Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Visiting the past

I went home for a Christmas celebration last weekend. It was very rushed, but a good time, nonetheless. It was nice to see my sisters, my mom, and my nieces and nephews. It was also mass chaos, with 11 people sleeping* in the house.

While I was home, I also decided to meet up with some people that I last saw at our 8th grade graduation ceremony. One girl sent me a friend request on Facebook, and before you knew it, there were 5 or 6 of us trying to arrange a mini reunion. Reconnecting with your childhood is a very strange and wonderful thing. Because it was a small group and because it's been 27 years, there were no lingering tensions. Everyone was simply pleased to see everyone else, meet spouses, hear about lives and children, and gossip about those who were not there.

At some point during the night, I went outside to talk to my husband on my cell phone. It was a cold night (22 degrees with a brutal wind chill), and I was huddled against the wind. Three young men (maybe legal, but certainly not of drinking age) walked by and one of them suggested that maybe I would like him to help me warm up. He even opened his coat to invite me over. It made me laugh, but also made me feel young again.

While giving a brief overview of my life, I came to a realization. At least for me, all of the things that I've experienced have been necessary to get me to life as I know it. If I had married earlier and tried to start a family, I would have gone through a great many more miscarriages before I would have been able to seek additional help. If I had not wasted my 20s on a loser, I would not have been available when I met my husband.

That experiences prepare you for life is not exactly a stunning realization. But these things weren't exactly experiences that shaped who I am - they were more like placeholders to get me to the points where I needed to be in order to get the life I have. I think this is a little more palatable to me - I don't care to think of myself as being the sum of my experiences. I'd prefer that my experiences are just the scenery along the path of my life. I remain essentially unchanged. I am still the slightly obnoxious, socially inept but somewhat likeable, smart girl that I was when I was 13.

I guess I now know why I don't feel like I'm 40. At heart, I am still that 13 year old girl, with a lot less fear, a little more knowledge and understanding, and the same amount of patience (none). It's a good feeling to know that you're still the same, no matter how much you've changed.

*Well, some people were sleeping. I was not one of them. The first night, I awoke after 2 hours of sleep to find that my air bed had deflated and my nose was cold (my sister is the energy miser - she turns the heat down to 60 at night). I proceeded to spend the rest of that night and the next night sharing a twin bed with a 3 year old bed hog who really likes to sleep with her arm pressed tightly around your neck. Makes breathing difficult and sleep about impossible.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Turns out, I'm not as good at complaining as I thought I was

December has not been a great month...for those around me. I want to whine about it, but while I'm feeling the stress of all the misfortunes of those around me, I am not actually experiencing them. Therefore, I cannot complain.

I can complain about my family though. My mom is putting the holiday pressure on. My sister is putting the holiday pressure on. My other sister is making rude remarks to me on Facebook. Eh, it's all par for the course in my family.

So, I'm trying to readjust my attitude. I'm almost done Christmas shopping - just have the daycare teachers left. My girl will be getting some fun stuff for Christmas. I will spend the weekend baking cookies for the neighbors (and myself!). I will meet a friend for lunch on Monday. I will appreciate that I am in my lovely home (and not in an inhospitable place, like my husband). I will appreciate that I am basically healthy, except for the cough (unlike my FIL, whose cancer has returned). I will appreciate that I have plenty of choices on where to go for the holidays, because that means my daughter has many people who love her. I will try to appreciate that I have a job (even though I can't seem to get much done lately) because so many people do not.

There will be no complaining here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I can't figure out how to schedule this post to show up on the 9th, but it's less than 2 hours away, and the Grandmaster has already started the ball rolling down under...


The “assignment” for cross-pollination day is to introduce oneself to the readers of someone else’s blog. I can usually follow the heck out of some rules, but this one is a little tricky. This assignment requires me to know who I am and what my blog is about, and this has all become a little murky for me lately.

I fall into the same uncertain blog territory as many mommy bloggers who have roots in infertility. I don’t know what to blog about now that I’m not waiting to test, mourning a BFN, or rallying my hopes for another go ‘round. I’m hesitant to share too much about life with my son for fear I will alienate, or worse, injure my friends who are still in the ttc trenches. I spent enough time there myself to know how painful it can be to watch others get their ticket out, then send postcards about how it is so much better than they ever imagined.

In addition to that, I feel as if I’m redefining myself a bit as well, or at least figuring out how to move through the new world I find myself in. For the first time in my adult life, I don’t feel like I’m reaching for something. My life has been mission-driven for nearly a decade: First there was undergrad, then grad school, then planning our wedding, then trying to get pregnant. Each phase emerged seamlessly from the one that preceded it, and each included a massive, all-consuming project that absorbed my every free minute, thought, and action. These projects have defined me.

And now, I’m just… here. I’m exactly where I’ve always wanted to be. My career is established and I am well-respected within my field. I have a stable, fulfilling relationship with my partner who just happens to be the most amazing person I know. We own a comfortable home in a great neighborhood, and we have a happy, healthy little boy. I guess you could say I’ve arrived. This is very unfamiliar territory for me. Of course I’d love to move more money into savings, have a cleaner house, eat healthier and work out more. Oh, and while I’m at it, I’d like to win the lottery too, please. Okay? Okay.

