2006 wrap-up…meme style.

Today is the last day of 2006. It has been an amazing year. Truly. The best part of the year? Has been realizing that I’m capable of a lot more than I give myself credit. I switched jobs and professions. I ran a half-marathon. I learned how to drink wine that does not come in a box. I bought boots with heels taller than half-an-inch. I fell more in love with my husband a 100 times over as I watch him grow as a father. I made a photo set of some of my favorite photos from this year, check it out if you want.

This newfound limitless view of my skill set, the realization that I can do a lot more than I thought – has inspired in me giant-huge plans in terms of resolutions for 2007. I will wait and share those with you tomorrow, but today? Let’s reflect on 2006 in a meme. As seen at Linda’s.

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?

  • Ran a half-marathon
  • Rented a beach house
  • Went to a blog conference

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didn’t make any this year, I’m just not a resolution-making type of gal. But I have huge plans for 2007…too many to mention in a meme. They’ll get their own entry.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
I’ll approach this from the family perspective. If I include friends and blog-friends the list is too long. Both MrZ and I had cousins have babies this year.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
We lost MrZ’s grandmother this year.

5. What countries did you visit?
Bourbon street in New Orleans, LA. Does that count?

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
A Mac Book.

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Eh. I don’t ever remember any dates. That’s why I buy 10 calendars a year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Running a half-marathon (that could be my answer for almost all of these).

9. What was your biggest failure?
Several non-impressive parenting moments involving yelling.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

11. What was the best thing you bought?
My Nikon D80

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Ellen DeGeneres and her constant effort to keep Katrina recovery in the forefront of people’s minds.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
That guy who stepped on my foot at the store one time and then didn’t even say he was sorry.

14. Where did most of your money go?

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to BlogHer and Visiting my brother.

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Sexy Back.

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

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spending time outdoors.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Cleaning toilets

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With family.

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
I fall in love over and over again every time my husband does something totally awesome.

22. How many one-night stands?

23. What was your favorite TV program?
HA! Like I can answer that. But because I just bought a t-shirt from it, I’ll say How I Met Your Mother.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

25. What was the best book you read?
What is a book?

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
KT Tunstall.

27. What did you want and get?
A new camera.

28. What did you want and not get?
A Mac Book.

29. What was your favorite film of this year?
Eh. I only saw a few this year, so I’ll say Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 31 and spent it preparing for a beach trip with the family.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I could have successfully improved my eating habits.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Casual meets Lazy.

33. What kept you sane?
My kids.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Angelina Jolie

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
Katrina Recovery (Or lack thereof)

36. Who did you miss?
My BFF Betsy who moved so far away.

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I’ve met several amazing women this year, but the one who I became close enough to to actually invite into my home to be drowned in pet fur is Michelle.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
Quit being a nagging bitch.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“Momma called the doctor and the doctor said, ‘No more monkeys jumping on the bed!'”

Merry Christmas!

For those of you who doubt how hard we try to make Christmas with LilZ seem “real” even though we can’t do it on the 25th, know that he was knocking on my door 15 minutes ago begging to open presents. However – he has to wait for MrZ to get his ass in gear – so I have time to post a few Christmas Morning pictures for you to see. It looks like Santa was very good to us.
Christmas Morning 2006Lights


I finally spoke with the director at NikkiZ’s old daycare. She told me that this was the first week the roll sheets were printed without NikkiZ’s name on it. One of the parents and the teachers both told the director she had to put it back on because they were all hoping she’d be back. That story right there made me feel better about my decision. They missed my baby. They were hoping she’d be back. As well they should be – how could you not love this face?

And thank you all for your reassurance. How dumb is it that I never even attributed my unease to a “mother’s intuition” like so many of you did. That “gut feeling” they tell you to trust – I just blew it off. Thank you for pointing out that I’m an idiot and of course I did the right thing. You were even able to do it in a way that did not require the words “idiot” or “moron” or “fool” – for which I am also grateful.

I’m hugging you all right now. Maybe not in body, but in spirit. And you should be grateful for that because I did not shower this morning.

Why do the easy decisions seem so hard?

I went to pick NikkiZ up from daycare yesterday and she was on the floor screaming her heart out while the teacher sat next to her, not soothing her, not tending to another baby, not even talking to her…nothing. Just sitting there…almost dazed. There were also 5 babies to that one teacher in that room. Part of the reason we chose this daycare was that they did BETTER than what the state mandated (5 babies/teacher) and set the rule that their facility would only have four babies per teacher.

I was livid. NikkiZ’s hair was stuck to her face with snot and drool. She couldn’t breathe she was crying so hard. And what did this woman, who I didn’t even know, say to me? “She’s been fussy since, like 4pm.”

I stormed out of the room so as to avoid either (a) crying at the sudden stabbing pangs of guilt at seeing my daughter in that condition and (b) punching the woman in the face.

I asked the front desk why they were over ratio to which she said that, “When they are understaffed, that happens but they always fall within the state guidelines.” Well, this daycare is simply another branch of our old one, so I had to ask, “The other place never got that understaffed. If there was an emergency? The director was making up the difference by being in the classroom herself. Why is it different here?” She didn’t know the answer. She isn’t any sort of official person in the facility, so I wasn’t going to lose it on her, even though I wanted to as I pulled hairs off my daughters crusty face as she held me fiercely, terrified I was going to let her go.

