That’s Good! That’s Bad! 2016 Edition

A recap of the year, for better or for worse.

In true Step Brothers fashion, 2016 made me want to stand up in a crowd and yell, “This year is horse shit!” I do exercise some restraint though, believe it or not, and I’ve basically saved the drama for my mama (and my husband and my co-workers and my closest friends, sorry guys).

There was a lot of heartache and hardship, but looking back, a few really great things happened, too. Here is a recap of my year, as inspired by the Margery Cuyler book I loved as a kid, That’s Good! That’s Bad! It’s the story of a little boy’s adventures—some good, some bad—at the zoo. If you’ve never shared this with your kids, you should put it on your 2017 reading list. It’s a little bit scary, but in a “let’s talk about why we don’t crawl into a gorilla exhibit” way. Lord knows we don’t need another Harambe.

That’s Bad! 2016 was the year of the dead appliances. Our washing machine, water heater and microwave all crapped out.
That’s Good! We’re enjoying the benefits of cleaner clothes, warmer baths and a brand new surface on which to splatter uncovered leftovers.

That’s Bad! Andy and I sadly lost a baby in May due to a partial mole. It was the most heartbreaking thing that’s ever happened to our little family and it was a tough go for a few months as I endured weekly blood work and follow-up appointments.
That’s Good! Ultimately, I became much more in tune with what my friends are experiencing because, let’s face it, more people than not are struggling with infertility. I’ve grown more sensitive and realistic and hopefully a little more helpful to the people who need it.

That’s Bad! Donald Trump.
That’s Good! Maybe he’ll get a new hair stylist now.

That’s Good! Our miscarriage broke our hearts, but our faith was restored when we received news of a healthy pregnancy only a short time after our ordeal. Since then we’ve had several wonderful ultrasounds where we’ve been able to check on our baby girl, whom I’ll refer to by her initials, MJ. In an awesome turn of events, MJ is due on Mother’s Day, only two short days after the one year anniversary of my D&C. Everything happens for a reason, right?
That’s Bad! Nothing to report! We’re so excited!

That’s Good! We upgraded to a king-sized bed to accommodate the extra bodies (both human and animal) that share the space with Andy and I.
That’s Bad! Somehow, my square footage did not increase. Everyone else seems to be getting a little more leg room except for the mom with the growing belly.

That’s Bad! What I thought was going to be an amazing career opportunity fizzled out after significant time and effort spent.
That’s Good! I learned an important lesson about getting everything in writing. I also learned that my brain is still capable of learning new things, which is reassuring as I assess what my next career move will be.

Smarty Pants

Mornings with toddlers are THE worst part of the day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kiddo. She’s wonderful, and as far as overall behavior goes, she’s a breeze. But she’s smart. You’re probably like, “Are you complaining that your child is intelligent? My kid is a dumb ass, do you want to trade?” I love that Caroline is totally enthralled by books and often has a better vocabulary than her father. But I hate that I can’t trick her. She knows all my games, never falls for my bribes and according to Andy, “plays me like a fiddle.” BUT SHE’S SO BELIEVABLE!

Today was no exception. We’ve been transitioning after a long weekend of holiday festivities and mornings have been treacherous. Caroline cried about brushing her teeth, about what Milk-Bone the dog got to eat and where the seams fell on her socks. I get it girl, it’s hard to go back to work after a break. I mean, look at me, I’m over here writing a blog entry instead of attending to my clients. Awesome role model.

I’m always late, this morning included, and it’s like she could sense that. Every time I said, “Mom’s going to be late for work,” she dialed her speed down and increased her whining volume. The straw that broke the camel’s back was Mom v. Chocolate Milk. As the minutes ticked by, Caroline casually sipped her chocolate milk like she was on a coffee date with her long-lost college roomie. HURRY IT UP, PLEASE! I mean, this wasn’t gourmet, it was Nesquik. I finally just picked her up and asked her to drink it in the car, to which she screamed, “I WANT TO PUT IT IN THE SINK!” Again, you’re probably like, lady, are you complaining that your kid wants to clean up after herself? No, I’m not. I’m complaining because she wants to do it at the most inopportune times, which I guess is when toddlers do everything. I set her back down, she finished her drink, put it in the sink and we hit the road. I was sweating and she had tear-streaked cheeks, but we made it out the door.

The cherry on top? I forgot the kid’s hat and mittens…in December…in Minnesota. #winning.

Mom Thoughts

My husband gets up early because he is a productive human. I, on the other hand, will lay in bed until my alarm clock goes off, even if I’ve been awake for three hours. It feels like a waste if I don’t use up every minute of sedentary time available to me, because you know, my sales job is so physically strenuous. Meanwhile, Andy lifts entire walls over his head while standing on stilts (and balancing a ball on his nose and swallowing a flaming sword) and he can just pull an Elf, “I got a full 40 minutes of sleep!” Desk jobs are hard work, people.

So Andy’s awake, doing all the things, and my mom thoughts start. For those of you who aren’t familiar, these are the strange things mothers worry about and fathers don’t. Mom thoughts often strike at 4am like a bolt of lighting, “When is 3K enrollment?!?” “Did I put that bill in the mail?!?” “Is Caroline’s winter coat too small?!?” The soundtrack to these thoughts is usually Andy snoring away in perfect slumber, while I rack my brain, trying to remember every detail of what I was supposed to accomplish in the last 72 hours. Usually I just internalize these worries and stew on them until some shitty Netflix crime show lulls me to sleep. Luckily for Andy, today he was awake to share in my anxiety. As he leaned over to kiss me goodbye, I blurted out this train of nonsense:

“Do you know where our sleeping bags are?”
“Can you check this boob for me? It hurts like hell. Is there a lump?”
“Do you think we should buy a double stroller?”

And this, folks, is what it’s like to be married to me.

P.S. I still have not found the sleeping bags, the cause of my injury was deemed to be a restless-legged toddler and I Craigslisted a duallie the next day. Not totally unproductive.