But seriously, there are actual, less cliche goals on my horizon. I want Elliot to have a sibling and we’re hoping to relocate to be closer to family, but we have some time before we have to start thinking seriously about either of those things. I’d like to run (er… jog? power walk?) a 5k, become a CASA volunteer, and visit Prague. All of these things are on my agenda, but they’re not hanging over me every single day as ttc and pregnancy were.

I feel a need to embrace my current status out of respect for my fellow bloggers who are still ttc and so desperately long for what I have, as well as for the younger me who spent years toiling and sacrificing to get here. I owe it to all of these people to revel in this a bit. This feels really foreign, but if that’s the biggest challenge I’m facing – learning to just be present and appreciate the wonderful moment I’m in – I have no business complaining about a thing.

Well? Have you figured out who wrote this excellent guest post? Go and visit here and find out. While you're there read some hilarious, touching, and otherwise wonderful stuff!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Aunt Becky is giving stuff away and I had to work for it

Aunt Becky is giving away a book. But she's mean and makes people work for it. Or maybe she just wants to know stuff about me. She also wanted me to post a button on my blog, but I can't due to question # 2...

So, here are her interview questions and my answers:

1) Do you like sprinkles on your ice cream?

No - they irritate my teeth like tinfoil on a filling.

2) If you had to choose one word to banish from the English language, what would it be and why?

whore. Hate that word. I don't even know why. Second is panties.

3) If you were a flavor, what would it be?

Cranky. It is too a flavor.

4) What’s the most pointless annoying chore you can think of that you do on a daily/weekly basis?

Dude, my husband would be so happy if I did any chore on a daily/weekly basis. So, in order to meet that criteria, I'm going to have to go up. That I do religiously every day, and most of the time, it's annoying and pointless because I do it far earlier than I would like. (If you would like to change daily/weekly to occasionally, then it's totally dusting. Especially on a sunny day, because I can see those f'ing dust motes floating in the air, waiting for me to leave, so they can settle right back to the place from which I just removed them. Fuckers.)

5) Of all the nicknames I’ve ever had in my life, Aunt Becky is the most widely known and probably my favorite. What’s your favorite nickname? (for yourself)


6) Your stuck on a desert island with the collective works of 5 (and only five) musical artists for the rest of your life. Who are they?

REM, U2, The Cure, Beethoven, and all the Now That's What I Call Music CD's for some variety (I hope they made a disco version, because everyone needs a little disco every now and then).

7) Everything is better with bacon. True or false?

False. I know, blasphemy. But, much bacon has liquid smoke, and I think I'm allergic to that. Smoked stuff gives me gas. Aren't you glad you asked?

8 ) If I could go back in time and tell Young Aunt Becky one thing, it would be that out of chaos, order will emerge. Also: tutus go with everything. What would you tell young self?

You can get anything you want, you have all the tools to do it. Recognize those tools and use them, and maybe you'll have some more adventures. Spend some time studying in college, because playing Hearts and Spades well is not a marketable skill. Also, do not waste your 20s on someone who you don't care that much about. But, waiting for the man you really love will ultimately be worth it. Even if you do bicker constantly.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Random Thoughts from my crazy brain

Did you know that, to men, there is such a thing as a boob hug? Apparently that happens when a girl hugs you tightly enough to press her boobs against you. This information makes me very happy that I'm not a touchy-feelie type of person.

Have you ever perused the sample sale sites? Like Ruelala, or Hautelook, or Ideeli? (If you want an invite, email me - I get bonuses for herding new people into the nets! For full disclosure, I have never earned a bonus, because I don't bother people with crap like that. Anyway...) Sometimes, the clothes that the models are wearing are completely unflattering. I'm not sure who does the photo selections for these sites, but if the model looks fat or uncomfortable or just kinda silly, go back and take another photo. I'm certainly not going to buy anything that makes a human clothes hanger look fat. I can't even imagine what that would do to my petite yet slightly sturdy shape. ETA: Look at the following outfit...where exactly do you wear this? In my view, if it's cold enough to wear tights and boots, it's too cold for short shorts!

Compare these two pictures:

In the first one, the model looks like she's wearing a stylish swing cape. It's fun and frivolous (although I couldn't pull off a cape to save my life). In the second one, the model seems embarassed to be wearing an ugly rug. If not for the black shirt, I'd think she was naked and her ass was hanging out the back.

I think I'm going to take up saying "anyhoodle." I often wander off topic, so I will get plenty of opportunities to use it.

I'm pretty sure that when you're actually middle aged, you don't have any concept that you've hit middle age. Based on the average life expectancy, middle age hits around age 36. When I was 36, I was still a newlywed. I was considering starting a family. I was young! Don't turn 40, or it's possible that you will start pondering stuff like this.

Did you ever work with someone who is desperate to be your friend so he/she can control you? I work with a woman like that. I know she doesn't like me, but she can't stand for me to not be her buddy. So she tries to do stuff for me. It makes me very uncomfortable.

Why doesn't the Discovery Channel (or TLC or NatGeo or History) limit their programming productions to 30 minutes? If they did that, I wouldn't have to listen to endless recaps of the previously presented information after every commercial break.