Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Back in the saddle again

Well look at that.  Um, where did the year go again?  I think an end of the year round-up is probably an easier way to explain where I've been.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?

Biggest and best news: I gave birth to a little girl!  That's a whole story in and of itself, but let me just say that our daughter joined our lives right before Thanksgiving and while it's been kind of crazy, we've never looked back. The Texan and I are absolutely thrilled.

Second biggest and saddest news: My family put together a wake and a funeral for Mama Ladyship, who died in August.  We knew that the end was near but somehow it still managed to punch us all in the guts. 

I guess this makes this the most shallow thing: I went to Singapore and Tokyo.  Loved Singapore - it's like a tropical paradise without the bugs and with modern accoutrements!  Could take or leave Tokyo though. 

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

Oh god, I don't even want to check what I wrote for last year. Without reading them, I can say that probably no, I did not keep them. I will not even bother making any for this year, as I've already learned to throw a lot of planning out the window with La Principessa in the picture.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I guess I count.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Wow, I really stepped on my lead with the answer to the first question.

5. What countries did you visit?

Again - I just pissed away all my exciting news in the first answer. Oh, I did go to Switzerland in March and got to go to the birthplace of Gruyere cheese.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

Our daughter home with us - she came a few months before her due date and has been continuing baking at the NICU ever since.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The birthdate of my daughter and the date that I actually went into the hospital for her, which was three days before I delivered her.  Pro tip: just because your water breaks, it doesn't mean that you are going into labor. 

The date my mom died; the day of my 20th high school reunion, because it was the day before her wake; the day of my mom's funeral (two months later).

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Just to have something new to talk about besides our daughter, I will bring up a work event that I put together in Singapore in the spring.  It took months of planning and careful coordination, and went off beautifully, which was a relief because there were times where I was ready to pull the plug on the entire thing. 

9. What was your biggest failure?

 I still am far too likely to let daily deadlines drive my work schedule rather than plan them myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

YES - nothing serious, but while in Switzerland, I managed to miss a step while visiting a castle and fall down an entire flight of stone stairs. You haven't lived until you've done somersaults on stone.  I had visions of all those Bollywood movies where the actor falls down the stairs and always manages to snap their necks and die by the bottom.  No serious damage but I had the most impressive set of bruises up and down the entire length of my left side and I couldn't lift my left arm all the way up for the better part of six months.  This happened outside of the city of Ouchy. For serious.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

A Hello Kitty purse for work that is purple and looks like a quilted Chanel bag until you get up close and see that there are Hello Kitty's imprinted all over it.  This was in Tokyo. The second best thing I bought was also in Tokyo: a pink sparkly neckerchief for my cat, purchased at one of their cat cafes.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, living expenses, the occasional - and I mean OCCASIONAL - night out.

13. What did you get really excited about?

Finding out that I was pregnant - nine weeks into the pregnancy. Long story there.

14. What song will always remind you of 2012?

 I listened to a lot of music this year but nothing jumps to mind.

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

– happier or sadder? Happier.
– thinner or fatter? Thinner, only because of stress and pumping breast milk.
– richer or poorer?  I think about the same.

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

I wish that I'd called home more after my mom died; my dad and she were married for 49 years and I know he's lonely. Okay, I take it back: my New Year's resolution is to be better about keeping in touch with my dad.

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

Middle of the night worry sessions.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

The Texan and I spent xmas here in DC.  We let a few things slide - half the gifts were just placed under the tree in their Amazon boxes - but we had a nice holiday. We spent the day relaxing at home and then at night, went to go visit the baby at the NICU.  They were really nice and gave us a gift bag with a picture of Santa visiting La Principessa - she was sound asleep at the time, which I guess is appropriate.

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Drama: Breaking Bad.  Comedy: Happy Endings.  Reality: Amazing Race.

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

I've been better about keeping a list of books that I want to read (and following up on it - hooray for the library's request system), but nothing has really struck me as an OMG read.

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

Still a fan of Indie Pop Rocks on Soma.fm.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

See, this is why I can't get anything done - my brain just will not focus these days. Nothing is really jumping out at me.  And I've watched a lot of movies: the last two months of my pregnancy, I wasn't on bed rest per se, but was under strict orders not to move around any more than I had to.

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

I was in Singapore for work and got to hang out with a very dear friend from grad school who lives there now. She and her family took me out on the town, including Sentosa Island, massages, the night zoo, and drinks at 57 stories up at the Marina Bay Sands' open air bar. I was 38.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not to keep harping on it, but it would have been nice to have taken our daughter home from the hospital when I was discharged.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?  

Loose, comfy, big in the stomach. At least for most of 2012.  I haven't worn jeans since the spring.

26. What kept you sane?

Besides the usual suspects - my husband, family, pets, friends - I would have to say my fledgling ability to take a deep breath and just wait.  So much of this year I have been stressed about things out of my control. It's still hard though.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.

In addition to the answer to #26, I would have to say that kindness is very much appreciated by those who are going through a rough time, no matter how it's expressed.