I think the most terrifying thing I can think of happening if we were to have a baby now as opposed to a few years from now is that certain doors will close and when I look back and see that I made that choice, the option will be gone. Or will it?
I'm pretty sure I explained in an earlier post that someone told me that it's about putting off a certain path (school and anything else), and not thinking that the path is not possible after I become a mother.
I have learned that I can look past the issue of having a bigger space in that we've been searching for a new home for a while now, albeit in some form: looking online, somewhat actively looking (driving by houses), very actively looking (attending open houses), and I know that when the right place comes along on the right tree-lined street in the calm, country suburb or within walking distance to the city, we'll be better for it. But for now, redoing some of our kitchen with fresh paint and countertops and assessing what projects we want to do next for the new tenants or for the time being, is okay. I can feel good about that.
Bub and I have known each other six years. I've come to this comfortable lull of work where my my routine, it exists. Is it the perfect, mind-blowing dream job? No, but I don't know what that job is, so if I were to search for it, I'm not sure I could. There are so many ways to go when it comes to life. I always talk about opening up that bakery, and just two short years ago I thought I would be planning for law school. Now? i'm thinking MFA's, freelance, moving to another place, and the list goes on and on.
For others, their 20's are for them. They want to travel. They feel like babies are aliens and they don't get it. I don't get it.
I don't easily let my dreams die. And whether they come true before or after I have children, they'll still thrive in my core.
Being a parent is a path to choose and it opens doors and doesn't necessarily close them. School, tuition bills, opening my own business and the stresses of wondering if it will survive can all exist, so can relocation to another part of the world, but for now, as a 27-year-old woman, what is right? What is selfish? What is next? And what am I waiting for, exaclty? I'm excited to find out.
So to the little boy we met yesterday at Bub's birthday BBQ (no German chocolate cake was made; more on that later), I could take you home and love you as if you were my own because you loved life more than everyone else there. And we'll remember your smile when we think about that night and how the future holds so much for the parents that Bub and I hope to be.
Bub's birthday is tomorrow and I'm excited because I've finally decided what I'll be making him. No pineapple upside down cakes like last year (although tasty). Bub weighs in on what he wants. It came down to German Chocolate Cake and some Chocolate Chip Sour Cream cake number. Although he hasn't outright said it, I think he's more interested in the German Chocolate Cake. And since it's not my birthday, I haven't said either way what I'd prefer to make, but I vote for German Chocolate Cake, too. The thing is, the recipe I'm using is from Magnolia's Bakery cookbook, a gift from a long-lost friend (who again is now lost) who gave it to me at my bridal shower. So far, other recipes in the book haven't let me down aside from weighing me down with the fat and fat and fat that the recipes often call for (buttermilk, butter, etc.). Anywho.
I went to the grocery store in hopes of getting what I needed for said cake, but should have planned ahead because I couldn't recall what we already had in the house. That on top of the fact that we're in desperate need of regular non-cake related items had me thinking that it's not to be avoided; I'll need to go to the grocery store in the early a.m., hopefully after or before a trip to the gym since hi, I haven't been in almost three weeks. EEEEEEK. Feeling guilty? Scarily, no. I'm making up for it by not eating much and having wine for dinner.
Since my lunch plan to go get groceries failed, I hit Starbucks for a piece of reduced-fat coffee cake and an iced non-fat latte (can't they just say "skim latte"?) for lunch. Then I fit in a trip to a nail place literally 2 seconds from my office to get a polish change for my toes.
I had heard good things about the place or mostly non-bad things about it from my co-workers. I just wanted the quick change because my French pedi had gone to hell and I was wearing sandals (because it's a bazillion degrees out) and would be tomorrow and my toes were scary. I have this thing about wearing sandals when toes are not in at least "good" condition, if not freshly painted and in excellent shape. I know, I'm a high-maintenance nails person or H-MNP. So I went and picked out my color and marveled at how I'm so great to fit this into my lunch hour and was not paying a ton for fancy shmancy pedi (if I had more time, I probably would have just had the whole kit and caboodle).
So Mr. Polish takes me down to a chair to change my French into My Chihuahua Bites! when I saw three little girls sitting in chairs all having just finished with their pedis.
By the time I got done and went to dry my toes, the three girls had migrated over to the drying area too, and I came to sit across one of the blonde girls. They couldn't have been more than 10. Not triplets, but maybe. Their mother was getting a French manicure. She was very good with them, keeping her eye on things while chatting up another Mr. Polish.
