For a long time now I've posted a little questionnaire meme online at the end of each year. It serves as a summary of the last twelve months, and it's always fun looking back on my old entries. Considering this year has been so dominated by the arrival of my little Victor John I figured this blog is the best place to post my answers for 2012.
I've truncated the questionnaire a bit because, as you'll soon see, it's long enough without questions about people I don't like anymore, which celebrity I had a crush on or what I wore this year.
Right, I better crack into this, and I encourage you to also take part. You can submit your answers in the comments section below, or you can post a link if you'd rather upload your version elsewhere on the Internet.
Okay, here goes!
1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
I had a baby! I also managed to pull off baking a delicious banana cake, which is nearly as big a deal but not quite.
2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't really do resolutions as such, but as the year draws to a close I always think about some of the changes I'd like to make in life. At the end of last year I had hoped 2012 would herald in a new era of healthier living in terms of nutrition and exercise. Well I'm afraid to say that I haven't really followed through on that one. Overall I eat better, mostly because I'm more housebound which means I'm not partaking in so many café breakfasts and restaurant dinners, but there's still a lot of room for improvement. As for exercise - does lugging a baby around count? I'm going to say yes.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Um yeah, me. I've also been fortunate to enter the world of motherhood alongside some good friends. Plus I've met some great new people thanks to our antenatal class coffee group, and obviously they all gave birth this year too.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
Last year I filled in this answer talking about a friend (not a close friend, but a friend nonetheless) who was tragically killed when he was hit by a bus. I never imagined that this year I would have to write about another bus-related death. My much-loved uncle passed away in January when the car he was driving collided with a bus. It's been a really tough year for my mum as she has tried to come to terms with the loss of her wonderful brother John.
5. What countries did you visit?
I have stayed put this year. I started off the year quite pregnant, and am finishing it off with a seven month old - sadly there have been no points in between where I've felt compelled to jump on a plane to explore the world. That said, I'm hoping I'll manage to leave these shores at some stage next year!
6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
A new deck please. Gosh, how materialistic and shallow. But I'm being honest here! We're most of the way through renovating our house, which has been mentally and financially draining. But we're so close to the finish line... Now that the inside of our place is mostly up to scratch, the rotting back deck - with its not-meant-for-outdoors particle board flooring and a shonky DIY brush fence - is in desperate need of a spruce up. And by 'spruce up' I mean complete reconstruction. I want to get out of the lounge and into the sunshine, so a new deck is high on the to-do list for next year.
7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
6th May. Do I have to spell out why? Oh okay, because my son was born that day. Yippee!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Bringing a human into the world, obvs. Are all my baby related answers getting boring yet? Bad luck, because we're nowhere near done yet.
9. What was your biggest failure?
There have been a number of occasions when I've felt I haven't given my son the best of me because I've been too tired or too overwhelmed. But that's just the reality of being a parent, right? You try your best and sometimes you get it wrong. That doesn't mean you've failed your child, it just means you're human.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I'm scared to type this in case I jinx things, but I am still amazed that both the baby and I have managed to make it through the year without getting so much as a cold. So no, I haven't suffered any illness or injury, and I'm hoping for a repeat performance next year.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our Miele dishwasher. So quiet! So well laid out! Delivers such a quality cleaning result! My passion for appliances is a little out of control.
12. Where did most of your money go?
Renovations, mortgage, baby supplies, food.
13. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
I got really excited about meeting my little boy, and then when he arrived I got really excited about showing him off to everyone.
14. What song will always remind you of 2012?
'Hey Jude' by The Beatles. We play this to little Vic every night while we're getting him ready for bed. It now drives us insane, but he loves it.
15. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or sadder? Happier
b) Thinner or fatter? Thinner, but that's a bit of a cheat because this time last year I was 20 weeks pregnant
c) Richer or poorer? Poorer. Going down to one income will do that I suppose.
16. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Eating right, exercising, taking time to smell the roses, forcing people to take photos of the baby with me in the shot
17. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stressing out and using what little free time I've had to aimlessly wander around the internet instead of doing something more rewarding
18. How will you be spending Christmas?
Cleft in twain between my family and Joel's.
19. Did you fall in love in 2012?
I guess I fell in love with Victor when he was still in my tummy, but I definitely fell in love with him even more when I saw his squishy little face for the first time. And then more and more again with each passing day. Yes, I shall excuse you while you vomit.
20. What was your favourite TV programme?
Modern Family, Shortland Street, The X Factor (US), Outnumbered, My Kitchen Rules, The Block, One Born Every Minute, The Bachelorette - there's been a whole lot of (mostly embarrassing) TV watching going on now that I don't get out in the evenings so much.
21. What was the best book you read?
I'm Not Fat, I'm Pregnant by Jaquie Brown. I can highly recommend this for any first time mums-to-be
22. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I'm racking my brain - I don't think I had one. With music ordinarily being my full time job I'm deliberately taking a mental break from it while I'm doing the stay-at-home-mum thing. I'm hoping that will help renew my passion for it when I return to work.
23. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby! And that Miele dishwasher of course
24. What did you want and not get?
I wanted an trouble-free birth, but unfortunately there were some complications - I'm saving up that story for another day
25. What was your favourite film of this year?
Cripes, I've barely seen any movies at all. I know that I clocked out of going to the pictures early in the year after I spent a very uncomfortable hour and half shifting my pregnant weight around in a cinema. I can't even recall what movie that was, so obviously it didn't blow me away. I still haven't managed to get to the movies since having the baby, but when Les Miserables is released in NZ I can assure you there will be no holding me back.
26. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned thirty-three this year and my old age prevents me from remembering anything about the day other than the fact we went out for a really nice dinner.
27. What kept you sane?
Joel, friends, family, online support groups, common sense and TV
28. What political issue stirred you the most?
I find this gun control (or lack thereof) issue in the US just mindboggling. I know my two cents don't count for much, but now that I have a child of my own I have never felt so glad that guns are not commonplace in New Zealand. I'd really like to do a stint living in the US one day, but as long as they carry on doing nothing to change the laws regarding gun ownership then there's no way I'd settle there for any length of time.
29. Who did you miss?
My wonderful friend Suzy who is now living in London, and also my Uncle John
30. Who was the best new person you met?
By far and away the best new person I met this year, and possibly ever, is of course my son Victor.
31. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012
The perfect mum is not the one who does everything perfectly (that person doesn't even exist), but the one who loves her child/children unconditionally and does the best she can with the resources she has available - preferably with a sense of humour.
- Essential Mums