1. What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
Spent 5 days in the hospital; received a medical implant; weaned.
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
For the first time in a long time, I didn’t really make resolutions, but looking back on my goals for the year, I feel pretty good about what I managed to accomplish.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Not this year, though people close to me lost people close to them.
5. What countries (or new places) did you visit?
No new places this year, and minimal travel. Conference travel to Denver in February. Three overnight trips to Davenport to visit Grandma (February, March, May). An overnight trip to Madison in May with no kids!
6. What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Steady good health for everyone close to me.
7. What date from 2018 will remain etched up on your memory, and why?
February 23, when we got secret married.
March 18 and November 28, due to our medical calamities.
August 15-16, when our second son was born.
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Growing and birthing another human; making peace – or progress toward peace – with my body after a traumatic birth experience on top of a traumatic health experience.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Being patient is an around-the-clock struggle for me, always. I’m never patient enough with the big kid. I hope he knows that I love him even when I’m IMPOSSIBLY annoyed with him.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was generally healthy apart from two major things:
– In March, I had a still-unexplained heart issue resulting in a 5 day hospitalization, culminating with the placement of a pacemaker.
– In August, I was induced at 40 weeks 3 days after 2 false alarms. It took multiple attempts over a 24 hour period to get labor started, and I ended up with a c-section anyway because the baby got stuck. This turned out to be for the best as if I’d succeeded in pushing him out, my incision looks like it would have ruptured.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
My pacemaker and our Instant Pot. I use the latter nearly every day and the former basically never.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I cannot say enough positive things about my cardiologist and my high risk OB. Both doctors – and their colleagues – made me feel like I was a part of the team, that I was participating in my care rather than just receiving care, and that my opinion mattered. Both were willing to be human with me, to express their fears and uncertainties. I am 100% confident that I was in the best hands, and that I received the best treatment, even if things didn’t go the way we hoped.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Most elected officials’.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Food and rent and medical bills, though thankfully they were only a tiny fraction of what they could have been.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Salt Fat Acid Heat; making everything in the Instant Pot.
16. What song will always remind you of 2018?
Also we sang literally endless variations on Hoedje van papier to and about the baby.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder?
ii. richer or poorer?
More money and tax deductions, but also more debt coming due.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Same as last year: sleep, running, time with friends, lying on the couch doing nothing.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spending time in medical settings.
20. How did you spend Christmas?
For the first time in my 6.5 years on the job, I went to the office holiday party, mostly at the behest of the big kid, who wore suspenders and impressed everyone with his manners and social graces.
I worked Christmas Eve, then we opened our book gifts to each other:
Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat for me.
The Tangled Tree by David Quammen for N.
Picture Cook by Katie Shelly for the big kid
We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp for the baby
We spent Christmas day in Rockford with my family. Our drive went remarkably smoothly, and the baby slept through most of the chaos, but woke up in time to take photos with my parents and the rest of the cousins. Our themed meal was finger foods/food on sticks. We made tofu and veggie kebabs and caprese salads on a stick. The big kid was sick, which was frustrating and sad, but it was a nice day nonetheless.
21. Did you fall in love in 2018?
With my baby and my Instant Pot.
23. What was your favorite TV program?
Battlestar Galactica and The Good Place. I said this last year, and I’ll say it again: texting about TV with my pal Jimi makes just about any show better.
24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I don’t think so.
25. What was the best book you read?
For very different reasons:
Salt Fat Acid Heat – Samin Nosrat
To the River – Olivia Laing
Bonus! The worst book I read: The Complete Stories of Leonora Carrington.
26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I can’t think of anything ground-shattering. I mostly listened to a bajillion podcasts.
27. What did you want and get?
A healthy, happy, wonderful baby
28. What did you want and not get?
An uncomplicated natural birth
29. What was your favorite film of the year?
I actually couldn’t tell you the last movie I watched. My spreadsheet stops in April, though I’m sure that can’t be accurate.
30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Blueberry pancakes and storytime at the MSI with L. Much needed haircut. I wanted ramen, but our first restaurant pick was unexpectedly closed, so ended up at Sunda, which was wonderful and featured an over-the-top patbingsu.
31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
‘Satisfying’ doesn’t really compute in the context of a physically and emotionally challenging year.
32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?
January-April: secret pregnant
May-June: obviously pregnant
July-August: sweaty and enormously pregnant
September-December: breastfeeding and babywearing
33. What kept you sane?
Nicolas, my sister, Eva, Karen, Kim and Angie, Anne and KZ, long walks
34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I wouldn’t say that I fancy him, but Ashley and I had loads of funny conversations about Ronaldo.
35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Another terrible, terrible year.
36. Who did you miss?