Wednesday, December 31, 2008

a few things

Just a few things to round out 2008:

I have so much enjoyed spending the past week with Jane. I know you're probably thinking - duh! - but seriously. I haven't had this much time with her for over six months, and it makes me realize that a lot of the time I do have with her is basically upkeep - get her up in the morning, fed, ready for daycare, drop her off, pick her up, feed her, clean up, play for a bit, bath, bed. Then on the weekends, it's chores, and obligations, and we don't very often just sit and hang. Having the chance to do that this week has been so awesome. She is developing into quite a charming (and mischievous) little girl. The baby days are well and truly behind us now.

My lovely friend Audrey has started up a fancy new blog! I encourage you to go check it out - this will force her to keep updating it.

I hope everyone has a fabulous New Year's Eve, and an even more spectacular 2009. I will be hanging on my couch with Greg and the pups, most likely eating takeout and watching a movie, desperately trying to keep my eyes open 'til midnight. Hope your plans are a bit more...sparkly. Alas, this is the life with a toddler. We'll party when we're 50.

See you next year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

end of year questionnaire! (or: can I possibly remember what I did this year?)

Linda over at All & Sundry put the challenge out to her readers to answer this New Year's quiz - so I'm going to take a stab at it.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Took an overnight trip w/Jane. Two actually - we went to New Jersey to see Greg's old college roommate, and we went to Cape Cod for a few days. The amount of packing needed was astounding. I also co-directed a musical. Although I'd done just about everything else in theater, I hadn't done that. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to doing it again this summer.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? Yes. I made a resolution to get my ass to the dentist. I hadn't gone in a long, long time. And I did. And I survived. In 2009, I have to get a mammogram. I was supposed to go three months ago, but I've been putting it off (can't imagine why; they're SO FUN). I'd also like to chill the hell out a bit this year. I seem to have made an unsaid resolution for 2008 to become a high-strung maniac; I'd like NOT to be in 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? A couple of good friends gave birth this year. It was strange seeing newborns again - I couldn't remember Jane being so small, even though it was just a few months prior that she was.

4. Did anyone close to you die? An old editor and friend from my newspaper days died this year. It was a real shocker. I hadn't talked to him in a while, but he was such a huge part of my early days as a writer.

5. What countries did you visit? Um, the United States? It was not a big year for travel.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? As for material goods, none, really. That's not really my thing. I would like to have a calmer mindset in 2009.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? July 23 - Jane's first birthday. November 4 - the Presidential election. Both days made me cry. September 23 - I turned 35. This was my "scary, real adult" age. Funnily enough, I still don't feel like an adult. Hey, maybe that's what being an adult is all about!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? This year it was all about survival. Creating a managable work/life balance. It's something I struggle with almost every day.

9. What was your biggest failure? My biggest failure was my ability to internally freak out so easily. When you go for months and months (and months) of not getting real quality sleep, your wick tends to be very short.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing major, tap wood.

11. What was the best thing you bought? The In the Heights soundtrack. And the best thing Greg bought this year was tickets for us to see In the Heights. And, in conclusion - go see In the Heights on Broadway!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? I think the behavior of everyone in my department at work merited celebration. We all worked tremendously hard this year.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Sarah Palin's.

14. Where did most of your money go? Babies R Us and Target.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Seeing Jane turn into a real person. It amazes me how different a 17-month-old is compared to the five-month-old she was a year ago. That girl cracks me up.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? All of the stupid songs that Jane's toys play. They are burned into my brain, no matter how much I don't want them to be there.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:a) happier or sadder?b) thinner or fatter?c) richer or poorer? Happier, thinner, poorer (thanks, daycare!)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Chilled out. Took solo trips to the beach in the summer. Used more babysitters.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Worrying about Jane. But that said, I'm a first-time mom and a natural worrier to boot. So I don't think it was really controllable. Motherhood is made for worriers. I also wish I felt guilty less. But again, that's a motherhood thing. Unavoidable.

20. How did you spend Christmas? Hung out at home with Greg and Jane in the morning, then went to my sister's in the afternoon.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? Ha! I thought this question said "Did you fall in love with 2008?" to which I would have said, "Well, I liked 2008, but I don't know if I liked liked it." No, I didn't fall in love in 2008. I think that would have made Greg very upset!

22. What was your favorite TV program? LOST. Season premiere Jan 21, baby!

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don't really waste a lot of energy actively hating people. I sure don't like a lot of people, which you know, if you've spent any amount of time actually talking to me.

24. What was the best book you read? I thought "Moo Baa La La La" was quite intriguing. "The Best Friends Book" was also very enjoyable. Oh, you mean adult books? I always have a hard time answering questions like this. "Nineteen Minutes" really stuck with me for a long time.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? I am ashamed of my musical knowledge these days. I'm not even going to pretend like I made a great musical discovery, except that I heart In the Heights and [title of show], but I could not even begin to claim that I discovered them. OK, maybe [tos], a little.

