January 29, 2013

DD's First Heartbreak

Playing with Daddy at the beach
I was standing in the nursery, changing what was, to the best of my knowledge, the grossest diaper that RH had ever presented me with. It took a lot of attention and vigilance to keep her from spreading the mess around, and so I wasn't as available to my other daughters as I might have liked.

Daddy is awesome!
DD was sitting on the rocking chair behind me, talking about the wedding picture of me and M in our hallway.

"Mommy? Is you married to Daddy?"
"Yes, honey. I AM married to Daddy."
"Because you love him?"
"That's right. And someday when you grow up, I hope you find somebody that you love just as much as I love Daddy, and then you can get married too."
"Mommy? I love Daddy SO much! He is so awesome!"
"Yeah, I think so too sweetie."
"I want to marry Daddy!"


"Well, Daddy's already married to Mommy..."
"I want to marry Daddy."

It wasn't an exclamation, it was a fact. Simple, obvious, self-evident.  In my head, I ran through all sorts of Freudian story lines, and settled on the fact that I had probably wanted to marry MY daddy when I was a little girl, and that this was a totally normal and healthy reaction of a three year old who thinks that her daddy is awesome.

"That's very sweet honey."
"I will ask Daddy to marry me!"

And as I wrestled with RH's furiously kicking and incredibly strong seven month old legs, DD ran from the room to find Daddy.

Daddy teaches DD to bowl
Daddy was laying in bed, recovering from the events of Friday, which I will share with you later.  I couldn't hear what was happening, but I imagined a sweet scene where DD told M that she loved him SO MUCH and that she though he was awesome, and M smiled and said Of COURSE I'll marry you!

A minute or so later, DD walked slowly into the room.  Her head was held high, but her jaw was set firmly closed in an expression I've seen a hundred times in the mirror. Her eyes were glassy and green and she was not looking at me. Determinedly not looking at me. Her hands were stiff at her sides.

I cleared my throat.

"DD? Is everything okay? What did Daddy say?"

There was a forced calm on her face, and in her voice as she began to speak.

"Daddy says he does not want to marry me..." her voice cracked. "He wants to marry YOU!"

Daddy taking DD trick or treating
And with the last word, the dam broke. She wailed it, as though all the anguish in the world were flowing through the one syllable.  She fell gracefully, face first, onto the cushion of the rocker, and sobbed piteously.  She wouldn't look at me. She just lay there, her face buried in her arms, and wailed.

"Oh, honey, it's okay..."

My words only made things worse. She slid off the chair and lay face down on the carpet, crying directly into the Oriental styled pile.  I bit my lip to keep from laughing, but RH was doing it for me. She laughed and laughed and laughed at DD, seeing only her antics and hearing a foreign sound that must have sounded much like hilarity to her. She made eye contact with me and wiggled her eyebrows as if to say, see? This is pretty freakin' funny!

I cleared my throat and spoke slowly to mask my own giggles.

"Daddy loves you so much, DD. He loves you so so so so so much, and I know when you grow up you'll find somebody who loves you the way mommy loves daddy and THEN you'll get married..."
"But I want to marry Daddy!"
"I'm so sorry honey..."
"I want to marry Daddy!"

Daddy and DD, hanging out at the diner.
She cried harder. RH laughed harder. DD wailed.

Now, as you can probably imagine, by this point I knew that if I didn't get DD out of the room and over her heartbreak quickly, I would actually dissolve into laughter, and probably scar her for life. It was then that I recalled that M could actually hear me through the baby monitor.

Again, I spoke slowly. This time for M's benefit.

"DD, why don't you ask Daddy to marry you again? I'm SURE that THIS TIME, Daddy will DEFINITELY SAY YES."

She paused in her crying, and lifted her teary face to look at me.

"Daddy will marry me?"
"I KNOW that if you ask Daddy again, HE WILL SAY YES."

Daddy and DD at the museum
She got up and left the room at a run. Just in case the monitor was off, I yelled down the hall after her, at the top of my lungs so M could hear it, "DADDY WILL SAY YES THIS TIME!"

I washed the poo off the bottoms of RH's feet, and began putting her back into some clean clothes. No sooner did I get the onesie over her head than DD came running back into the room, beaming.

"Daddy said yes! Daddy WILL marry me!"
"Oh honey! That's wonderful!"
"Yeah, that is!"

