Monday, January 2

2005: The year in review

What a year for the Billwildered clan! This year had lots of change for us. As a year-end bonus for you loyal readers, I asked none other than Baba Wawa to guest interview the fam to cover 2005's highlights.

Baba: Hewwo, Biww. Thank you for asking me to join you in your walk down memowy wane. It's a reaw pweasure to be here. What do you say we get started? So, what makes the Biwwwiwdewed cwan tick?

Bill: Well, Babs, that's a tough one. Do we really tick or is it more like a sputter? We take it day by day. I mean, let's face it we all know who rules the roost.

Baba: Kewwy?

Bill: No, dummy. The kids.

Baba: Ahh, yes. The kids. Ethan who is five and Sophia now one. And how is it that they ruwe?

Bill: Like most parents we know, Kerry and I have little control over our schedule. Neither of the kids are very good sleepers. Ethan has gotten better recently after taking a step back last year when Sophia was born. But he still has the occasional 3-4am nightmare or deadarm "pins & needles" alarm.

Baba: And Sophia?

Bill: Well, Sophia hasn't really mastered the whole "sleeping through the night" thing yet. She's teased us a few times this year. She once slept through the night three nights in a row back in September, but then she got sick and just hasn't gotten back on track. She still wakes up sometime between 1-3am almost every night. We're hoping the four teeth she'll be cutting in the next few weeks will help her get through the night. Oh, and the Nyquil we've been mixing with her soy milk.

Baba: Ugh, that must be tough.

Bill: Well, Babs, it's a killer on the energy level, but we get by. Since Kerry left her job before Thanksgiving, she's taken the vast majority of the wake-up calls, God bless her.

Baba: So, you bewieve in God?

Bill: Hey now, ask me something easier like, "Am I gay?" or something.

Baba: Are you?

Bill: Am I what?

Baba: Gay.

Bill: No. Are you? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Baba: Let's stick to me asking the questions, shall we? OK. I don't want to make you cwy, which they used to think was my speciawty, but what was the worst time in 2005 and what's the best?

Bill: Well, the worst wasn't anything too terrible. But was easily those first few weeks when Kerry returned to work from maternity leave. Both of us sleep deprived. We couldn't get Sophia into the daycare center that Ethan was in. So, our sister-in-law was watching her along with her youngest. So we had two separate drop-offs. Kerry was returning to a job she wasn't thrilled with. I was in a job that I was growing increasingly unhappy with. And between formula, diapers, and daycare, money was tight. Just a big adjustment for us.

Baba: Anything else?

Bill: Well, with the sleep deprivation, new schedules, new job, etc., I haven't been able to exercise or workout consistently. I was right in the middle of working on "Buff Bill" when Sophia was born. It's not like I had a six-pack or anything. More like a four-pack really. But now, while I've still been able to maintain my weight, I can see and feel it moving away from the places I want it.

Baba: And the best?

Bill: That's harder. Lot's of great things happened this year. The best was just seeing the kids grow. Ethan graduating from pre-school, learning to read, and going to kindergarten. Sophia taking her first steps and knowing to laugh when she farts.

Baba: Excuse me?

Bill: Oh, did you toot, too?

Baba: No [blushes], I just wasn't sure I heard you wight.

Bill: Yeah, well about a month ago. Sophia just started laughing every time she rips one. I mean, how do kids know that it's funny?

Baba: Well, I don't think it's funny.

Bill: Lighten up, Babs. The country needs to be able to laugh at a few farts and not feel ashamed. Do you smell something?

Baba: What?

Bill: Nevermind.

Baba: Back to the question. You said there are many "bests" this year. What else?

Bill: Well, the new job I started at the end of August kicks ass. I love it. Love the people, the company, and the work. The only downside is the commute--hour on the train in the morning and an hour and a half at night. What else? My cousin is doing a brief stint here in Po-town on a co-op at IBM, so I get to see some of my family. Still not as much as I'd like, but more than I would otherwise. Umm, let's see. Oh, got an Xbox in March. I love that thing! And of course, the launch of Billwildered.

Baba: Ahh, yes. Your bwog. What made you decide to start your own bwog?

Bill: Well, I started it just as a way to share some of the things I see at work and at play with my friends and family. While many are online, some aren't the most tech savvy and most aren't what would be considered "early adopters." And I guess I kinda look at myself that way. I'm a techie nerd at heart. I like to learn about new technologies and envision how they might impact or help us ordinary people in our everyday lives. It's a curiosity thing. And it occurred to me at a family gathering this summer that no one really knew what I did. At the time, I had been at my last employer for almost four years. That no one knew what I did just didn't sit well with me, and I figured a blog was the easiest way for me to share what I'm doing, seeing, learning, and thinking about.

Baba: And how is it working out?

Bill: Well, it's hard to say. I'm not sure how many have embraced Billwildered. I've put up over 50 posts and yet have had only about four or five people comment on any of them. And two of those were on the very first post and another was by a racist half-wit. I guess what I'm saying is that some feedback would be greatly appreciated. Even if it were offline.

Baba: Are you weawwy bewiwdewed though?

Bill: You bet your ass I am, Babs. Not bewildered at what's happening or how the internet and my life are evolving, but bewildered by the possibilities.

Baba: When you put on your bwogging hat, who is your gweatest inspiration?

Bill: I'd have to say the "Other brother, Darryl." That guy was a comical genius. He really taught me to know when to shut the hell up. Or was it how to channel a lack of hygiene into the creative process? I forget.

Baba: Well, thank you, Bill. It's been a pleasure. Since we have a few moments, I'd like to ask Kerry and the kids a few questions.

Bill: Sure, umm, but what happened to your speech impediment?

Baba: What impediment?

Bill: Nevewmind.

Baba: So, Kerry. I understand you've stopped working outside the home. How's that going?

Kerry: It's great, so far. To be honest, I had some doubts about my decision the first few weeks, but I think we're getting into a routine now. And I definitely see improvements in the kid. Ethan and Sophia, too. Ethan is happier when he gets home from school since he can play with Mommy, and Sophia is beginning to really open up to people. And I love just being able to be there for them and not have work in the back of my mind. I just wish I could get Bill to get off the damn Xbox and computer to, I don't know, maybe wash the dishes or do a load of laundry once in a while.

Baba: And Ethan, how was youw yeaw?

Ethan: You talk funny.

Kerry: [through gritted teeth] Answer the question, honey.

Ethan: Good. Wanna see my Lightsabre Battle game?

Baba: Umm, not right now, dear. Maybe after the interview. What was your favorite part of the year, Ethan?

Ethan: Umm, when Daddy got the Xbox and when I saw Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Wanna play LEGO Star Wars on the Xbox?

Baba: You like Star Wars, huh, Ethan?

Ethan: Uh huh, and Teen Titans and Pokemon and LEGOs and...

Baba: Whoa, whoa, whoa. OK, I get it. Here, have some Skittles. Now skidaddle so I can talk to your sister. Sophia, sweetie, what was the best part of your 2005?

Sophia: [red-faced] pffffffffff-fluh-fluh-ffffftt. Tee hee hee hee.

Happy New Year!!

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