2009 Under Pressure.

After an absence due to holiday business and overall exhaustion it is my triumphant return to blogging! Its a long one folks as I break down the year with how it panned out for me, as well as my favorite Movies, Books, and Music. It’s been a strange but wonderful year. Settle in and enjoy my quick bloggy breakdown of the year that was.

The Pressure Support 2009 Year in Review!

Home and family life was a bit chaotic for us this year. Liam was born just before the new year and so we spent the first minutes of 2009 with Liam in the NICU.
Here is the breakdown of the rest of the year…
January 1st to May 28th: Hospital, hospital, hospital, trip to another hospital for a few days in Boston, Hospital, Hospital.

First Two Weeks of June: Two wonderful weeks of moving into our new house with Liam at home with us. Nightly battles with the pulse oximeter. The first weeks and days of being a family at home. No sleep. A flooded basement three times resulting in the digging of an eight foot deep trench to replace main sewer line into the house. (thanks for the help Uncle John, and Dad) More time spent with Liam. No sleep. Wonderful exhaustion.

Mid-June to October 1st: Hospital, Hospital, Hospital, Major Surgery, Hospital, Hospital, Hospital, Another Major Surgery, Hospital, Hospital, Hospital, Respiratory Training, Ventilator Training, Infant and Trach CPR Training, Hospital, Home!!’
October 1st to December 31st: Home! The most stressful (that’s saying something) and satisfying months of my life. Life at home with Liam becomes more and more routine and fulfilling. Life has new meaning and one look in Liam’s eyes can wash away anything that bothers me. Its all here in the blog which was started a few days before Liam’s discharge.
There you have it, 2009 for me. If it seems to be written as a big blur that’s because it was. Difficult to explain but while I can remember specific details of nearly every event it all seems to have gone by too quickly to process. A strange mix of fear, stress, and sadness, with unbelievable pride, happiness, and fulfillment. Parenthood is a confusing state of affairs.

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I didn’t see too many movies in 2009 so a round-up of my favorites would be hard to compile. Coraline seems to be the only one jumping up and down and waving its hand in the air in my mind. Well that and Wall-E which I watched with Liam the other day. I didn’t see Star Trek, The Wrestler, The Hangover, Inglorious Basterds, Where the Wild Things Are, District 9, or any of the other movies I wanted to this year. I’m looking forward to catching up in 2010.

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Books were dominated by Neil Gaiman this year as I started with American Gods in the hospital and went on to read Coraline, The Graveyard Book (both with Liam), the first five volumes of The Sandman, and Signal to Noise. I read a bunch of other books this year, but they were mostly re-reads or didn’t have much impact (I’m looking at you Perforated Heart by Eric Bagosian). But I’m glad I waited to write this little ‘best of’ piece because yesterday I found the best. Yesterday I read the best book I have read all year. Then today I read it again. Persepolis seemed to jump off the library shelf at me. I had heard of the book many many times but never made the time for it. It is easily the most powerful and thought provoking book I’ve read in a few years and I just now found out that it was made into a movie in 2007. I’ll have to check that out, but anyone reading this should run to their library to pick up this little gem published in 2003. I just wrote my mini-review of it for Goodreads.com. Here goes….

I never got that into graphic novels. I read the ones that everyone is supposed to read Watchmen, Dark Night and the like, started The Sandman this year and am very happy I did, but I never dug deeper into the genre. Its not that I wasn’t impressed or didn’t appreciate the talent in storytelling, dialogue, overall writing as well as artwork; I was very impressed actually but my to be read pile always superseded jumping into something new. Persepolis has changed all that. This book is incredible. At times hilarious and heartbreaking. I was almost in tears more than once. A young girl growing up during the Islamic Revolution of Iran and coming to grips with the differences between the solid and close-nit environment at home and the violent turmoil outside. Brilliantly and beautifully drawn in simple shapes of only black and white. A quick read, I flew through it in close to an hour immediately upon returning from the library with it, I waited and thought it over before reading it again the next day (today). I recommend this to everyone. Brilliant storytelling and a heartbreaking true story.

Just go read it.

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I didn’t listen to a variety of music this year and I certainly didn’t listen to much new music. The only new albums that I dug into were Ben Fold’s new album Way to Normal which I loved of course. He could sing the phone book and I’d buy it. And Regina Spektor’s new album Far which I LOVED!! After spending close to 3 months listening to it over and over again I could still put it on today and just listen on repeat. It will always remind me of time spent in the PICU of Hasbro Children’s Hospital but since it all ended well that’s ok with me. Aside from those two new albums I think I listened to more Talking Heads than any other band and Tom Waits more than any other solo/songwriter.

*****

The Red Sox disappointed down the stretch. Injuries and a lack of offense had them stumbling through the second half and they were lucky to even make the playoffs. We were beat handily by the Angels and I had to sit by and watch the Yankees win the championship. Oddly enough I didn’t yell that much at the TV this time. Liam has showed me that there are more important thing in life than baseball. Funny, it only took 32 years to learn that lesson. The Patriots stumbled through this current season but seem to be playing their best football of the season as the playoffs begin in two weeks. We’ll see what happens there.

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There you have it. My summary of my 2009. Family life is wonderful, work life not so much. I started the year writing (nearly) every day in my Carepage to get out updates to the family and I ended the year writing (nearly) every day for this blog to get out updates to the three or four of you out there reading this. Let’s see if we can’t keep the writing part going through next year.

Happy New Year All.

Oh, and P.S. that meaningful post for Liam’s first Christmas and First Birthday that I mentioned in the last couple of posts . . . just because its not posted doesn’t mean its not written. Just means I decided its none of your business. No offense.

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