And grinning at me with all the gratitude and joy her little heart could contain, she went running off to find another game to play.

As I watched her run off, I thought I saw a shadow of a great big pre-teen girl. Anguished one minute because some boy she likes likes some other girl, the next minute asking me to drive her to some friend's house for a sleepover.

I feel like I already know that girl.  I already love that girl.

And when she's all heartbroken over those stupid preteen boys, I'm sure she'll find herself running back into the arms of her first love. Even if it took a rejection before he finally agreed to marry her.
DD and Daddy forever

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January 25, 2013

Return of the Monday Morning Post Breakfast Dance Party


November was rough, what with NaNoWriMo. And December was almost impossible, between traveling, holidays, illnesses, and catastrophes. So we've gone a little more than TWO MONTHS without really having a dance party. It's sad.

But no more! Now, I am Getting My House In Order, and that means that we can resume our dance party-ing.

On the plus side, I didn't put on any weight during the holidays. Miracle of miracles. On the down side, I don't think I've actually lost any weight dancing. But I feel better about myself, and I'm having fun staying active with the kids. It can't be bad for me, at any rate. And I do think I kind of look better.

So here it is! The return of the Dance Party!

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January 16, 2013

Thinking About Tomorrow

Me and my favorite girls
Today, my little RH is seven months old.

I know, I've been a terrible blogger.  You all hardly know anything about her.

RH- 7 months
You don't know about how she laughs, trilling and purring and puffing.  A friend of mine started calling her "Helga Hufflepuff."  It's accurate.  And adorable.

You don't know about how she's finally realized the benefit of tummy time, how she wriggles around like she's maybe actually thinking about crawling, how she rolls around the room to get to contraband items, how when she arches her back and whines her big sisters will roll her over so she doesn't have to.

She's a wonderful little person.  She loves to grab my (or daddy's) face in fistfuls, pull me close to her, and plant big, open mouthed kisses all over me.  How her gums are filled with little teeth getting ready to just bust through.

She's amazing.  I feel like I'm really relishing these baby moments more now than when DD and SI were so small.  Maybe because there were two of them to distract me from each other, maybe because now I truly know how fleeting they are.  Hell, this time next year RH will be walking and talking.  Potty training.

DD- 3 1/4 years
And my big girls... my big, big, big, big girls.  I don't know how it happened.  Suddenly they're on the verge of wearing 5t clothing.  Suddenly they have all of these vocal opinions, and make jokes, and have bad dreams and need hugs.  Sometimes they even read.  They are dedicated big sisters, reading to RH, giving her toys, playing with her... they're her favorite people in the world.

DD told me today that her favorite word is "idea."  I like that.  She told me that shortly before she had a meltdown about not wanting to eat a sandwich, and then ten minutes later walked up to me and gave me a giant hug and said, "I'm sorry."

She's FINALLY mastered the potty.  Yeah, sometimes she still poos in her pull-ups after her nap, but last weekend she woke up, got out of bed, went to the bathroom, and pooed in the potty without even bothering to wake me or M up.  She's so competent.

SI sings.  Like, she really almost sort of actually sings.  Look:

I taught her nothing.  She just loves to sing along with Annie.

She gives so many hugs, so freely.  Her laugh is infectious.  She learns so quickly- she's constantly working on her speech.  You may notice in the video- she doesn't make a lot of sounds properly.  But she tries so hard, and with a little help the changes happen quickly.  You'd never know that two months ago the "k" sound was completely beyond her repertoire.

They both love to sing.  And they have excellent taste.

I can have conversations with these people.  They're self-centered, fairly superficial conversations... but still.  They tell me stories.  They tell me about their likes and dislikes, their plans, their ideas.  SI likes to tell me about how she'll get bigger and bigger and bigger and then do something to be like me.  It melts my heart.

And so, I have been thinking a lot about the future.  Not just because it's so hard to imagine RH becoming a child the size of DD and SI- not just because I have no idea how it happened the first time. Not just because they've reached a growth rate differential that means I actually have to consider parceling out their clothes into DD's and SI's, and figuring out how one does hand-me-downs to twins without new clothes feeling preferential...

M had his every-six-months MRI again on Monday.

Such an awesome daddy.
This one was a little different.  Before you start worrying, you should know M is fine.  Not just in the "just fine" way I meant when he was going through treatment, but in the truly moment to moment way that people mean it in general.  There are no changes.  At least, not to him.