26. What did you want and get? I got to see a bunch of shows in New York, including Rent (twice this year), In the Heights, Legally Blonde the Musical, [title of show], and Jersey Boys.

27. What did you want and not get? MORE SLEEP. I cannot stress this enough.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? I saw exactly one film this year, Sex and the City: The Movie. So I guess that would be my favorite.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? My birthday was fairly lame, although I did have tasty cupcakes at work. I went to work, came home and took care of a sick Jane, probably went to bed early. Hells to the yeah. I know how to party. I turned 35.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? MORE SLEEP (are you noticing a theme here?).

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Is there spit-up on this? No? OK, I'm good to go.

32. What kept you sane? I have started taking a couple of hours to myself on either Saturday or Sunday mornings. I usually go to the bookstore or Starbucks. It has helped keep me sane, although I hardly think I'm sane.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I fancy Mark Ruffalo now and forever, and I am so sad about his brother.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? This is a pretty obvious one - the whole election, the euphoria of November 4, Barack Obama in general.

35. Who did you miss? I always miss my dad, but particularly this year, because I think he would have gotten a real kick out of Jane.

36. Who was the best new person you met? I met a lot of talented young performers during the show I directed this summer, who I am sure I will work with over and over.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. A valuable life lesson would be "chill the [bleep] out, Amanda" - but I'm still learning that one.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. "There are some people in the world who say that writing stories or composing music or dancing sparkly dances is easy for them. Nothing interferes with their ability to create. And while I celebrate their creative freedom, a little part of me wants to punch those motherf***ers in the face."

OK, your turn!

Friday, December 26, 2008

on the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me..

....a kid who managed to survive the whole holiday thing with very few meltdowns.

Our Christmas Eve/Christmas had all the ingredients for a complete disaster - bad double ear infection, the croup, very little sleep for any of us - but we managed to pull ourselves together and have a nice holiday. Tuesday and Tuesday night were rough going for Miss Jane - her fever didn't break until sometime between midnight and 6 a.m. on Wednesday, but by later Wednesday morning, she was ready to go. So we headed to the in-laws, had a nice visit (with lots o' presents for Jane - a theme that carried through both days), then went to my mother's for Christmas Eve dinner and board games (Scattegories, to be specific). I had this grand plan that Jane would eat dinner with us, then I would put her to sleep in her Pack n Play, and I would get to eat, drink and be merry for the rest of the night like a real adult. Then, I would put sleeping Jane in the car, and transport her to her crib with no problem, and she'd sleep through the night, despite being moved around so much. And I knew, by making this grand plan, that everything would be shot to hell.

Miraculously, it wasn't. Everything went nearly exactly as planned. And because my mom forgot to put the lasagna in the oven, we ended up eating late - so I ate a meal sans child, with both hands and everything. I even had time to chew!

Christmas Day was fun. It was great opening presents with Jane (and the dogs, of course. Santa never forgets how nice it is to have distracted dogs when you're trying to open your own presents!). Jane isn't into the whole Santa thing yet - she's too young to understand - but she had definitely gotten the hang of ripping off the wrapping paper, and like every toddler cliche, she played with the boxes and paper more than her actual gifts. We went over my sister's house in the afternoon, and Jane had a nice time helping herself to all the breakables that were at eye-level. Luckily nothing actually broke, but it felt like I didn't sit down for a second. Holidays and parties, with a toddler, are the opposite of relaxing.
I have until January 5 off from work, which is so fabulous I can't stand it. I haven't had any real length of time off since my hellish vacation in July, so I'm hoping for many low-key days. I'm going to be getting together with friends here and there, and I'm having a New Year's Day thang, but that's about it. And although some people might think that's a lame way to spend precious time off, right now, I can't think of a better way.
Hope your Christmas was merry!
PS Jane got a Cabbage Patch Kid newborn from my mom. If you were a girl who grew up in the 70s/80s, you know HOW AWESOME that is. I was so excited! I mean, Jane was so excited!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

happy holidays, and all that

Merry Christmas, from Casa de Sick.

I knew this was going to happen. I predicted it, way back when my Christmas Eve became crammed with plans. "Jane will be sick," I said. "There's no way it won't happen."

Sure enough. She has a double ear infection and croup (a wicked, wicked, wickedly bad cough/breathing sickness). She currently has a fever bouncing between 101-104. So, you know, Merry effing Christmas.

That said, I wanted to say Merry Merry to all of you. I hope your holidays are merry and bright (but not as bright as poor Jane's cheeks are right now). I'm a little apprehensive of the next 12 days, i.e. my fun holiday break, because it's not starting out so great. We'll see. I'll try to remain optimistic(ish).