Here’s the thing: I loved the other branch of this daycare. LOVED it. We knew everyone on a first-name basis, and we felt like they were our friends – teachers and administration alike. The only downside was that it was out of my way to get to my new job and the drive had NikkiZ in the car 20+ minutes longer per trip. And – if you’ll recall – she HATED the car. So – we felt like it was the best interest to everyone to move her to the branch closer to us.

Since that move – one month ago – I have never felt good about the decision. I go from feeling okay to feeling really horrible. The majority of times I’ve gone to pick her up – she has been screaming on the floor somewhere. I have never seen one teacher singing a song or reading a book to any of the babies. She came home with a bruised and scabby bite mark on her arm one day that no one knew about. Now – I know they can’t watch the kids every second – but none of the teachers even “remembered her crying.” Which – it was bruised and there was broken skin – I’m fairly certain she cried.

And don’t get me started on the different setup they have that puts NikkiZ back with the babies, more or less. Or the times that they’ve opened late this week and no one even apologized. (At the other place we got a note with a hand-written apology when they were late.)

So, I pulled out of the parking lot and called the old place. The old director was not there, which is probably a good thing because I might have started crying over the phone immediately when she answered. The assistant director was, and I very emotionally begged for them to let me bring NikkiZ back as soon as Tuesday. She, of course, was very compensating and tried to be consoling when I tearfully said, “I don’t want to ever find my daughter in the condition I found her in today.”

They’ll get the paperwork done today, and she’ll be good to go next week. Who knows how she’ll handle the long drive again – but hopefully there will be a part of her that will understand.

Now – all of that and I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why did it take you so long?” And it’s because MrZ has not had any of the bad impressions I’ve had of the place. He says that when he’s gone to get her, she’s been fine. Happy, playing, content. He also blames her current level of emotional distress on her molars coming in – not necessarily on being “unhappy” at her daycare. He also points out that two of the four weeks she has been at this place, she’s had a cold and has therefore been miserable as well. I’ve been saying that her bad mood has been because she hates the daycare, he’s not been quite so harsh. So – it’s been hard for me to justify the move.

Even last night, when I really felt like I was doing it for logical reasons, MrZ still had a little bit of hesitation. So, I felt like I had to spend the next 3 hours justifying my decisions. I kept saying things like, “She was crying so hard she couldn’t breathe!” and “What about the time she came home with poop on her butt?” Even though MrZ didn’t say he disagreed, I didn’t feel like he agreed as whole-heartedly as I did, so I took an argumentative stance. I know that I sometimes react with emotions first and logic second, so I followed him around all night trying to give him evidence to the contrary. He’s supportive of the decision, of course, but I think he thinks it’s unnecessary.

Even this morning, I still feel like I need to continue justifying my actions. I guess it’s just that I feel I did the right thing, but I really want him to feel that as strongly. I think it doesn’t help that there is still that voice in the back of my head saying, “If you weren’t a working mom, you wouldn’t have this problem.”

I just don’t know. This makes for a crappy entry – that much I do know. I guess there are some times where you just want to rant for the sake of ranting. I keep seeing her on the floor, alone, crying so hard she couldn’t breathe. Her face red as the sweater she was wearing. Snot and drool crusty on her face, matting her hair to her skin. And I keep feeling that embrace as I picked her up. The one that said, “Thank God you are here, Mom. Please don’t let me go.” And I keep seeing her arch her back and resist being put in her car seat – something she’s never done – because I don’t believe she was ready to leave the comfort of my arms. All of those feelings are still too fresh in my heart – so much so that even taking her back for just one day, for just today, has me feeling more guilt than the first day I dropped her off after maternity leave.

So, yeah. Sometimes blogging is just about putting your thoughts on paper to help yourself feel better about decisions you have to make. And maybe I’m counting on someone to say, “It sounds like you made the right choice.”

The internet is dead today.

Man. The internet is weird today – I can’t see my Google Reader to tell me if you’ve updated your site (Did you update today? Let me know so I can read your latest!), none of my TV News sites are posting during the holidays, and people just seem bored in cyberworld. There’s just not much going on. So – how about a meme?

Of course Darren didn’t tag me to do this but I saw it on his site. I’m fairly certain I’ve done this before, but I’m too lazy to see. So – Five Things You May Not Know About Me

1) In first grade I was so scared of the 8th graders in my elementary school (it was K-8) that I wouldn’t go to the bathroom unless we went as a class. So, one day when I really had to pee, I opted to just pee at my desk and hope no one would notice. I think I was hoping someone would be like, “Oh…look…someone spilled something.” Which is exactly how a first-grader would think, I guess. But of course, they were more like, “Oh…look…Kim wet her pants!” But hey – at least no one in the 8th grade got a chance to kill me, or whatever else I thought they might do to me.

2) I wanted to be a nun for about 1 week in high school. I think it was the fear of college and my unknown future that made me think I could just join a convent and not worry about making decisions regarding my future. Because, you know, it’s easier to live a life of celibacy and commitment to Christ than to pick a damn major already.

3) I used to be very scared of this one noise I would hear at night when I was growing up. I didn’t know what it was – I just knew when it would start at night it would scare the shit out of me and my over-active imagination. I learned what that noise was years later when I moved into my first house. It was the refrigerator turning on.

4) I can not stand the sound of Styrofoam containers being closed. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

5) I played volleyball in high school and actually got quite good. Of course, I also blame a lot of my chronic shoulder pain on that same athletic endeavor. Which is more noble sounding than blaming it on my inherently bad posture.

Okay – your turn!