For the first time since July of 2007, M has a new neuro-oncologist.  His old doctor, the one with the silly name, is gone.  Moved on to greener pastures.  So we got to start from scratch with a new doctor.

She's charming and sweet and competent, all you could ask in a bedside manner and attitude and human being in general, but also eminently practical.  And that meant none of the sugar coating that Dr. Grimm used to have.  None of the old friends, constant optimism, we're-all-in-this-together-ness.  You can't go into a meeting with somebody who has inoperable masses in their brain with that kind of attitude.  You have to go in with caution.  And that is what the new doctor did.

She sat us down and talked to us, straight off the bat, about when.  Not if, when.  As far as she's concerned, that's a foregone conclusion.  It's not *if* M's cancer comes back, it's not *if* there's new growth, new contrasting areas on his MRIs.  It's when.

This is my happy place I go when things seem bad.
And in the thirty seconds it took for that icicle of a thought to slide down my spine, settle in my stomach, and imprint itself permanently and horribly inside of my ears forever, she moved on to all the good news.  The good news that Dr. Grimm never would have thought to tell us.

In the beginning, when M was getting ready to start radiation and chemotherapy and his experimental protocol, the doctors told us about what we would do if the treatment failed.  What the options would be if there was a recurrence.

A second round of radiation was off the table.  Unless M survived "a really, really long time."

We'd have to dig deeper, find more aggressive, more harmful treatments.  But there would be options.

Now?  Apparently, that "really, really long time" was incredibly relative.  So relative that M has doubled it.

The who SuperMommy family, partying down.
It's been so long, a paltry five and a half years is so long, that when there is a recurrence we can do exactly what we did the first time.  Do exactly what we know worked for M.

It's been so long that so much more is known about M's cancer that we can be confident there's no genetic element, that the children won't need any kind of extra screening.  (Not that it will stop me.)

When we cross that bridge, we'll cross at full strength, as though the first time had never happened.

But we won't.  It won't really be like that.  Because we'll be older, because I don't know if I still have the unfailing optimism and conviction that I did when I was 23 and newly engaged and fundamentally certain that M was going to be just fine.  Because on top of being M's rock and dedicated helpmeet and nurse and advocate and everything else he might need, I'll have another three people who need me for more than everything, who need me to help them cope with this sort of illness in their father.

When is scaring the everliving shit out of me.

And I know what when means.  It means inevitably, it doesn't mean tomorrow.  It means down the road, somewhere.

We did this on purpose.
But we can't know when when is.  And we knew that the first time we got pregnant.  We had babies when we did so that when M got sick again, they would have had the most years possible with him.  That when he inevitably passed away, they would have meaningful memories.  They would know who he was, and how much he loved them.

And so, in a way, I really was prepared for that talk.  I really was prepared to hear it out loud, that all those fears we had addressed were still real.  That they hadn't just faded into memory.  That we were still living with them.

The new doctor didn't say, "tomorrow."  She didn't say, "next year," or "in ten years," or "in fifty years."  She knows exactly what we know.


None of us have a clue what kind of timeline M has.  Nobody does.  People haven't been surviving brain cancer long enough to know what survival rates look like.  What recurrence rates look like.  M is already so far out on the bell curve that there's no way to know whether or not he's just plain off of it.

Here's to another day.
But I suppose we're ready now.  We're reminded that M isn't free from his diagnosis, he's still living with it every day.  We're reminded that we're doing this together, this family building, baby having, life experiencing thing, and we're doing it on purpose.  We're doing it because we want to milk every last drop of joy that we possibly can from our lives.

I'm going to go hug my children and make a keugle.  Because M and I love keugle, and I love hugging my children.  I'm going to eat Cherry Garcia for dessert with M, right out of the carton, and we're going to watch Community and the Daily Show.  And I might cry a little and pass it off as hormones, but I'll bury my face in his furry, furry chest, and feel overwhelmed with gratitude that I have my life for another day.  For another six months.  Until his next MRI comes and I go through it over again.

January 9, 2013

Just Like Starting Over

This is how we entertain ourselves when we figure out we're all wearing purple.
These last few months have been like living in somebody else's life.  I'm serious- every scrap of our routine went out the window.  Every shred of normalcy deteriorated as we traveled, packed, had house guests, shared flus, shared colds, stopped sleeping, started sleeping again, and began experimenting with new grocery routines.