The little girl who sat across from me made eye contact so I smiled. I couldn't see her mouth because she was so short, but she smiled back at least with her eyes. After they were done drying, they were wandering around, waiting for mom. The girl who had sat across from me looked like she might be a cheerleader when she was older. Cute little yellow skirt with matching tank top. Long straight blonde hair and bangs. She loved to have fun; it was apparent.
Another girl had the curly-crazy blonde hair. She might be the tom-boy, sporty girl. She had on her cute little girl clothes and big girl sandals. They really were big girl because they looked like hand-me-downs that had been worn a little but ones which she had not yet grown into. Being a little wild-child (I'm not sure she was, but from appearance, I think she could be), I don't think she cared what she looked like.
Then there was the third girl. AKA the girl who resembled me. Short bob 'do. A bit haute couture for a girl that age (not that I was haute couture, but I was the girl who had short hair at that age out of my friends and sister, although brunette) and then she turns and yes, the glasses. She was the only one of the three with the glasses. She was wearing what I would have worn: Birkenstock sandals just like Mom bought me and jean shorts. From what I witnessed, she was quieter and more withdrawn.
I wondered at what age the woman had her kids. She seemed happy, not that old, and really with it as a parent. She was already figuring out with one of her kids what her daughter would wear on Halloween and telling her not to stress; she had a couple of months! It was still August!
And I was jealous of this mom who could go get her nails done with her girls. Another summer Friday, another day carrying on. Being a parent. No cares about MFA's, work, not going to the gym...
I finished first. My toes were done and I had to be back to work (so that I could write this post) and that family could be left to their own devices. Swimming pools, sunshine, growing up together.
While getting ready for work, or simply sulking in bed that ick, it's not Friday or a day off from work and what the fuck?, I think about all the stuff I want to get done at work. Then I get here and, of course, I just have to see who wrote me who's not from work. And then I have to see who posted last night. So here I am now. Here's my post. My stuff.
While we were at the christening, Bub's 25-year-old cousin blurted out: So are you planning on having kids in the future? The room went silent. I was like oh, my, god. What the f? I managed to mumble something like: Yeah, we're going to have a family, we just don't know when.
Can you say pressure? The woman who does my nails, the receptionist at the dentist, and a random woman I met while I was away for work all asked me, Any babies yet? Is it really your business?
I have a to-do list before I go using a stroller. I want to be in a bigger home (a house) since our 1-bed isn't exactly the most ideal place to put things like a crib, changing area, baby clothes (where we'd put those, I don't know--under the bed is already taken), baby stroller/carrier, toys, and so on. I want to paint a nursery, hang a mobile, pick out our rocker and place it just so in the baby's room.
However, a few people, including one friend who has two kids, told me it can be done in our space, our 1-bed condo. Solicited advice? No. Another friend says that the year of the pig (2007) is better than next year (year of the mouse) to conceive and so we should think about trying later this year.
That discussion took place in a public bathroom. Again, advice not solicited.
My other to-do item is to figure out school. What does that mean? Figure. Out. School. Figure out what??
Someone told me that I'm thinking as if I cannot do anything once the baby is born. Instead, I've learned that I'm really feeling that I don't want to do such and such after I have a baby because I won't want to. The motivation will die. The baby will be my universe. Normal, right? Well, in that case, I want to prepare and do all I can now. Pre-baby belly.
I really feel that it's time to assess what the next step is for my career/education/future. As much as I can see myself enjoying staying home and being with a kid, I'd like to stay connected with a world where I feel that I know something, can be good at it, and perhaps do it from my home so as to have both. I think I sound selfish, I know. Bub, I'm sorry!
It's a lot of money, grad school. But I feel like if I put it off, I won't do it. But it's taken me 5 years to get to this point of knowing I want to do something. To be challenged. (Hello and goodbye law school!)
Words and books and reading and writing. Those things I have a connection to in some way. I was the English major, the girl who wrote on random pieces of paper and napkins to get stuff out. The girl who had journals and diaries. The girl who loved to feel moved by words and to be gripped late into the night and (not recently) early in the morning, before brushing my teeth. It was a friend, the story, you went inside and felt what the characters felt.
But can I do it? One program I'm looking at taunts me with the long papers, longer bibliographies, and endless reading. I got my degree in English; why is scaring me? It does.
And then there's part of me that says, why wait to start trying? Bub is older and we don't have to wait for anything. Things will fall as they may and work themselves out. But I don't want regret. I fear it. And I fear I'll be upset if I don't have these items planned out in advance...which begs the question: How do you know when you're ready? Do you feel it? I see strangers' children and I feel all tingly. I held little James Patrick and yes, he's cute, but I was even more confused about what to want and when.
