Is it really the end of 2008?

It has been an amazing year, and I’m sure I’m not the only one to feel like we’ve lived two or three years in just the last couple of months.

It used to be that I’d sit down during the break between Christmas and New Years and hammer out a “what I did this year” letter to family and friends. And, while I don’t have the luxury of using 6 days to write, I do have 3 evenings of 30 minutes available, so let’s see what I can do.

To sum it all up, Alex and I had a baby, the Dodgers got Manny Ramirez for free, and I totally called Blake DeWitt! Yes – I did! Knock on wood – work was pretty successful. Metro easily proved heading into the internet world is something that can be embraced. And, who could forget the impact of Twitter?

In looking back through blog entries I realized that I use my blog for one of three things: ranting about neighbors, inviting you to community meetings, and going on and on about the Dodgers.

January started with a continuation of “Art the Ass” our ass of a neighbor who was the ultimatum we needed to leave Pacific Electric Lofts. Art finally “moved out” during the summer. Art is a perfect example of why the economy is in the crapper. He drove a big brand-new BMW, his girlfriend threw wild parties when he wasn’t around, you could smell his cologne from the hallway. Ultimately the parking attendant saw his car get repossessed, and everyone on our floor saw his eviction notice, along with the note that showed he hadn’t paid rent recently. Moral of that story: live within your means. The End.

February was a difficult month for our church. Long time member Magdelena Sabado passed away. A tiny Filipina with a heart 5 or 6 times her size. She was one of those women who just doesn’t pass away, and it still feels like she’s around somewhere.

Downtown was buzzing in February and it wasn’t because of the wine at Artwalk. First, there was the community update meetings for Regional Connector. The Downtown community got their first glimpse into the refined alternatives. It created an abundance of online chatter. BlogDowntown, Angelenic, LAist, and LAStreetsBlog all got in on the action.

Then, came along the Quimby revelation that millions of dollars was sitting around for use by Downtown for recreational uses. Not for those kinds of recreational uses, but for securing new park space, equipment, and more.

February was also the month I had a terrible cold. I was down for a whole week. It was horrible. It was some kind of combination of flu, cold, and allergies. I went to the doctor, and he told me so! But, funny thing…Doctor and I both missed a couple of symptoms.

March – I started to get letters from people that had gone to high school with my mom. Four in all, recounted those high school stories we all have. Things I knew: she was a horrible driver and that she smoked cigarettes. Things I didn’t know: She was a “sigher” – one who sighs when others make statements of no value. I’m a sigher, and I always wondered where I got it from. She was also an “eye roller”

I also caught ANOTHER cold in March. I was again, down for a couple of days. Went to the doctor, and was just told it was the common cold. I was so sick I missed Lindsey’s bachelorette party. The party was held at a bar with vodka flowing freely through the night. Good thing I didn’t go.

March also brought the DLANC election the forefront. With changes in the election process, and a reinvigorated Central City East community (AKA Skid Row) I knew the election was going to be very exciting. Ever seat was up for election – even mine.

April, April, April. April is like a whole year unto itself. I was trying to get the DLANC election procedures in order, line up a slate for the council, work was gearing up for another round of community meetings, and a co-worker was about to head out on family leave. And, Alex and I discovered we were going to have a baby in August! Thankfully at the end of August.

Just looking at the posting of our announcement still makes my eyes water up. I remember coming home from work that night in shock, and all I could think about was “where are we going to put the crib?”

Also, this was the month that Alex purchased a hitting gnome and sent it to Russell Martin (My favorite Dodger). One night we were watching the game and there it was…the gnome was set up right behind Russell Martin. It was awesome!

It didn’t take us very long to find out we were having a little girl. Some people have to wait months and months to find out. We waited two weeks. ☺ Everyone remembers me saying that she’s not wearing pink. (Yes – today she’s wearing pink, but she looks really good in purple)

Our good friends John and Lindsey were married in May. I even wore a dress. It was great to be a part of such a large wedding, and it gave Alex and I the idea that maybe we should be more aggressive in planning our own. (We became engaged last September)

May also brought DLANC controversy. The voter registration forms were delivered via bulk postal mail. And, lessons learned through our 4 years downtown – bulk mail delivery is not effective downtown. Not At All. And, it’s even less effective in Central City East – also known as Skid Row. Thank goodness for Don Garza, Russell Brown, and General Jeff for getting out there and coordinating additional deliveries of voter registration forms.

June brought the final straw. I was sitting at the dining table one afternoon working. Art the Ass was also home, not working but listening to his house club music. Art’s music seemed like the same song playing over and over again, with the same bump-bump beat. On this particular afternoon our adjoining wall finally gave in to Art’s music. We lost a picture off the wall.