It's amazing how off it can throw you to go two weeks without cloth diapers.

This last week I have been desperately struggling to establish "normal" again.  Reintroducing the nap, enforcing regular bed and bath times, even finally taking down the Christmas tree.  This means stepping back while my kids watch "Yellow Submarine" and "Annie" ad nauseum.  (By the way, the girls LOVE John Lennon.  They refer to the Beatles as "John and his friends," and SI's favorite song is "Power to the People."  My kids are awesome.)  While the girls watch the movies, RH rolls around the floor, and I abandon my children to the electronic babysitter and attempt to reclaim my house.

RH: Six months old
It's not just cleaning, in fact it's very little cleaning.  It is the epic putting away of things.  The things are everywhere.  You start by dislodging a whole category of goods by turning your "spare room" into a "nursery."  Then you turn your "linen closet" into a "coat closet," and turn your "hardware cupboard" into your "linen cupboard" (although it doesn't come CLOSE to containing all your linens).  Then the baby goes up another size and the new things take up more space so your "first aid cupboard" once again becomes the "baby food cupboard," and baskets of bibs are switched with other baskets of bibs, and plans must be made for changing car seats- which is too daunting to even consider.  Then the holidays come, and before you can put all the things away, you're baking up a storm.  In the interest of time, food items line up in cans and boxes along the path to the pantry, to keep open the access to the molasses and vanilla.  And then comes the travel.  And then comes the desperate adjusting of toys, where the heap of outgrown clothes must become a heap of stuffed animals, and the "stuffed animal box" becomes the "dress ups box," and the "holiday toys bin" becomes the "RH toys bin," and you realize that you actually have enough things that you really like but don't actually need to necessitate both a Christmas and a Channukah storage bin to go back to the basement.  And then comes the weeks of passing around illness.  And then, because you're just finished a gift-giving season and now you've spent a ton of money and exchanged lovely things with everyone, all sorts of things that you kind of maybe need start breaking.  Things like your coat rack.  Or things fill up.  Things like your startup disc.  And suddenly you find yourself in need of buying all sorts of crap that must be built and housed in order to hold all your other things that maybe you sort of need.  And then you visit the brand new Costco and buy a million pounds of potatoes.  And suddenly you don't know where anything goes because it doesn't go anywhere, and you are quite literally losing your mind because you are wading through what feels like endless fields of random crap that you maybe kind of sort of need.

My house full of chaos.
Which is why I find myself over a month after the crazy holiday bonanza began installing shelves and hooks, filling bag after bag with things that we really DON'T need, letting them pile up in the hall to become yet another obstacle to believing that my house will ever really be under control, while watching the pile of blankets that don't fit in the linen cupboard collect dust bunnies in the corner.

I have a simple goal: To be able to decide to mop the floor in any given room without spending an hour finding where things have to go first.  Not putting them away, just figuring out where the hell I can put them.

Every vertical surface in my home was, until a few days ago, covered in crap.  Unknown, possibly important, indecipherable crap.  Two days of hard work and the addition of some shelving has yielded a kitchen that I can actually clean now.  Where everything has a place to go.  The dining room is next.

If I look at my home dispassionately, really, I'm just this side of a hoarder.

Know what I found in the dining room?  A fondue pot.  I didn't even remember that I had a fondue pot.  It's still in the box.  I could be using that space to stash the linens hanging out on top of the photo albums.

So how are my kids coping with all of this?  Simple.  Without me.

Grandmommy in my personal chaos zone
Without me, my remarkable three year olds have learned pretty much all the words to "Tomorrow," and the chorus of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."  (Granted, those are all of the lyrics of the chorus of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.")  RH has figured out that by rolling, she can cross an entire room.  I am missing most of this, because I am trying to dig what I think must be my turntable out from the detritus on my desk.  I figure if I can eliminate the clutter on top of the second "linen cupboard" I might be able to squeeze the linens onto a "linen shelf."

I am eagerly awaiting the day that I reach the living room.  On that day, I will unroll my probably spider infested yoga mat, and I will do a sun salutation.

Because I have had it with my current lifestyle.  The lifestyle of a person wallowing in the collected detritus of self pity.