So this is the debate I have. And sure, if we had a baby today, I'd be OK. We'd be OK. But after seeing Bub's cousins (not the one who has the baby), but the young ones who are just starting to figure out what they want to major in in college, where they want to work now that they've graduated college, and what schools they'll apply to once they've finished senior year, I sort of want to go back only to have time to decide all over again.
We were on the Cape with the in-laws and to the christening of Bub's cousin's little boy, James Patrick. He is adorable! It was trying at times being immersed in so much of Bub's family in a concentrated time period and I should be a pro at this since Bub and I have been together for a while now, but I just seem to get so cranky. I really do need some space which I was able to get on the beach with my shuffle and with some Harry Potter. Yes, I'm slow to join all those that have enjoyed the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.
I'm feeling a bit better than I was last week. The flowers Bub sent survived the weekend while I was away and couldn't bring them home since we left straight from work to go away. My car is having surgery as I write this. Well, OK, I don't know about that. But I have the rental car that smells a bit like dog and I've bid my car a big goodbye while it gets some work done. In addition, we are going to see if we can get 1-2 other little imperfections fixed I was OK to live with since they're rather minor, but since I'm now having real work done, I may as well get my Acura baby all gussied up!
I'm strangely sort of *happy*? Wait, that's not right. OK. Yes, I'm OK to be here at work. The office is still heavenly in all its remoteness from the boss. I have a million emails and a ton to do from being out only 1.5 days, but a voicemail from a new contact at an organization we've been working with for a while gives me a sense of renewed hope since the woman who I thought was going to be my contact has given me every reason to find her snobby, stuck-up, and just plain rude. Doesn't return phone calls, emails, and bails on an IN PERSON meeting. Yes, it's true.
I still have a bunch of emails left waiting--some that could break the otherwise OK (happy?) mood I'm in.
My guy's birthday is Saturday. My parents' wedding anniversary is then, too. The eyebrows need help.
It's Monday. I'm ready for a good week. (Knock on wood.)
Thank goodness for car insurance and for companies that do things quick (knock on wood; I don't have my fixed car back already or anything!), but they're starting something on Monday.
Thank you guys for making me feel better. Apparently good things happen when you scrape your car:
You get flowers sent to work to surprise you coming back from the collision center.
They're from my loving and supportive (what scrape? that's NOTHING--so tiny!) husband.
You get a "Don't worry--at least nothing happened to you" pep talk from Mom.
When I had told a couple people at work what happened and Bub already knew, I called my Dad, but when he's in a meeting and says he'll call you back you think you ARE an adult and you CAN act mature. But when he doesn't call back you wonder, what was I going to say? Poor me? So when I talked to my mom later in the day and Dad was out, he called me back when he got home and said "Courtney, that's why they're called accidents."
I woke up depressed. Really, I do need to get a grip.
Oh, and Kwarterlifecrisis? Where did your blog go to? I was looking to read something to make me laugh and it says it's been deleted?! Please share...why? How? Why? Or is my link to it just dumb?
OK, fucked up is maybe too harsh for what happened.
It's still driveable.
I can still walk.
I hit no one.
I hit no other car.
I fucking hit the corner.
The corner you say?
The corner of a pole.
I do a 3- point turn to get into our assigned space behind home.
It's covered--we appreciate not having to shovel snow or get drenched in the rain.
It's near the trash. We don't likey.
And it's sandwiched between some lady who parks horrendously (is afraid of the CORNER of the pole touching her car--now I see why).
And a beautiful brand new beam-ma-ma.
And so I back out of the spot and do a 3-point turn to depart.
I'm used to this.
It's been years.
And so. I back up. And there are 2 beam-ma-ma's behind us. I always hope nothing ever happens to their cars. I take care in backing up.
Lately? I haven't been paying super close attention to backing up. I can feel that it's been enough time to cut the wheel. I realize this is unacceptable and I remind myself of that today.
I did NOT back into their cars. Instead, while in my head, I decided to look ahead, look straight ahead at the right hand turn I would take for the umpteenth time.
Off to the collision repair shop at lunch I go.
Fighting back tears, I call them on my way to work.
I'm the girl who opened the glove compartment at the light I would turn left at for the umpteenth time, searching. I had tons of papers from past trips to the dealer. I was the girl in a rage trying to find it.
The yellow sticky slick car dude who escorts me to my serviced car at the dealer many times gave me when I squawked at the ding. The DING that I had made with the end of an umbrella putting it into the trunk.