Have a great holiday!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

oh, the weather outside is frightful

But we're keeping ourselves busy. (Have I mentioned I want to move to San Diego?)

Friday, December 19, 2008

good stuff friday

Well, it's been a busy week of socializing and good stuff! Here's my list:

Went to a fabulous holiday concert by Broadway Inspirational Voices on Monday night. It was the perfect balm for my crabby self. (I know, I know, you're surprised that I am referring to myself as crabby .... but it's true!) The talent was through-the-roof fantastic, and I got to see Eliseo Roman (who is in the chorus, and also in In the Heights). He's so cute!

Went to my theater group's holiday potluck on Tuesday night. We made actual plans to do an actual show in the spring...we've been on a bit of a hiatus lately, so I'm excited that we're actually going to DO something, instead of just having board meetings. Stay tuned for details...

Had our holiday potluck extravaganza work, and had Secret Santa festivities all week. I was lucky with Secret Santa this year, as I had someone good to give to, and someone good was giving to me. I got a plastic reindeer that poops brown jellybeans as one of my gifts. What's better that that?

Went out to happy hour with work people last night. I never go out for this stuff anymore, and it was nice to be able to socialize and know that Jane was home with Greg, and I didn't have to worry about rushing back to a babysitter.

Am KIND OF looking forward to the first big snow, which is supposed to hit any minute and dump 7-14 inches of the white stuff. This will be the ONLY snow I look forward to this year, because I hate winter, but the first storm is always kind of exciting. That is, as long as it doesn't mess up my hair appointment tomorrow morning.

What good stuff happened to you this week? Have a great weekend, all!

Monday, December 15, 2008

I need to do more sit ups

One of Jane's party tricks is that if you ask to see her belly, she pulls up her shirt and shows you her vast, pudgealicious, beer-gut-esque belly. And, thanks to my mom, if you ask where her "toot toot" is, she'll point to her belly button.

This is all very cute, but recently, she's become very interested in seeing our bellies and toot toots as well. I have never been one to wear belly-exposing shirts, even when they were all the rage in the 90s and I was 10+ years younger than I am now. The only time I wore a two-piece bathing suit was when I was on my honeymoon, starved down to a weight I have not-and never will be-again.

So you can imagine my delight when, in the middle of Christmas shopping at WestFarms the other day, Jane decided to pull up my shirt to make sure everything was still in place. It was nice knowing you, dignity.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

all together now..."awwww"

If you know me at all, you know I'm not really a gushy mom. As much as I think my kid is super-duper-awesome, if I'm talking to someone about her, I am much more likely to be complaining about her latest sickness or worrying about some developmental milestone or something. I'm not usually one of those "my kid is so perfect my kid is the best" type of people. Because, let's face it, those people are annoying.

But two things happened in the past few days that were super cute and I had to share. The other night, Jane and I came up with the game "Give Mommy a Hug." Basically this entailed Jane running full force at me, me giving her a hug, smooching her face, and her running back across the room, only to turn around and run at me again. We did this many, many times. IT WAS AWESOME.

Today, we took Jane to Barnes and Noble. She really didn't want to be in her stroller, so I walked around the store with her. She has never been much of a hand-holder because she was too small, but today she and I walked around holding hands, and let me tell ya, I felt like an honest-to-goodness parent with a real kid. Again, IT WAS AWESOME.

So, there you go. I shall return to my previously scheduled snarkiness in my next post, no doubt.

Friday, December 12, 2008

good stuff friday

Sorry for the pathetically light blogging lately (although I hope you all took the time to watch the Neti Pot video...over and over and I did). This work week was one for the record books (or so it felt). So, with that, here is my very short, but very sweet list of what good I can say about this week:

*it's over.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, December 08, 2008

do not get this for me for Christmas

I cannot stop watching this (courtesy of Beth).

Thursday, December 04, 2008

good stuff friday

It's Friday! About damn time. This week has seemed very long to me, I don't know about you. And while there were some pitfalls this week, there were some highlights:

*I went out to dinner with three of my theater peeps on Tuesday. Not only did I have a huge and very nicely-priced meal, I also had a festive caramel apple martini. Wish I had another one right now.

*I have a fun lunch planned today with a woman I work with on a regular basis but don't see a lot. There is nothing better than getting out of the office on a Friday for lunch. Unless you're leaving for the day - even better!

*Got a decent amount of Christmas shopping done over the past week, but I have so much more to do. I have a plan of action - now I just have to do it!

*Check out my snazzy new banner. 'Nuff said. Thanks, Lisa!

*My Christmas cards arrived yesterday

*Going to my sister's huge bonfire party on Saturday - this thing gets bigger and bigger every year. She told me yesterday that 130 people are coming. Better her house than mine!

What good stuff is going on with you?

PS You know what else would be a good thing? If you people would VOTE IN MY POLL up there!