I wander around my home, looking forlornly at puddles of dried playdough with wooden and velcro eggs embedded in them, sighing and thinking to myself, "I'm going to get to that..."

Screw it.  I'm getting to that.  And then I am getting to me.  I'm tired of carrying around this spare tire from making three babies.  I'm tired of just telling my friends to cram the crap on the table just anywhere when they graciously come over for dinner.  I am getting my life into the kind of order where it might be functional.  Where I could dance with my kids if I wanted to.  Where the pre-dance party cleaning isn't just a stashing things out of reach because they have nowhere to go.

Now picture them singing "Tomorrow."
And yeah, it's going to mean getting rid of a lot of crap.

But with a little elbow grease and determination, I think that soon I'll have a functional coat rack, linens that don't live on the floor, and a routine that allows me to actually mop once in a while.

It's amazing how out of control things can get in just six months.

Six and a half months ago, I had a baby.  My third baby.

And, because I'm not an idiot, I prioritized me and the baby and the girls and M over just about everything else.

But now it's time to start acting like I run this show.  Because, as it turns out, I do.  And I'm good at it.

And with that mantra in mind, I think I can lock up about two thirds of the marzipan hiding in my sock drawer, put away the plastic dishes, and make my home my home again.

Wish me luck, lovely readers.

Sometimes I think I'll need it.

January 4, 2013

Top Posts of 2012

I hope Norman Rockwell would approve.
I did a lot of writing in 2012.  178 posts, to be exact.  And I had a lot of wonderful feedback from you, my lovely readers.

But there were a couple of posts that got WAY more traffic than anything else.  Incredible amounts of traffic.  And there were a few that still reduce me to tears- either of emotion or laughter.  And so here are my top five posts in both categories.

Most Read Posts of 2012
#6 Yo Gabba Gabba Dresses
I couldn't help myself.  Those dresses ARE adorable.  And I'm not surprised that this post had made the rounds- it's a popular show, and I have no doubt there are lots of parents out there who would love to make their own kids some thematic clothing.

#5 The Lie of Motherhood
I am not exactly sure why, but this post resonated with a lot of women.  Not only with mothers, but with women who don't have children.  And I'm glad for that- because this is a post about being a person who is a woman, not about being a mother.  And I'm glad I wrote it.  While I wasn't surprised that four of my five most read posts were my end-of-the-month controversies, I was surprised that this was one of them.

#4 End of the Month Controversy: Vaccination
I'm not surprised at all that this one got a lot of attention.  It's such a heated discussion between parents, and so frequently isn't a conversation at all- just shouted accusations between moms at a play group that each one is endangering their collective children.  I wish that we could all just have conversations like this in a calm and respectful manner, but that pretty much never happens.  Still, I've been very glad that the tone of my commenters is nearly always respectful.

#3 Thank Heavens for Little Girls
Now, this post didn't get a lot of traction until Jessica Simpson dressed up her baby in some silly getup. And in general, I don't give a crap what celebrities put their children in.  But I do care what we as a society say to our girls especially about their bodies, their sexuality, and their value.

#2 Blind Misogyny and Violence
Now, this one makes me angry.  This was a terrible post, and it got the second most hit of any post I wrote this year.  But... that's because of the googling.  People kept finding it by searching for the most horrific things.  Pictures of rape, first and foremost.  And it hurt my heart every time I looked at my search terms and saw that another two dozen people were looking for pictures of women who had been beaten, or who were vulnerable.  It was awful.  And I hope that they read it and felt that they were that guy, that guy I was talking to.  The one who doesn't believe that he could be a rapist, because he doesn't understand what real consent is.  And so I'm angry, but I'm maintaining hope. I hope that at least one person read that post and realized what a horrible mistake they had made.  I truly do.

#1 Post Breakfast Dance Party
I can't tell you how thrilled that this is my most read post of the year.  Not only is it not controversial, but it shows me something wonderful.  That people are entertained by and supportive of my attempt to lose weight through dance.  It means a lot to me- this post squeaked into the lead with a whopping 1,638 hits in 2012.  Thanks guys, I'll get back to dancing ASAP.

My Favorite Posts of 2012
#6 Falling In Love Again (I Can't Help It)
Let's face it, M is amazing and wonderful and awesome.  Of course, it's my job to think so, but he makes it very easy.  I love that man.