The sticky that now taunts me.
I call the number. Tears are burning the back of my throat.
Get it together, I tell myself.
Get it together.
Jessica, she says her name is.
JESSICA! I need to come in--appointment--car. SCRAPE.
No appointment needed.
I ask if I can come at lunch.
I ask if they're going to order shiny new somethings for my car.
I ask to come at lunch.
She wants me to stop talking, to hang up.
I am the girl who honked at you when you didn't put a blinker on in a bottle neck and debated whehter or not a trip to Dunkin Donuts was better than driving properly. I honked and then laughed at myself.
They will stare and see maniac driver. Maniac driver with a wheel well and 1/2 a passenger door scraped. A small piece of metal mangled.
I looked so quickly. Maybe it's not bad. Maybe.
I turn my right side mirror down. I can't see anything. Is it supposed to look like that?
I pull into the parking lot at work. I park in the last row. I will not wear my shame publicly unless it's to the strangers that pass me on the highway, the backroads, those that will see the car in our space at home.
People, life is grand. I awaited the very moment when I could type this post from the surrounding silence that is my office.
Yes, I'm in my brand new office. Well, it's not quite brand new as it was an office for the person who used it before me, but let me tell you that this is such an accomplishment for me. If only a promotion or even a raise accompanied such a move, it would be perfect. You never know.
You see, when I started working here just a little over two years ago, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we would receive our own laptop to be upgraded every so often so as to stay on track with the latest models. I was so excited by this as that that begged the question: can I work from home and not come into the office? I can take this wherever I wish and yada, yada, yada.
Then I was shown where I was to work with my shiny new laptop and I was so anxious to see which office I would get as the whole department was a series of window and windowless separations for hard work and conference calls. Except, I was lead down a hall to a table similar to ones used for a bake sale. A few office supplies sat and a chair was nearby, too.
The conditions were not even up to par for a temp or intern; what the hell was going on?
Little did I remember of the small talk I made during one of my interviews. It came back to me: renovations, new offices, and furniture. Moving to another area. Yada, yada, yada.
We moved to a series of cubes while the renovation took place. And the bottom line? I was given a cube in a sea of offices. Sure, there were other cubes around in other departments. And three. Not one, but THREE offices were vacant for at least six months in our department as I was told no, these were for managers--more senior level people. Um, my title has manager in it.
So my boss tells me that she's doing what she can to get me an office (this is after I've been in the cube well over a year). Great. Where was she going to stick me now that there were no vacant offices? I had just as many conference calls as her which was fun when I was trying to hear and had everyone communing in the hall (right by my DESK) to chat about the upcoming weekend, Red Sox game, you name it. So that all ended quickly; I soon took all important scheduled calls to the (you guessed it) conference room.
But then something happened! We acquired another company. Changes. And I hear that someone is going to switch their job within the company and be working remotely permanently.
That was leaked to me two months ago. After a ton of "When do you think you'll be moving your stuff out?" I'm now here. Finally.
And now it's me who can shut it all out: conference calls other people are on, my boss beckoning me to come into her office, people socializing, with a turn of the knob and the closing of my door.
I tried to do one of these a long time ago, but never made it to 100. Here goes nothin'.