I think this was the month we went on our Babymoon. We took a train trip up to Tacoma. The trip was the train. Tacoma was just our layover. It was a secret trip, we didn’t tell any family.

July! My birthday month. Alex bought us tickets to sit THIS CLOSE to the field. We lost the game, but Joe was tossed from the game, Casey Blake got tossed from the game, and I thought for sure I’d see a fight. Ahhh…I love baseball!

There was also a small earthquake in July. At first I thought it was just me walking around bumping things. It was really an earthquake.

Before the earthquake and baseball game, Alex and I first had to move. We moved to SB Manhattan, and yes…I was about 8 months pregnant. And, I’ll say this now…I moved a lot of heavy things. Every time I turned around someone one was telling me “Don’t lift this” or “Don’t lift that” Screw that – we needed to move. And, as far as I can tell – Iolani is just fine.

Finally – I saw Jason Burns twitter the birth of his little girl. It was here that I got the wild and crazy idea that I could use twitter to tell my youngest brother how I was doing once I went into labor with Iolani.

August was a busy month. Given all the exercise during the move I was convinced Iolani was going to come early. We held the Baby Warming on the 3rd and over 90 people came over to the house through the afternoon. I was tired at the end of the day, but it was a great time. And, oh my god…I was all baby.

We found out that yes, I was big and all baby. There was a little water in there, but it was mostly baby. August 13th was about the time the Doctor told me that working in the office was at it’s end. I couldn’t fit behind the steering wheel of the car, contractions were getting stronger, and I was getting really cranky.

So, that ended that. While at home I worked from the bed and walked and walked and walked. I was bored with walking, I was bored of waiting, and I was physically ready to have Iolani.

Thankfully she arrived right on her due date. Hats off to Dr. Peter Park, known also as the “Lone Ranger” by the nurses. With his humor and patience, I can safely say that this year’s catch phrase and theme belongs to him. After our first appointment with him he said – “You are both very lucky, very lucky, very lucky that your baby is very healthy.

Very Lucky.

After some fun and games at the hospital we hunkered down for the emergency c-section. Iolani was born during the last moments of the 27th. A couple of days later we headed home. About 6 weeks later Alex and I headed back to work.

Enter Rosi! Rosi “manages” Iolani during the day. There’s the coordination of diaper changes and bottle feedings. There’s the implementation of a daily schedule, which includes bath time, tummy time, and burp time. Additionally, Rosi is in charge of fussy time. She is an amazing woman, and I know when I leave for my work day, Iolani is well cared for and loved. There is no lack of love in Iolani’s life. ☺

We spent September and October in a haze of diapers and bottles. I also upgraded our cable so that we could watch the dodger games from home. Watching the Dodgers enter into post season play from home was great.

However – it was even better to show up to the stadium with our 3 week old daughter to watch the game from some very good seats. I spent the game watching for foul balls and feeding the baby. It was the first time I’d been to a baseball game and unable to concentrate on the game.

November – Phillies won – whoop-dee-doo. Try again next year. The Mariners (the original home team) began to retool, and the Dodgers spent a couple of days wondering what happened. Meanwhile, one more round of Westside Extension and Regional Connector meetings helped me to come to face the fact – I was a working mother.

We attended our second wedding of the year. Some 20 years in the making, I’d never seen such a large group of people so excited and giddy!

We finally got a new president, but then California turned around and passed prop 8. I spent a couple of days in a weird funk trying to reconcile my joy for no more Bush and at the same time wondering why Californians didn’t want more people to enjoy the institution of marriage. I still don’t get it.

Iolani has gracefully hit all her milestones, seen all the neighborhoods, is a pro on the transit system. She is a gracious listener as we read the Economist, the Three Little Pigs, and Good Night Moon.

There are still days that I’m surprised that I’m a mom and that Alex is a dad. But, when you look at our little girl you can easily tell she belongs to Alex. (I bet she gets my temperament and desire for handbags)

Our involvement in our neighborhood has a renewed sense of urgency. We have made a lot of new friends this year, and have reconnected with several old friends. For 2009, we will see a little girl start walking and talking. Work projects will get busy again, and maybe Manny will be back with the Dodgers?

She’s a whole new component to our life that we didn’t consider would actually happen. She’s been a great roommate, and we have high hopes she will be able to contribute to rent soon.

So, again – 2009…Iolani will take her first cruise, overnight train trip, and see some family up in Washington (not until the Spring). We will see what happens with the Dodgers, but first – the World Baseball Classic!

Thanks for reading the blog this year! Hopefully it’s been entertaining. So, raise your coffee cups, water glasses, and soda cans to 2009. Let’s hope for economic recovery, victory at the World Baseball Classic, and the return of Lost. Finally.

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