#5 1000 Words Down the Drain
I still have flashbacks to that day.  Lucky for me, we have some fabulous photographer friends, so I do have an emergency backup plan.  That said, terrible family pictures are kind of awesome, so I'm very glad that we have some of these.  Some of them.

#4 A Tragic Comedy
I'm still not really laughing.  Let's put it this way, my children are still forbidden from using chapstick.  Anything that might be related to makeup is off limits.  And yeah, that rule is holding firm until we have a new couch.  Should be another decade.  Decorations aside, it is a really nice couch.

#3 Next Year in Jerusalem, or Everything I Need to Know About Passover I Learned From The Ten Commandments
This year, sadly, we aren't having a big family seder.  My parents will be in Spain with Great Grandmommy and Great Granddaddy, so it's going to be just la familia SuperMommy and Aunt Genocide.  Hopefully we'll be able to get Aunt Something Funny and maybe even Aunt Green to come too, but we're not holding our breath.  Still, I have no doubt that some things aren't changing, and the annual viewing of the Cecil B. DeMille classic is one of them.

#2 Remember, Remember, the Fifth of July
I really have nothing to add to this post.  But I do weep pretty much uncontrollably whenever I read it.  It's the first time I've admitted a lot of my own reactions on that day, and it was cathartic to write, as painful as it is to relive those memories.

#1 Neminems for Everybody
And this is why parents take it upon themselves to humiliate their children as teenagers.  Oh, I will be awful.  I will torment them.  I'll show a video of DD crapping her pants to her wedding guests.  Because for several years of my life, this was my life.  And FYI- RH fell into a pooping schedule of once a week for about two months.  They may have been the best two months of my life.

January 3, 2013

Best Pictures of 2012 and Neruotic Whatnot

A runner up.  The pictures were that good.
As you may recall, I am a crazy person who feels the need to shame myself into doing the absolute minimum to assure that I am healthy, passable as sane, and generally presentable.

This year, my goals were as follows:

1. Write (daily)
2. Complete my homework (daily)
3 Leave my house (daily- at least step onto the balcony)
4. Eat at least two meals (daily)
5. Maintain my hygiene (daily)
6. Exercise (at least 3x week)
7. Observe Shabbat with my children (1x week)
8. Finish reading a book (1x month)
9. Make art (1x month)

Now, some of these should be absolute no-brainers.  I mean really, to fulfill my fifth goal, I simply had to shower OR brush my teeth OR wash my face ONCE each day.

And some of them are obviously easy.  I finished school at the end of May, so for a full half of the year (and then some) I had NO homework, and therefore it was already completed.  Free checkmark for me.

Sadly, I am gross and lazy.  This is why I give myself a check list.

Read about it!
1. Did I write?
This year, I wrote in my journal on 320 out of 365 days.  That's awesome, but it still means there were forty five days when I wrote nothing- and one day less than I wrote in 2011!  I am willing to accept this amount, as I recall how exhausted and busy I was while finishing school/being pregnant/taking care of my big girls.  Plus. even if I apparently blew off a month of writing, I also wrote a draft of a novel in a month.  So I'm going to call this one a win.  Go me!  I wrote a lot!

Read about it!
2. Did I complete my homework?
I completed my homework on 330 days.  That means that for 35 days, I did not complete my homework.  Keep in mind, I was only in school for six months.  Which means, I am a lousy student.  This is simply not good enough.  Good for me I passed anyway.  That said, I only completed my homework 244 times last year, so I think I might have actually improved a little bit.

Read about it!
3. Did I leave my house?
I left my house during 255 days- including days that I didn't leave the house but was in a house that isn't mine.  That means that for 100 days this year, I didn't see the sun.  This is particularly embarrassing. as last year I left the house a whopping 301 days.  So this year, I was worse at leaving the house than the year before.  I'll blame the pregnancy, but I know I'm going to have to do better.  No way can I be a happy person if I'm always cooped up.  That said, it's not on the list for next year.  Next year, my list includes, "alone time."  Alone time can include leaving the house, but I think at this point taking some time to myself every day is more important to my mental house than being outside.  So, we'll see if I end up crazy and cooped up in 2013.