1. I had no middle name up until 1 year and 14 days ago. 2. My middle name is my maiden name. 3. Bub is a nickname I gave to my husband after calling him that one day. It stuck but it is a recent nickname as we've been together for a little over 6 six years. 4. My husband started calling me Bub, too. So we're both Bubs. 5. I've been at my current job for almost 2 1/2 years. 6. I think I'm ready for a change, but my next move has to be strategic. 7. As Daily Editor will tell you, Boston is a tough place to do what we want to do. 8. I used to work wtih Daily Editor. She's a cool lady. 9. No one at work (knock on wood) knows about my blog. I'd like to keep it that way since I like to complain about the place. 10. My family and in-laws don't know anything about the blog either. 11. When I'm pissed I slam the door and use profanities. 12. Bub hates it. 13. I'm afraid of death. 14. I'm afraid of sleeping at home alone. I get creeped out that someone is trying to break in or is in the house. 15. I get coffee envy. If someone has coffee in the morning at work and I don't, I get slightly annoyed that I didn't stop on the way to work. 16. We have an espresso/cappuccino-maker at home. I don't need to buy any damn coffee. 17. I'm a car commuter while Bub is a train/bus commuter. 18. I check my email just about 1,213,754 times a day. I'm a little obsessed. 19. I check my junk mail first in case anything slips in there. Heh. 20. I'm ten years younger than Bub. 21. We have two turtles: red-eared sliders, Stella and Fred (or George--he has two names). 22. Stella is bigger than George, but younger. 23. They fight. 24. I'm an adventurous eater. I love European breakfasts with the cured meats and cheese. 25. Bub tells me that's adventurous. Maybe that's just a nice way of telling me I like to eat : ) 26. My mom tells me I have the twin gene. My grandmother had a twin. 27. I want to move to a bigger home before we start trying to get pregnant. 28. I want to paint the nursery and get it ready while I have a belly. 29. We only have one bedroom now which could make having a baby hard. 30. I applied to law school and got rejected. 31. Three times. 32. I'm okay with that. 33. I want to go back to school for my MFA, but can't justify spending money on classes where I only write. 34. I secretly think I'm not good enough. 35. I want to open a bakery, but I'm not sure if I like it as just a hobby. 36. I'm an aggressive driver. 37. Bub hates it, yet he's one, too (sorry!) 38. Bub is one of my only loyal readers. He never comments, though. 39. I'm a great speller. 40. I marched in Bush's first inaugural parade--the present Bush. 41. I don't care much for him, but the televised parade was pretty damn cool. 42. I was in the marching band in college and in high school. 43. I didn't play an instrument; I was in the color guard. 44. I was a stressed bride. 45. I got the worst sun burn the month I got married and the lines didn't go away. 46. I wore a strapless dress. 47. My makeup person was awesome. Nothing showed. 48. I've been to Europe 6 times. 49. Most of those times I was in Germany for work. 50. We've talked about moving to London. 51. I don't think we will. 52. I want a doggy and a kitty. 53. This list thing is really hard. I'm a procrastinator. 54. Shhh, don't tell work. 55. There are a bunch of things I could be doing now. 56. I love spas and especially love getting a manicure or a facial. 57. My first manicure was when I went to prom. 58. I asked my prom date to go with me and not the other way around. 59. My best friend from college and former roommate doesn't talk to me anymore. 60. I'm not the only one, but I feel that the friends I used to be close to changed. 61. It hurts and it's hard to meet new people aside from those you first meet at a new job. 62. I've had thoughts of ending this blog. 63. But I have a pretty good track record. It'll be 2 later this year. 64. My following is invisible, if that. 65. I think I need to give my writing a pep talk. 66. I like beer. But only the good stuff. 67. I like red wine better than white. 68. Most mixed drinks can go to hell save sangria and espresso martinis. 69. I like blogs that make me laugh. Thanks guys. 70. I'm stunned I made it this far on the list. I have had dreams about being killed. 71. They're not frequent and haven't happened in a while. 72. I like well-worded emails better than when someone calls me on the phone at work. 73. I wear contacts. 74. My first pair of glasses was purchased in the second grade. 75. I sat next to my crush "Chris" at school and told him I was getting glasses. 76. He said he would break them. I was in love. But he smelled. 77. I love chocolate. 78. I'm allergic to penicillin. 79. I broke my wrist in the first grade after I wore my brand new patent leather shoes for our Christmas concert. 80. I got a snoopy sling and had to write with the opposite hand for weeks. 81. I'm a lefty. 82. The first time I was on a plane was my senior year of high school. 83. I went on a cruise with my best friend and her dad. 84. It was, like, so awesome! 85. She's still my best friend. 86. We can't eat chicken for dinner unless we're at a restaurant. 87. Bub is allergic so we don't have it at dinner. I'll have turkey sandwiches at lunch, though. 88. My list is almost done. I love lip gloss. 89. But recently switched over to lipstick. 90. I'm still adjusting. 91. I love Sephora. 92. I used to be a gym rat and now I barely make it there twice a week. 93. I lost a lot of weight from school (or so I'm told) but think I can do at least one size smaller. 94. I used to be really thin when I was younger and my pediatrician threatened me with a trip to the hospital if I didn't start eating more. 95. I used to play the violin and took private lessons; I own my own and haven't picked it up in years. 96. I was an English major. 97. My boss makes me feel dumb. Most of the time. 98. I love to bake, especially when there aren't any sweets around. 99. We went to the Cape every summer growing up--maybe that's why that whole first time on a plane thing didn't happen right away. 100. I took ballet (then pointe, jazz, and tap) lessons for 13 years with the same teacher.
That's my list! Here's another couple of Maine photos, too.
First: One of the lighthouses we saw while we were away.
Second: The view from FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt's 10,000 square foot cottage...