able to take a more expensive First Response test, which showed a clear, no-nonsense positive...

    I jumped back into bed and asked him when he'd be awake enough to hear good news, and after that it was the hardest secret I've ever had to keep for 14+ weeks!
  9. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
    I was promoted at work, I managed a group of students for a semester, and I think that they are all talented and amazing, and I can't wait to see what their futures hold.
  10. What was your biggest failure?
    Just my big mouth...again.
  11. Did you suffer illness or injury?
    I had about the worst cold imaginable in January. It affected my respiratory system, and I ended up having to use a nebulizer for my asthma—something that I have not done in years. Then again in August, same thing. Terrible cold, upper respiratory problems, and then bam, in the middle of it, pregnant. Then there was the "morning" sickness, and the bloating, and the emotional stress and the being clumsy and dizzy all the time. FUN TIMES.
  12. What was the best thing you bought?
    Everything for the nursery. A crib from IKEA, fabric for the curtains, lamps. It all came together so wonderfully.
  13. Whose behavior merited celebration?
    My husband, who was my rock during the SIXTEEN WEEKS that I could not tell anyone I was pregnant. Then the poor man had to listen to me go on and on and on about all of my little symptoms and grievances, not to mention deal with my mood swings and utter fatigue and uselessness.
  14. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
    Donald Trump, anyone who supported Trump.
  15. Where did most of your money go?
    Maternity clothes, the nursery, baby related expenses.
  16. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
    When I stopped being nauseated all the time and was able to eat real food again!
  17. What song will always remind you of 2015?
    Shut Up And Dance by Walk the Moon
    Dearly Departed by Shakey Graves
    Wide Open by The Chemical Brothers
  18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
    Exercising before I got pregnant, and generally moving around when I did get pregnant.
  19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
    Being hyper focused on trying to conceive, which would have relieved a lot of stress.
  20. How did you spend Thanksgiving?
    With J, eating homemade Chinese food, then that weekend, we cooked for a small group of friends.
  21. How did you spend Christmas?
    With some friends of ours having a wonderful "Thanksgiving" dinner.
  22. How will you be spending New Years?
    Probably sleeping, since the wee one demands a 9PM bedtime. (We ended up going to our neighbors' house for board games, and I lasted until after 10, since I was drinking sugary Cranberry juice.)
  23. Did you fall in love in 2015?
    Every time we had an ultrasound
  24. What was your favorite TV program?
    The League (rewatch), Broadchurch, Sherlock
  25. Do you "hate" anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
    I think that I've come to decide that "hate," even the mild pretend "hate," is a completely wasted emotion. This doesn't mean that there isn't anyone that could have made this list, just that I choose not to participate in this question anymore.*
    *I have added an addendum to include the strong sense of dislike that I feel for people who mark up library books.
  26.  What was the best book you read?
    The Girl on the Train was really good.
  27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
    WERS
  28. What did you want that you also ended up getting?
    Pregnant!!!
  29. What did you want that you did not end up getting?
    A working commuter rail at the beginning of the year. Our public transit system was out of whack for over a month, and there were many days I spent two, three, or four hours commuting into or home from work. I felt like the entire month of February, and much of March was spent on soul crushing journeys to and from the city, with a group of the biggest, most annoying assholes who treated the situation as though it was everyone else's fault that the transit system shit the bed.
    Bonus: What did you not want that you ended up getting anyway?
    Snow. And more snow. And then some more snow.
  30. What was your favorite film of this year?
    Not a film, but we saw the live broadcast of Hamlet from the Barbican. It was three hours of Benedict Cumberbatch and it was wonderful.
  31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
    I turned 31. J and I went to a restaurant in Boston that we love (Grotto) with some friends, and followed that with an Improv Asylum show.
  32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
    If the commuter rail hadn't failed in the biggest way possible during the winter.
  33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015?
    Maternity pants
  34. What kept you sane?
    Prozac
  35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
    Benedict Cumberbatch
  36. What political issue stirred you the most?
    Everything that wasn't discussed during the debates because look over here, everybody!
  37. Who did you miss?
    My grandmother, as always
  38. Who was the best new person you met?
    One of our neighbors who raises chickens
  39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015
    "Don't spend time with people who don't treat you well," among other things.
  40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
    I knew I loved you before I met you - Savage Garden

21 May 2015

Things I Love Thursday: Dots!

My current favorite game is TwoDots, the followup game to Dots, which was a fun, engaging puzzle game that I originally found through the Starbucks App. From their website:
Inspired by the art of Yayoi Kusama, Dots was created with the notion that beauty and fun are not mutually exclusive. Dots is a minimalist game that was designed to be a soothing experience.
It was soothing, and I loved playing it, but eventually, it just became habit and I wasn't really getting anything new out of the never changing game. I would open it on my phone while I was in waiting rooms, or on the train, and I just wasn't having fun anymore, although it was still soothing and calming.

But then...then they released TwoDots.
Join two brave dots as they traverse arctic tundras, navigate fiery jungles, and plunge the ocean depths. TwoDots is a modern-classic puzzle game where you simply connect colored dots to score points and complete objectives.
Two dots is fantastic. They keep adding levels and the "adventure" keeps continuing with new and exciting types of "bad guys" to beat. It's puzzles and adorable little dots all at once. The graphics are lovely, and the animations are great. People even download the soundtrack.

I highly recommend this addictive game. If you've never played the original, Dots, it's also fantastically addictive.

26 March 2015

Things I Love Thursday: Murder Edition

I recently got J into watching HBO's the Jinx with me. It is a documentary about Robert Durst, and while there has been a lot of criticism about it, it has also taken off like Serial. The whole internet is into it, and that excites me. I got Jason to watch it because he listens to our local NPR station every morning, and was listening after Durst was arrested.

On the way home he said, "I was listening to something I thought you would like [because murder]. This guy was arrested, and I guess he had something to do with his wife disappearing a long time ago...and then he moved to Texas..."

"Robert Durst?"

"Yeah, and he was arrested for murdering this woman..."

"Susan Berman?"

And then I told him about the Jinx, and suddenly, he's watching Murder Porn with me. This is a good year for Murder.

12 March 2015

Things I Love Thursday

My Job—I was just promoted at work, and I am so excited for things to come. I get the jitters at my desk every day, and I am challenged in new and exciting ways. I get to mentor people! I am just so thrilled to work at such an awesome supportive company.

The White Queen—a Starz network show based on Philipa Gregory's novel about the Lancasters and the Yorks. CHILLS. I love this period of British history!!! It's my new Amazon Prime go-to show.

05 March 2015

Things I Love Thursday

I love how, adorably, Benedict Cumberbatch still can't say "Penguins." He managed to get it out correctly the first time, but going forward it's just pengwings. Pengwings everywhere (he says it 17 seconds into this video):

26 February 2015

Things I Love Thursday

It's BACK! I am officially bringing back Things I Love Thursday.

And for my triumphant return, a video of Benedict Cumberbatch not being able to say the word penguin:


Along with a video of Benedict redeeming himself on the Graham Norton Show:


What else is on the shortlist?
Performing a task exceptionally well at work Watching House of Cards with my husband Knitting on the train the deer that come about our house and leave trails in the snow while we're away