Read about it!
4. Did I eat at least two meals?
Leaving all of my other goals in the dust, I managed to eat two meals on 347 days!  I actually beat my total for 2011 by a whole 13 days.  Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I confess that some of those "meals" were three slices of raisin bread or an apple.  But I did force myself to stop and eat something, two times a day, nearly every single day.  I'm keeping it on my list for next year, because I know that the reason I did so well was that I was holding myself accountable.  But still, I'm pretty proud that I'm learning to take the most basic care of myself.

Read about it!
5. Did I maintain my hygiene?
Do you really want to know?  In my defense, I spent half the year pregnant and exhausted and chasing small people, but who's really buying that?  This year, I failed.  Yes, failed.  In 2011, I cleansed myself in a minimalistic way a whole 251 days.  This year? 216.  That's right, there were only 60% odds that on any given day I had even brushed my teeth.  I am humiliated.  Next year I am going to do better, dammit.  Because OMG I am so gross.

6. Did I exercise?
Read about it!
Hell, yeah!  I had a goal of 156 times in the year, and I almost made it!  Mostly thanks to two months of daily dance parties with my kids.  That said, I exercised 141 days, that's only 15 days short, and that's considering that I was, as previously mentioned, miserable and pregnant and whatnot.  I'm going to do better this year.  Keeping the same number as my goal, but this year?  I'm gong to BEAT it.

Read about it!
7. Did I observe the Sabbath?
Well... I was certainly more honest about it than last year, when I claimed fast days and Channukah and whatnot as "observing," which is bogus.  This is a weekly observance, and that's 52 times a year.  Now, I don't light candles and whatnot if M and I are going out, if we're out of town, all of that.  And M and I did make the effort to do a lot more dating this year.  I lit Shabbat candles with the girls 28 times this year.  That is easily double my number for 2011.  So I'm going to say progress is good, but we still need some work.  Still, better than every other week is something I feel good about.

Read about it!
8. Did I read a book a month?
Sort of.  I read 16 books in 2012, which is 12 fewer than in 2011.  And most of them were graphic novels.  Still, I managed to read a little bit.  I am planning on reading more "real" books this year, but finding the time is hard.  Hopefully, it will get easier as RH becomes more independent.  We'll see.

Read about it!
9. Did I make art every month?
Sort of.  I intentionally left "art" open ended last year.  I decided to count all sorts of crafting as "art," so decorating RH's room, making our holiday cards, making Halloween costumes... that was most of the "art," if not all of it.  This year I'm actually prioritizing making REAL art, so we'll see if my number goes up from 2012's 18 "arts."

And now that I have forced you to suffer through the madness that is my neurotic cataloging of my annual failures, I give you- the best pictures of 2012!

January 2012: The girls are STILL talking about the time Daddy threw snowballs in the air.

February 2012: The girls' hair is finally long enough for pigtails, and they begin having tea parties.  Occasionally with robots.

March 2012: a three way tie

March 2012: a three way tie

March 2012: a three way tie

April 2012: Passover dresses

April 2012: Passover dresses

May 2012: a four way tie.  I (finally) graduated, at nine months pregnant.

May 2012: the girls' enjoy a boat ride

May 2012: M becomes a Master of Structural Engineering

May 2012: my friends shower me for my upcoming third baby.

June 2012: a six way tie.  It was a big month.

So. stinkin', cure.

RH is born, and I am in love with her.

Her daddy is in love with her.

DD is in love with her.

SI is in love with her.

July 2012: Our first family photo as a family of five

August 2012: A three way tie

The whole family enjoys a bonfire at Grandmommy and Poppa's house

I learn the hazards of DIY photography

September 2012: DD and SI's first day of preschool

October 2012: a tie.  DD and SI turn three years old.

October 2012: The family dresses as the Wizard of Oz for Halloween.

November 2012: Another tie.  We eat the baby.

November 2012: I took my kids to vote.

December 2012: Hands down my favorite of the month.  RH desperately tries to de-beard Santa.  DD and SI are still pretty sure this is actually Uncle Robot.  I've told them that I don't think so.  I am officially a liar.

Happy New Year, lovely readers!  May 2013 bring you all the joy you can handle.  :)

Towards the end of last year, somebody maliciously flagged my blog as abusive, and I have been unable to get it re-approved on facebook.  Please let facebook know that this blog isn't offensive, or violent, or anything like that.  Please help me reach a broader audience by letting facebook know that you want access to Becoming SuperMommy.  Thank you.


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